Custom Mobile App for New College

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New College is a prestigious residential college at the University of New South Wales.  The College sought to optimise its student experience and operational efficiency. Although they were already utilising the Acora platform for their website, the college saw an opportunity to leverage the Acora College app to streamline a complex meal management system and address other associated operational challenges.

The Challenge

New College faced intricate difficulties when it came to managing student meal credits and cafeteria operations. With a diverse student cohort split across two buildings, each with distinct meal credit rules and allowances, the existing process was complex and prone to errors. Automating this process while ensuring integration with other systems, such as the college's CRM and POS, presented a significant challenge.

The Goal

The primary goal was to provide a seamless and user-friendly platform so that students could manage their meal credits, while also reducing food losses caused by unauthorised individuals. Additionally, the college wanted to automate reporting and integrate the new management system with existing databases for efficiency purposes.

The Solution

1. Meals Management Module

DDSN customised the Acora College app to include a dedicated meals management module which provided students with an interface to view and purchase meals, complete with student identification for security purposes.

2. Progressive Web App

The app was designed as a progressive web app, ensuring cross-platform compatibility. This meant that students could use the app on any device without the need to download it directly onto their device from app stores.

3. Integration and Automation

The app was seamlessly integrated with the cafeteria's Point Of Sale (POS) system, allowing students to present their phones for verification. The app was also synchronised with the central Acora database along with nightly reports which were integrated to maintain accurate student information.

The Outcome

The primary outcome of these changes was an enhanced student experience. The app provided students with an intuitive platform to manage their meal credits, purchase meals, and engage with a variety of cafeteria operations. The animated student identification protocol also helped to reduce the risk of fraudulent activities.

The integration of an automated and synchronised database also alleviated administrative data entry burdens, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring real-time accuracy. Finally, the college gained a holistic view of student meal credits, cafeteria operations, and student engagement through custom nightly reports. This allowed the college to make informed decisions and improve its duty of care towards students' well-being.

The Results

DDSN’s tailor-made mobile app solution transformed New College's student experience and operational efficiency. The app significantly improved student engagement and has also reduced food losses and other inefficiencies. By addressing the complex challenge of meal management and integrating it seamlessly into the college's existing systems, the app not only met but exceeded New College's goals.

The success of this endeavour underscores the power of customised digital solutions in elevating user engagement, operational effectiveness, and overall organisational success.


DDSN Services

  • Digital strategy
  • Technical and visual design and prototyping
  • Content management - Acora - one software for mulitple websites, email distribution and the progressive web and native mobile app
  • Managment of mobile app in the Apple and Google Play app stores
  • Training and technical support
  • Hosting and security analysis

Key Features

  • Custom design aligned with their unique brand
  • Technical design of custom workflow for meals credits
  • Development of progressive web app
  • Strategies for converting one time donations to ongoing donors