The purpose of the following study is to gauge the user experience of the Lehigh University Hawkatch app, including information about user-friendliness and efficiency of the app, and to make recommendations about what app changes could create a more positive user experience. The HawkWatch app was designed for Lehigh University students to download and use on their mobile devices, and the app has a variety of features including, but not limited to, bus trackers, campus map, COVID-19 check in, Lehigh University Police Department (LUPD) resources and mental health resources. Additionally, the app seeks to provide resources that would assist students in an emergency situation, acting as a “mobile blue light.” Upon opening the app, users are presented with all of the options for using the app, presented in a grid format, along with a preferences bar at the bottom of the screen. The app also has the ability to send users text messages with safety bulletins and campus updates, should the user choose to opt in.
Data collection was completed through a Qualtrics survey, which took about 1 minute for participants to complete. The survey consisted of multiple types of questions (multiple choice, short response, rating and multiple select) about the user experience of HawkWatch. At the end of the survey, participants were asked to make recommendations about what they would like to change about the app that would improve it, or create a more positive user experience.
The results of the survey showed that users rated the overall performance of HawkWatch a 6.56 out of 10. Users indicated that they like the bus tracker, campus map and safety features of the app most, and dislike the aesthetic, glitchiness and varying reliability of the app. The most common uses of the HawkWatch app were the bus tracker and COVID-19 check in, followed by campus maps, safety toolbox and LUPD resources.
At the end of the survey, participants were asked what they would change about the app to create a more positive user experience. The most common request of participants was to fix the reliability of the bus tracker. Additional suggestions included updating the aesthetic of the app and making the app faster.
With the suggestions from users in mind, the HawkWatch app would benefit from a redesign of the basic layout of icons as well as an update to the aesthetics. Additionally, internal bugs should be fixed in the bus tracking feature in order to ensure that community members are able to utilize the bus system.