“Their work has made my life easier by automating features in the app that I was doing manually"

George Thomas

Director of Technology Engagement and Student Experience at the University of Oklahoma

The Challenge

The University of Oklahoma has more than 30,000 students, catered to via the OU Innovate app. The mobile app is University of Oklahoma’s official hub for all on-campus technology, to enable students to manage meal plans, track class schedules, and find the nearest parking lots with available space to make it to class on time.

University of Oklahoma students arrive late to class due to limited parking availability. The University of Oklahoma reached out to Dogtown Media to find a way for students to best navigate the University of Oklahoma parking structure. Outside of the classroom schedules, the University of Oklahoma’s drunk-driving prevention program, SafeRide, had low adoption rates due to the necessity to pick up paper vouchers in the University of Oklahoma’s on-campus counseling office.

The Process

Dogtown Media conducted user testing via card sorting with students to discover which features they cared about most for the OU Innovate App. The results demonstrated that a parking solution and an e-version of the SafeRide voucher were the two most highly demanded features, that would make a tangible impact on the students’ campus life.

If students could easily track on their mobile device what areas of the parking lot were empty at specific times, it would immensely reduce their time spent and stress associated with parking. We determined that creating a real-time parking lot tracker mobile app would provide the best solution for University of Oklahoma students. This app was also able to seamlessly integrate an e-version of the SafeRide voucher, providing students with an all-in-one university transportation app solution.

The Solution

With our real-time parking lot tracker, students received a graphical representation of parking space and time availability, along with which garages to avoid, in an easy to use app. They could see what parts of the parking lot would be empty, at specific hours of the day, courtesy of the custom-built graphs, to help them plan their travel accordingly. After classes, students simply press a button on our app to claim their SafeRide voucher and show their phone to the taxi driver, tracked from pick-up to drop-off.

The Result

Our real-time parking lot tracker app reduced time spent parking by University of Oklahoma students, enabling them to arrive to class on time, and significantly increase attendance rates. University of Oklahoma students reported higher satisfaction rates as they spent less time parking thanks to the parking lot trend graph app feature that enabled ease of navigation. The SafeRide e-voucher component of the app increased participation rates dramatically, enhancing the success of the program.