Uniting with uNivUS

The number of disparate NUS mobile apps has long been a bane to campus users, and the gauntlet was thrown in 2019 to see if all these apps can be integrated into a single “mother of all apps” platform. Rising to the challenge, a team from NUS IT hunkered down to map its digital blueprint to create a one-stop mobile app – uNivUS – for users.

Work on the app accelerated in 2020 due to COVID-19 when NUS IT collaborated with the Office of Safety, Health and Environment to execute an app which will allow the campus community to respond to the University’s safe management measures in a convenient and efficient manner. The first version of uNivUS, unveiled in April 2020, was used primarily for daily temperature declaration and access to campus facilities.

As the COVID-19 situation stabilised, the uNivUS App Development Project team, comprising colleagues from Organisational Excellence Transformation Unit (OETU) and NUS IT, resumed work to fulfil its key objective, which was to enhance students’ user experience at NUS. Working closely with the campus community to identify requirements and pain points, the team also enlisted the help of student assistants to design a refreshed user interface, and identify effective engagement and communication platforms and strategies. Student volunteers assisted with providing feedback and critical analysis on the development of features.

uniting-with-univus-team The uNivUS App Development Project team

 “As this was a student-centric project, the team placed heavy emphasis on student engagement,” explained Senior Librarian Han Ming Guang, from OETU. “We had to be bold in sharing prototypes and soliciting feedback even though the features may not be at the perfect stage.”

The successful execution of the project requires the concerted efforts of different units and departments. Since 2020, the project team has collaborated with more than 60 units, including the Office of Student Affairs, Office of Admissions, Registrar’s Office and the University Campus Infrastructure cluster, as well as the different Halls, Student Residences, Faculties and Schools.

The main concern was effectively reaching out and providing information to students. “These units provided valuable insights on user needs and experiences based on their interactions with students over the years,” shared Lim Wee Keong, Senior Manager, from the uNivUS App Development Project team.  “These discussions allowed us to sharpen our thoughts and build interpersonal relations, contributing to a collaborative environment and ensuring we are working in the right direction for this massive project.”

Will Tan, Senior Manager from NUS IT noted that traditionally for IT projects, the system owner will dictate the requirements whilst NUS IT focuses on development. “As this project is unique, the uNivUS App Development Project team took a product-development approach, where the members are not specifically segregated by their individual units but instead converge to achieve a larger objective on behalf of the University,” Will highlighted.

“Our vision for uNivUS is an integrated app which provides a unified and omni-channel experience for the campus community,” said NUS Chief Information Technology Officer Tan Shui-Min. “We plan to offer personalised in-app services and experiences tailored for every persona, from applicant to student to alumni to lifelong learner. By engaging the community throughout their journey with us, we truly unite NUS individuals - for life.”

Organisational Excellence is a strategic initiative undertaken by the University to develop best practices for an efficient and world-class administration to better support NUS’ Vision and Mission. It aims to bring about improved work processes and policies as well as create opportunities for talent development and growth.


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