Helping people get around campus
As the second oldest university in Western Australia and catering for approximately 18,500 students from over 100 countries, Murdoch University has to accommodate for a wide range of visitors across multiple campuses.
User groups need to be well informed to ensure their visits are effective and enjoyable on campus:
- local and overseas students
- visiting academics
- student residents
- permanent and temporary staff
- emergency services
- the general public
The university had also recently implemented changes to their longstanding building naming system which was replaced by building numbers to better reflect the current use of buildings on campus. This change was recognised by the university administration as something that would require special management.
In addition there has been an increased focus by the university to improve the overall level of service and student experience, with a particular focus on the physical and digital environment as a pillar in the University’s strategic plan.
A "small complex city"
Historically, visitors have found themselves lost within the unfamiliar Murdoch University campus, unable to find their destination or the best route to get there.
In addition, changing the names of buildings meant existing users of the campus had to relearn where they needed to go, giving staff and students a new challenge in wayfinding and navigation.
Murdoch saw the opportunity to introduce a digital wayfinding solution to help smooth the transition from the old naming system to the new, whilst also improving the student experience on campus.
Cam [McLean] was sensational. He got on site and we smashed things out of the park. The amount of work we got through was exceptional.
- Simon Dutton, Project Manager, Murdoch
Making navigation easy
Working under very aggressive timelines with app developers Lateral, NGIS helped design and develop an online wayfinding application in time for orientation week.
Accessible via mobile or desktop, the wayfinder allows students to navigate campus finding points of interest. Using the experience people are familiar with Google Maps, NGIS delivered a custom routable network of the university.
Try the wayfinder
Easily find points of interest
Users can search for specific points of interest (such as rooms, buildings, lecture theatres, computer labs, open spaces, parking, toilets, services and support, etc.) and be routed from their current location or from a known point on campus. Walking directions and travel time are provided so students know both how to get to their desired location and how long it will take to arrive.
One of the key features of the wayfinder application, is that it bridges the gap between the old naming system and the new by accepting and displaying both naming systems. The source of this naming information is fed from Murdoch’s space management and timetabling systems.
“Partnership” and “collaboration” were the words used to describe the work done on the project. Murdoch University’s Project Manager singled out NGIS CTO Cameron McLean as having had a significant impact. “Cam was sensational. He got on site and we smashed things out of the park. The amount of work we got through was exceptional.”
An improved experience
Murdoch University’s Project Sponsor, Michael Grant said he was very proud that the teamwork between Murdoch, Lateral and NGIS ended up with a result in a very short amount of time.
“We were extremely pleased to get something up – it had to be ready for O-week”.
Student services and staff around campus gave the project team feedback that there was a significant reduction in first week navigation queries in comparison to previous years.
New students now have a familiar user interface in their pockets that can help them navigate during the one of the most stressful period of their studies: the start of their degrees.
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