Showing posts with label skignz on campus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skignz on campus. Show all posts

Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Teams Work - Matt Hui


My name is Matt Hui, I’m a 2nd year student currently doing a summer internship at skignz.

I have just finished my first year studying Interactive Media Design at Northumbria University.

The course involves studying a large variety of interactive design elements, from animation, graphical design, web design, app design and product design. I am throughly enjoying the  course, and had a great first year.

It was the web design aspect of my course that I found the most intriguing, and that it was interested me about skignz.

At the moment I am helping to design a number of new webpages for skignz, to help bring some new features to the website and its users.

So far my time at skignz has been very informative, and I have already learned a great deal about various new coding languages I was unfamiliar with beforehand. This has proved a very useful for me to know, as I can create my design concepts to exactly how I want them to look, now I have the knowledge to code out my designs.

By the end of the internship I hope to of learned a great more about how apps and websites are created and run, and will be able to apply these skills within my course.

The knowledge of javascript and jquery I have learned here has allowed me to create impressive animations within my webpages, this makes the page more interactive and so more user friendly.

These sort of skills will be extremely useful for creating intuitive interactions throughout my career.

Matt Hui

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:

Friday, 28 February 2014

skignz are changing University Campuses forever!

University campuses are changing every day. With the constant updates in technology it is essential that Universities make sure they adapt to that change to meet every need of their students and provide them with the best experience and education available. 

skignz can help speed up that change, as it can provide all services that a student needs for when they are at University and even beyond the campus. I will explain how skignz can help in more detail below.

Teesside University Main Campus
Let me just start off with informing you about the work that skignz has currently provided for Teesside University by working with them to adapt to the changing needs of the University campus and students themselves. skignz is a new way for students to navigate around campus. It is a free app that everyone can download to their mobile devices. 

skignz provides students with a lot less worry for when they arrive at Teesside University. Prior to coming they will download the app and ensure that everything is set up for when they arrive. To find where they need to be on campus they can simply navigate through loading up skignz on their phone and scanning the campus environment to see where the building is they need to locate. 

Teesside University Enhanced by skignz
It simply is a sign in the sky. Teesside University were the first to use skignz and have ensured that it is a huge benefit for everyone to the University; staff, students and visitors, providing them with the simplicity of being reassured when on the campus. 

No need to try and understand them maps anymore! Students can download the app as soon as they get the offer letter from their university.

Checkout this short video for you to see how skignz works:
Don't just take our word for it, here a few students tell us what they think about skignz being on the Teesside University Campus:

Abigail Allick - 2nd Year Degree Student
“I’m not very good at navigating myself around, especially if I don’t know the area”

“I find the app a lot more easier, like getting myself around Uni and different places where I actually am”
Timi Odeyemi – MA Student

“If you think about the fact that a lot of students come here relatively clueless, and you want to know where buildings are, you want to know what exactly is going on”
“To meet and discover, wow, this is being set up right here. It just sort of gave that potential, made it feel real, that certain things can be developed”

“It’s essentially like a visual google or something of the sort”
As you can see from above, students who have experienced skignz already on campus have said how much it really helps for people attending University.

“It’s essentially like a visual google or something of the sort”

Freshers at Teesside University
skignz has provided a new exciting, interesting and essential service to current and new students, including everyone at Teesside University. It is new technology developed and Teesside University have jumped right on board of taking advantage to be the first to use this, and they have done right to do so! The difference it has already made is fantastic.
So what are the benefits of skignz?
skignz has many benefits to what it provides. I could talk about them all and go into much detail; the possibilities of where it could go and what it could do are vast.

skignz provides a new way for 'EVERYONE' to navigate about. It doesn’t just have a certain place it can be used or a certain audience that can use it, it is for everyone. You no longer need to be lost. You no longer need to feel alone. You can now prepare and know where you are at all times. Plus it is not boring like looking and trying to read or understand a map. It is simply straight there on your device. It is always with you wherever you are. No need to go in search of a map or some form of location help.
Whats in it for you? The social side of skignz!
And there's more ... skignz is not just for navigating. It has a whole social side to it beyond University campus. It is the social element of taking skignz into other parts of your life. 

You can use it when you go shopping. Say you fancied going shopping in a new place you hadn’t been before, you can set up skignz before you go and easily locate the shops and where you need to be when you arrive. 

It saves you time from looking around and wasting valuable time what can be used to shop. You can find your car in a very busy car park. Most of us forget from time to time where we have parked, so simply set up a skignz above your car for when you having finished where you need to be and find where you have parked you will be able to see it through skignz on your mobile device. It can also be used when you are at concerts or festivals with your friends. 

Getting lost from your friends or group is very easy: going to the bar or to the toilet - how will you be sure to find them again in that huge crowd? Well, before you go to the festival you and your friends can each download skignz and set it up before you head off to your festival. Therefore when you arrive you will each already have skignz set up, so if you go to the bar and lose your friends, just load up skignz on your mobile, scan the crowd and there you will see a little sign just above your friend's head informing you of where they are.

Just like Timi Odeyemi – MA Student stated:
“Imagine going to somewhere like London or Tokyo and trying to meet someone or find jobs or anything. You could try to find bars, you could try to, well, meet people socially, that kind of thing. So, to me, I see the possibilities of this particular app to be, like, endless. It could be the next big thing, in my opinion”

skignz really is the next big thing. It has a lot of benefits for people who use it and can be used in any way you wish.
So what does skignz mean to student experience?

It provides new students who are coming to University a way to feel comforted and reassured that they are going to know where they are going when they arrive on campus. Everything will already be set up for them putting them at ease and giving them time to get used to the app. It is also available for them to download before they come to University prior to them receiving the offer letter.
TU Freshers understanding skignz!
They can also find it to find new friends. Such as students who may not be very good at making new friends, they can use it in a social way to talk to new people. They could set up a skignz for themselves to inform people that they are new, what course they are on or if anyone else is doing the same, going to the same lesson as them and so on. 

It provides a new way for them to interact with other students if they do not feel they are best at doing that.
It can help foreign students also who have mentioned to us that when they arrive on campus they are generally alone. This way they will be able to find each other and a new way to make friends who they feel comfortable with. It is not always easy for foreign students to make new friends as they have said before to the university.

Professor Eileen Martin (Deputy Vice Chancellor)
“It’s a really important tool when students first arrive on campus because it’s an easy navigation, as they are used to using mobile technologies. This is a really good addition”

As you can see above, Professor Eileen Martin of Teesside University stated that it is an important tool for when students first arrive on University campus, providing them with easy navigation to where they need to be.

Party Time with skignz at TU Students Union
skignz also provides students with excitement when they come to University. They can use skignz not only to find new friends but for nights out or if they wanted to interact with others to have some fun. 

It provides value in their learning ability as it will put them at ease to find other students who they can relate to and also to have some friends and fun for the nights out in the Student Union and around town. 

For example: if they were having a house party for new students then they could place a skignz above their house to let people know that’s where the party is or even to try a few places with new friends. If they were to go for food and a few drinks they could each set up skignz on their phone, plan out where they wish to go and then each find where they need to be.

Understanding skignz on Campus
It is a new town for some students arriving. They need to feel at home where they are and that they are well looked after by the University.
Professor Eileen Martin (Deputy Vice Chancellor)

“I guess it adds a USP (unique selling proposition/point). It brings some fun and excitement into the student experience as well”

“I think it’s a really exciting and also very innovative and creative development. And I think we’re only just starting to understand the potential and the very different ways in which we can use it, both across the social world of the student but also actually in terms of their learning as well”

skignz really is the new best piece of technology that University campuses can take on. It will provide a whole new outlook to students on University campus and improve their life in social and learning aspects. It will give the University a huge boost in providing good technology and keeping up to date in all the advancements. skignz can be used in any way anyone wishes. To sum it all up below is a short video for you to see.

skignz in a Nutshell -

Like Timi Odeyemi – MA Student says: It can be or will be…                “…the next big thing”

To find out more information on skignz then please see our websites and social media sites.