Showing posts with label Teesside University. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teesside University. Show all posts

Sunday, 24 May 2015

FUSION HIVE: skignz secures new offices

skignz are delighted to say that we will be relocating our HQ & UK offices to Fusion Hive.

We anticipate moving in in early August 2015 and look forward to welcoming our clients, partners and friends. 

Due to the recent investment and expansion of skignz, we required not only more room but we were looking for somewhere that would provide us with an environment to thrive in. 

Other tech & digitally focussed companies will also be in the same building and we looking forward to creating a relaxing, yet productive environment for us all to benefit from.

skignz has secured the top floor (left of the core) as shown in the top picture, providing us with a large open plan office space and high speed internet connection.

Also fantastic views across the the River Tees, Teesdale, Durham University & Stockton Riverside College.

If you would like to know more about Fusion Hive then please take a look here -

If you would like to know more about skignz then please visit us on or check out all the usual social media channels by typing skignz in them.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Glen - Most Interesting Year of My life.

May 2013 - May 2014 was probably the most interesting year of my life. I completed my last piece of uni coursework on my 21st birthday, less than two months later I started my 9 month internship at skignz; my first job in the media world, and the day after by 22nd birthday I began the 22 hour journey to my current location; The Falkland Islands.

The purpose of this blog post isn't to talk about the skignz technology (as impressive as it is), but more about how the skignz internship helped me to get to the Falklands; which is probably the most beautiful place I have ever been.

I'm a Broadcast Journalist, specialising in camera-work and I work for a small Television company out here, based in the capital Stanley. As a journalist you get to experience every facet of life here, experiencing things that the locals don't even get to see or do.

The conservation of wildlife, new business ventures, sporting occasions, overseas governments; all are things that i get to report on, on a weekly basis.

The islands themselves are also truly breath-taking, where wildlife and humans live in close proximity;  
10 minutes’ drive out of town and you can see a colony of hundreds of Gentoo penguins, while looking out to sea, to watch pods of dolphins playing in the waves.

In the summer (which is the opposite time of year here) King Penguins come into town and apparently you can see seals in the harbour. The scenery itself I would liken to the Scottish Highlands, which although isn't rolling grass covered fields like you would get in England, still has its own eerie beauty.

Simply put this is the single greatest experience of my life.

So where does skignz fit into all of this?

skignz understands what a lot of other companies don't, and that is people need to be given a chance.

Everybody knows the situation; you need experience to get a job, but how can you get experience if nobody is willing to hire you?

That is why skignz is special; it was their internship that gave me the chance to prove myself. 

In my role as a content creator I was able to work on real projects!

The work I was producing wasn't for a mark or a grade, it was for a client; it was for something real, and this is invaluable in furthering your skills and improving yourself.

skignz is a mix of experience and youth; in my opinion the way it should be, you aren't told what to do, but rather guided, you have room to experiment, see what works, see what doesn't, and it is this that will let you excel in your chosen field, in whatever area that is; Graphic Designer, Programmer, PR, or in my case Content Creator.

I'm not going to say that I wouldn't be where I am today without skignz, but it definitely made it a hell of a lot easier, and if you get the chance to work with them then you should grab the opportunity with both hands because you never know where it could lead.

skignz Co-Founder & CMO said: "Glen was a pleasure to have in our team, from the very first interview, he had a quiet confidence about him that we really liked and we were not disappointed either, with the way that he conducted himself or the work he produced at skignz

In fact he exceeded all expectations and when the opportunity came up for him to go to the Falklands, both Gary and I encouraged him to go! At 22yrs old he's not going to get many better opportunities, to spread his wings and go and see the world.

That was in direct opposition to what skignz need because by then he was a valued and respected member of the team and it would be difficult to find some one of his character and quality to fill the void. 

However both Gary and I felt that, we could not and would not stand in the way of a life changing opportunity.

The Falklands is not everyone's idea of a dream destination, but you could see to Glen it was much more than that, it was an opportunity for him to try something completely new in a different environment and culture and those experiences in life can't be bought.

Glen rightly says he is not in the Falklands because of skignz, he's there because of his own efforts! We would like to think we played a small part by providing the opportunity to enter the working world, as well as some guidance and advice along the way! But he really is where he is, because of his own efforts, determination and hard work. 

We would welcome Glen back into the skignz team should he decide to return to the UK. But we think this is just the start for him and if he does not stay in the Falklands then he will soon be flying off to another destination on the next part of his career.

We continue to wish him well and follow his progress over social media and as you can see by him sending this blog post we consider him to be part of the skignz family."

For further information on skignz please visit our website

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Oversea Students Are Impressed!

At skignz we always want new people to be informed and test out the new technology that we have created. We love seeing how impressed they are with it and just how great of a reaction we get from everyone.

The 1st July saw a group of oversea's student’s travel across from Africa to Teesside University on a 4 week course as a consideration to study their Masters here. 

within a day of arriving in the UK, straight from getting off the plane they came across to Teesside University to meet skignz and get involved in a treasure hunt/orientation activity.

Now some may wonder students have travelled across from Nigeria on a long flight, why would they want to come and first of all see skignz before they do anything else. Well skignz is their guide, essentially. 

They need to get to know the area and know where they are going while they are here, and skignz is the way for them to do that. Also we wanted them to get introduced to this great technology and see just how impressed they were with it.

When they arrived at the university we decided to give them a short introduction to skignz; what it is and how they can use it. We showed them a couple of videos of how it worked and then got them to download the app to their phone ready for the treasure hunt/orientation activity.

Just from watching the video and talking about it, we could see by the reactions on their faces and some of the words they were coming out with: “wow, amazing, great” just how amazed they were by how good this new piece of technology is.

We started them off on their orientation activity. The original plan was to split them up into groups of 5 however there was a slight problem with them coming from overseas not all of them had 3G connections (expensive overseas roaming charges) which was no at problem when on campus due to the use of the Wi-Fi, but upon stepping off the campus they had to rely on only a few members of the group who could access 3G and off they went to discover the surrounding area beyond the campus.

The orientation activity started from Teesside University leading around Middlesbrough down Linthorpe road into town then back up to the university again. 

It was set to take around two hours so that they could get used to the app, have some fun and also get to know about Middlesbrough. All aimed at helping them to decide whether to come over to study their Masters at Teesside University.

After the orientation activity was completed, they arrived back at Teesside University and we gathered some feedback from how it went.

The engaged students gave positive feedback saying that it was good, not so hard to use and was fun getting to know about Middlesbrough. 

They said it was an easy way to understand where they were going and did not get lost.

After the feedback was gathered we then decided to gather back in the Business School and get some further feedback of how they found the app and how they decide they are going to use it in the future. 

We also offered to answer any questions that they may have had about attending Teesside University or wanting to study here.

Some of the feedback from the students that we received was excellent. 

Statements ranged from:

            - “It will be helpful at concerts”
            - “We have large carnivals in our country, including big festival”
            - “I will use it wherever I visit the UK”
            - “I will skignz up our University back home”
            - “We will introduce it to our friends when we get back home”
            - “It is great technology that is beneficial and fun in a lot of ways”

The students from Africa were very excited about the technology that skignz offered and were excited about using it back home. They were excited to tell all of their friends about it and wanted to know what more we could do with it, giving us a lot of ideas which were really appreciated. 

Fresh ideas from overseas students!

We were really pleased with reactions and feedback we received. The students were very cheery and had a lot of positive thoughts about skignz. They stated that they were going to use it while in the UK for four weeks to help find their friends if they get lost and to also find the accommodation where they are staying if not sure where they are. 

The skignz app will defiantly be useful to the over sea students while they are over in the UK.

When we were showing them the videos of the work we were doing with some luxury brands at the moment they were amazed with what we showed them. 

When we showed them all a video of a luxury car makers, Car Configurator and the work we have planned to do with skignz they got even more excited about the technology, stating once again, just how amazing the work is that can be done with skignz.

We hope to be having a catch up with them in a couple of weeks, see how they are getting on and how they are enjoying it over here and also to see how they have found skignz.

If you want to know more about studying at Teesside University then visit their website to see some of the amazing under graduate and post graduate courses they offer. 

If you are a college or overseas university and would like to come and visit the TU campus and discover skignz for yourself then please contact either Teesside University or skignz.

If you would like to get to know more about skignz or if you have taken an interest in it, whether it be beneficial to you or to a brand you may know of then please get in touch with us using the links below.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Further Evolving the University Campus Experience

Over the previous 10 months we have been working with Teesside University to provide the skignz technology platform for the benefit of students, staff and visitors alike.

Due to the success of the platform, TU have been working with skignz since Freshers to find ways to build on the foundation that was in place. The focus was to find ways in which to maximise the potential of the skignz platform in as many areas of the University and its operations as possible.

Freshers Welcome Week
This proved to be quite a daunting task as it soon became apparent that skignz could actually benefit so many different areas of the University that it was agreed that focussing on a few key areas would be key to the ongoing success of skignz, whilst also allowing a period of educating the varying audiences for each key development.

We have covered various aspects of our progress with TU on previous blog posts, the opinions of the students, how it has helped them and improved their overall student experience. 

However not just at Teesside it has enhanced their experience in general of the town and now the can adventure to where they wish knowing they will be provided with skignz on all their exploring activities.

Freshers @ Teesside University SU

Now talking about exploring... 

We are focusing our main activities for launch at fresher’s week in September as there will be an influx of new students attending Teesside University, resulting in a increase in students and parent's wandering around an unfamiliar campus and the surrounding Middlesbrough Town Centre.

We have three key focus areas that we are currently developing. 

Key Focus One:- Open Day Introduction

In June Teesside University has one of their main open days for prospective/future students to attend and see if they would like to start their career at TU and if this is the right place for them. As this can be the first impression any prospective scholar has of TU, its essential that its not only the right impression but a lasting one.

Middlesbrough Central Library
 The prospective students will visit a number of campuses before making their final decision and even when their choice is made, results from their current academic institute may not allow them their first choice, second choice or even third in some cases. 

So being memorable for all the right reasons is vital!

skignz have been looking at what we can do to enhance the open day experience to further increase the chances that the impression created will help those to choose to come to TU.

When prospective students attend the open day there will be a skignz treasure hunt for them to take part in. This is to help them find their way around campus and get to see where everything is located and just what is available.

During this specific Treasure Hunt, prospective students will have focussed relevant content such as visit a shops, parks, bars, restaurants, museums, library, art gallery, halls of residence, cinema, live venues, even the estate agents should they not be successful in getting a place in Halls. 

Shopping on Linthorpe Road
It is essential to the decision making process that visitors to campus, don't only see what is on campus but also what the surrounding area is like and what it has to offer. 

This way the prospective students are not just going to a random area where they don’t have a clue where everything is, as that can be a very daunting experience! Going to University, especially away from home, is already daunting enough!

Key Focus Two:- Induction & Orientation
Now that the decision has been made and applications have been accepted, September soon comes around and students arrive on the University Campus ready for the next stage of their lives. Being in an unfamiliar place, with new people has its own challenges so if there is a way to reduce the stress, even a little less, will go a long way towards helping, speed up the settling in period and allow enjoyment to replace anxiety.

Simple support such as helping the new students navigate around campus and surround area in a safe yet simple way. Help them understand where all of the practical places they will need during their stay, such as doctors /dentist surgeries, supermarkets, banks, hair dressers/barbers, even cashpoints and the huge range of student support services available.

All of this is available through using the skignz technology and the app on their smartphone by placing 'virtual signs in the sky' above each of these locations so that new students will know where they are? If they do decide to come to Teesside (as it is a great place to study and live) then they will want to get their bearings and know where the important places are as soon as possible. 

TS One, Southfield Road
Cineworld, Middlesbrough
The new students can then find out where each one of these places are and then make their own decisions as to where they want to go. A huge benefit of skignz is this information is there ALL year round so its available as and when its required, regardless of location!

This Treasure Hunt will also have a physical aspect to it, in as much as, each location will provide you with a 'order to fulfil' this could be picking up a menu at a restaurant or getting the latest film leaflet from the cinema. 

Its not initially apparent but once the Treasure Hunt is completed each participant will have their own personalised 'Welcome Pack' relevant to them.

Key Focus Three:- Visiting Parents, Guardians, Family & Friends

As the two other key focus areas are student related, we felt that other key audiences visiting the University Campuses should not be ignored so we decided to look at ways to help other visitor groups. One particular group is the parents, guardians and families who also visit the campus for the open days and interview days.

The World Famous Transporter Bridge
As part of choosing a University to study at, prospective students consult not only their peers but a lot of influence is carried by the families especially parents and guardians. It is essential that parents/guardians know what the area is like too, where their loved ones are staying and familiarise themselves with it. 

In most cases the experience of 'losing a child' to University life is a proud moment it is also a very difficult one for the parents as their baby (in their eyes they still are) is off to a new place with unfamiliar surroundings, different people, environments and experiences.

One Life Medical Centre
Once a parent waves off their child to University, they will still be keen to know where they are going, where they are staying and what the area is like. 

Using skignz, parents can also download the app so they can access different content that is relevant to what they would like to know about the area. What is important for parents about this prospective University is not necessarily the same as what the students are looking to find out or what is important to each!

This approach not only allows the parents/guardians to get a feel of what the area is like but also understand where things are. This helps once their young fresher is at University and they speak on the phone, when they explain where they are, parents/guardians on the other end of the phone have a mental picture of where they are, what it looks like! This might not sound important, but to a parent this helps ease the nerves as it puts them at ease being able to envisage the place!

In addition when it comes to visiting them, picking them up at the end of term etc... finding the way to their accommodation and knowing where to meet them is easier. Going one step further using the 'personal' aspect of skignz individuals can place their own skignz for free so anyone visiting them are able to see the skignz either above their housing or above themselves. 

Now people may think that these young people may not want you to use this, but it doesn’t have to be used as a tool to keep an eye on them at all times. That is not the case, its simply their to provide a visual identification for both parties to locate each other! The beauty of skignz is its very viral, so its not just restricted to University Campuses and their surrounding towns. 

Once Parents and Guardians have skignz on their smartphones then they can use it back home, on holiday, at work, with friends, pretty much anywhere on the planet they find themselves, anytime they want. Its excellent for use on your travels, for when you go places and even for general use such as when you need to locate a certain area, pre plan it before you go using skignz!

Further areas in which we are making skignz become seamless and ingrained in student life is that by September 2014 every member of staff, student and associate who have a Teesside University email address will automatically be pre-registered with a skignz account and loaded up with specific skignz templates personalised to them. 
skignz is simple, fun all from a App!

Each type of skignz for each person will be associated a certain colour to show the differentiate between students, staff and associates. 

For example: Students could have an orange outline, staff could be red and associates will have a purple trim. 

This will be so that each person is distinctive and it will be easier to associate who each person is with their different coloured trims. 
This can be defined each further to show which school of study they belong to?

In order to support the students with the actual downloading, use, account and other functionality we are developing a fun and interesting 'demo video' taking the user through a little journey, showcasing the features, benefits, the why and the how they can get the most from using skignz

We feel the sooner the users get to grips with skignz and how it helps them on campus they will begin to explore for themselves what else skignz can do, how it can help them in other areas of their lives and even invent new ways in which skignz can 
improve their lives!

TFM SoundWorks, Live Music & Events
As skignz is evolving with Teesside University, we are working together to provide the most up to date resource on 'everything skignz'.  

We aim to provide a central resource allowing anyone wanting to know further information on skignz, How to use it? what can it do? FAQ's, Help Videos, New and upcoming developments through to technical support function. 

The use of skignz at TU already has a lot of good stories, interesting content, ideas, information and updates on both skignz and TU's varying social media channels.
We want people to have fun and enjoy using skignz and we look forward to meeting all the new students and parents/guardians, family and friends in June and September for the open/interview days and ultimately the induction & orientation days, which start during freshers.

Please visit:

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Teams Work - Katherine Kui

I'm an undergraduate who’s studying Applied Accounting and Business Finance at final year right now and going to pursue graduate study of International Management next year at Teesside University. 

Previously I've studied at Shanghai Linxin University of Commerce which is just outside Shanghai in China, for three years before I came to the UK.

However I am originally from the Yunnan Province located in South West China where I was born and grew up with my family. 

During my spare time, I like to go travelling and shopping. I've been to many places right across China.

I’m aiming to take some time to travel around some European countries in the near future, such as France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

I have loads of hobbies, including socialising, playing computer games, dancing, singing and listening to music.

Travelling around Europe
I was going to follow the original track of my life like my schoolmates did, going to a high ranked UK university to pursue my graduate studies. 

However, everything changed when I met skignz, Si provided me a very precious opportunity to work for skignz, which totally changed my future plan, potentially even my whole life. 

Because of skignz, I finally have a clear thought about my future, about what I want to do? and what I am going to do!

It was really an eye-opener when I knew about skignz at first time. I think skignz will be of great use helping students to fit in at ALL universities quickly and make new friends easily. 

Shanghai University (Baoshan Campus), China
ECNU Campus, China

Especially in China, a country with a very large population, a lot of University campuses spread all over the country and I'm sure skignz will have a significant role to play. 
IAE Jean Moulin University Lyon 3, China

Chinese Universities are spread across massive areas, so using skignz to orientate and navigate around would be incredible and very easy for students to pick up.

Using skignz on a chinese campus also helps the students find each other. They are vast landscaped open spaces, so finding friends can be difficult. 

Being able to find my friends is a great thing to have and all through my phone! I carry my phone everywhere and I rely on it for so many things - emails, social media, camera, other apps and now my new favourite - skignz lol

I feel honoured and privileged to be the one who introduces skignz to Chinese people by translating the main concept, videos and website of skignz to Chinese so that Chinese people can understand what skignz is and what skignz can do. 

I have already set up two social channels for skignz, which are the most popular social channels in China, namely RenRen and Weibo. 

skignz on RenRen
skignz on Weibo

They are the corresponding Facebook and Twitter in China, which play an important role among Chinese people. 

We are also currently translating a lot of our video footage to make it accessible in Chinese. This we will be uploaded to our new chinese video channel (equivalent of YouTube).


The skignz website is in post production so it can be accessed by users in China in their own language.

I really appreciate that skignz provided me this valuable opportunity and the skignz crew are helping me with my internship patiently and kindly. 

I have to say: Thanks, skignz!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

It’s all about the Universities!

It really is all about the Universities at the moment. Come this September so many students are going to be starting University, some for their first time which will be a big daunting moment for them! 

Campus's during Freshers in September
When student arrive at their chosen University they are going to have expectation of what they think it is going to be like and what it actually is like.

It is the best time of their lives so what they want is an experience they will feel comfortable in straight away and a experience they will never forget! They will meet a whole load of new friends and people at University and begin the career of their lifetime.

So really when we think about it Universities have a lot of pressure on them to meet their student expectations.

They try to provide a lot when it comes to open days and campus tours, so when the students actually arrive at their chosen University they will have even more expectations to meet to give the best experience they are paying for. 

This September Universities are going to have to induct sessions to the students on their life there and help orientate them around the campus. Now they make think that they do this well but do students really remember that soon? No they don’t because it is so big and they will not get the hang of it for quite a while. I know I didn’t when I went; I was in my second year and still got lost when I got told to go to different buildings and rooms. I don’t think you ever really anyway fully understand every place, building and room on the campus!

Welcome to Freshers
 However that isn’t the only problem when it comes to starting University. If you are coming from a new place or even on your own then you won’t know anyone. Making friends for some people can be a real challenge and they won’t know what to do half of the time. It doesn’t always come naturally, some people may find it hard to approach and talk to others and may be a little bit shyer that others expect.

Do the Universities help with this as you expect? Well yeah they put fresher’s events on but that is only for two weeks, it may take someone a little bit longer but not to worry because it isn’t as hard as some of you may think to make friends. There are a lot of ways out there to do that so don’t make it one of your biggest worries when starting University for the first time.

Finding your away around  your new campus is difficult!
 There are other key issues that become top of the list before starting besides getting to know the campus and making friends.

When you start, you start alone so need to know how to manage your own life. There are your finances to manage yourself, know what to spend and what not to spend.

Then there’s the new environment that you’re going to, you will need to get to know your surroundings. Then it is safety.

You need to make sure that where you are you feel safe and that you know where you’re going at all times so that you don’t get lost. 

Settling in comfortably in a new place may take a while, could take a month or longer it depends on the person you may be and how the University does help you.

skignz postcard!
Who can you rely on to show you round a new & strange place?
So that takes me onto the actual main point. Does the University help you like you expect. Do you they meet your expectations, exceeding them or not coming close?

Well then skignz is for you.

Now Skignz may be new to you and you probably won’t pronounce it correctly as most people don’t (if you wish to then pronounce it like sky-nz).

It is much easier to say it that way when you see it spelt different; however for the companies purpose it is spelt skignz.
Let me just tell you a bit about skignz then I will let you know how it has already helped a University solves their problems of meeting student’s expectations then we will inform you how it can help you.

skignz is a new app designed to help anyone navigate around. It allows you or other to set up skignz, which are ‘signs in the sky’ so that you and others can see where each of you individually wants to be heading. You can view these skignz through your mobile device.

Each person has their own account so that you can personalise it and tailor it to your needs.

You can make friends on it and get to know other by adding them and then having some fun.

It is free to download from iTunes and Google Play, so give it a download and give it a go. We believe skignz is the next big thing – for everything.

We have already opened an office in Las Vegas and have big future plans.

But you can read more on that and what else Skignz has done on our blogger, otherwise I will be talking for ages and distract you from the point I’m getting to!

Have you discovered skignz yet?
Now Skignz has already helped Teesside University solve their problems of meeting their student’s expectation.

When students arrive at Teesside they were in a new place and needed help with finding their way around campus, making new friends, accommodation, location area and safety. 

skignz has set up signs around Teesside campus above each building, food facilities, toilets, car parks, accommodations and more tailoring to students and the University needs.

So that now when student arrive at Teesside University campus, they are able to find their way around without getting lost. Students can also download the skignz app and set up their individual skignz to help other students find them and become friends with each other. Teesside University doesn’t have to worry about not meeting their student needs, as skignz have helped them with this.

So how will it help you as a student and your individual needs. skignz will allow you to interact with other and find out where people are.

If students decide to make their skignz public then they for example could set one up above their student flat saying ‘party here’ or ‘all students welcome for a meet’, then that way it makes it easier for student to make friends.

You also don’t have to worry about not knowing where you need to be on campus. There will always be a skignz set up for you so that you can easily find where you need to be, just follow in the direction of the sign you see through your mobile device. Before arriving at University and deciding where you wish to stay, go and search for accommodation where they skignz are set up at.

You will easily be able to find your way to them and not get lost each time leaving from a lecture or from a night out.

Last of all it provides you with a sense of belonging and safety no matter where you are going. Belonging and safety when coming to University are big needs that you need to feel 100% sure on.

When you arrive at your new place you don’t know your local area or where to go, well you can easily set up a skignz above the place you need to be or above your house so that no matter where you go you always know which direction to head in a reduce the risk of getting lost. It is the same around the campus.
This is the difference when using skignz on campus!

It is not nice getting lost or not feeling safe. Especially if you were alone on a dark night on campus and didn’t know your way back to you apartment, if you use skignz there is always one lit up through your phone for you to know where to be going.

You maye be a student, but even children can use skignz!
Now don’t just think skignz is just about navigation. It has been really useful so far for a lot of people and has a lot of fun within it. It is a new social network for you to be involved with and allow you to meet others.

You can use it if you are going for a night out to find other or to even set up an event that you wish everyone to attend. It is a great use at festivals especially in that massive crowd you don’t want to lose your friends.

Well we have a lot of blog posts on how you can use skignz and have some fun with it. You can just give them a read on our blog using the link above and I will repost one below for you.

Now I hope you can see just how useful skignz is at Universities. Universities are one of the main activities in a student’s life and they won’t always be able to tailor to your need.

They can’t be personal to you and always inform you where you need to go or where you need to be, and if they do it may not always be easy for you to understand.

skignz can solve this with Universities and already has with Teesside University. skignz is personal to you and can help you wherever you are!

Make sure that you download skignz and if you do go to Teesside University then be sure to use it while you are there or if you go to another University of your choice then why not tell them to get on board with skignz.

It is the next big thing for you!

Please check out our Facebook and Twitter page and have a read of our other blog posts. Also be sure to tell others about this and anyone you know!