Client :UNL

Categories:User Research, Prototyping, UX/UI

KOVUS Hours :275

App Store :Click here to download from the App Store

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: App Development

University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL) is a top 50 public university according to U.S. News and World Report. UNL’s campuses are vast and have many dining hall options available to students and faculty to eat on campus. The Campus Housing Department came up with the idea of a dining hall app to help students identify which menu items were being served throughout the day, but the app concept had not been vetted with students or outside of the department.

Project Goals

KOVUS was hired to accomplish the following project goals:

  1. Determine level of interest from students for the dining hall app
  2. Figure out the optimal mix of features and functionality to limit development costs
  3. Create a user-friendly interface that students would want to use

KOVUS Services

300 Student Surveys
20 Student Interviews
App Prototype
User Testing

In the Details

Student Surveys & Research Interviews

UNL initially provided a list of 10 key areas of functionality they wanted included in the app to their software development firm Agape Red, a top software development shop in Omaha. Agape Red was interested in taking a research-based approach to identifying the correct features to include in the Phase 1 version of the app (the minimum viable product) and engaged KOVUS to help identify the most important features to be included. KOVUS conducted approximately 300 student surveys and 20 student in-depth interviews to achieve the project goals.

Research identified that the students top priorities in terms of features were as follows:

  1. Map feature with location of each dining hall. KOVUS research found that 90% of the users of the potential app would be first year students living on campus. Accordingly, they needed clear instructions on where each hall was located since they were new to campus.
  2. Hours of operation. Students wanted to know which halls were open at any given time and they wanted that information fast. KOVUS designed the interface to immediately filter halls that were open and closest location to the student when they first opened the app.
  3. Planned events. Students expressed dissatisfaction at running into events or tours at dining halls because the lines caused delays and made them late to class. KOVUS included red flag warnings for dining halls that were scheduled to host events so students could avoid them and save time.


Through the research and testing, KOVUS was able to reduce the requirements list from 10 main areas of functionality to 5 main areas of functionality.

One of the primary pain points identified from the research, operating hours of dining halls, was incorporated into the first screen on the app. This was an area that was originally not expected to be overly important, but research with students revealed it was one of the primary pieces of information students hoped to see in the app.

By only including features that 80% of users found useful, Agape Red was able to save UNL significant development costs and still created a successful, user-friendly app. The dining hall app is now available in the app store HERE.


“KOVUS knocked it out of the park!”
Dave Kerber, Agape Red

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