The CSUN AppJam 2015 mobile app competition concluded on April 30 with a Showcase and Awards Ceremony in the Oviatt Library Ferman Presentation Room. The event was attended by student participants, faculty, staff and event sponsors such as Union Bank and CSUN's Office of Research & Graduate Studies.
The AppJam competition was launched at the beginning of April with the goals of providing an opportunity for CSUN students to work collaboratively to create mobile apps in a competitive, entrepreneurial environment. Twenty-four teams comprised of a minimum of three students spent three weeks creating apps in one of two categories: student finance, or student life. Apps were judged on three criteria: relevance to students' needs, innovation, and user-experience. The competition required creative, artistic, and technical skills due to the nature of app development.
Students were required to complete a series of milestones throughout the competition. First, they submitted a description of the app’s purpose and market niche. Second, they created a mockup to showcase the app’s logic and storyboard. Third, and most difficult, was a two-minute video demonstrating use cases and the app’s functionality. The purpose of requiring the videos was to foment students’ creative, multimedia, and communication skills and to create a lasting artifact that documented the idea and could serve as a platform for future investment opportunities for students.
During the Showcase, undercover judges circulated and visited the teams to try out the apps and ensure they worked on mobile devices. Judges answered 10 questions that represented the three criteria and gave students a final grade based on their presentation. Specifically, judges evaluated apps on their clarity of purpose, degree to which they would meet students’ needs, persuasiveness of use, effectiveness of branding, degree to which they represented an ingenious “breakthrough”, ease of use, and aesthetics. Apps created by students dealt with the following themes: streamlining campus purchases, social connections and collaboration, providing feedback on courses to instructors, fitness, food choices, choosing majors, accelerating paths to graduation, money management, navigating throughout campus, parking, carpooling, campus escorts for safety, and selling books. To view the videos and complete list of winners, visit the AppJam webpage.
This event showcased some of CSUN's creative students and their dedication to creating innovative apps to ease student life and better their financial goals. Over the course of April, 24 teams went above and beyond to make the first CSUN AppJam a tremendous success. Congratulations to all of the students who participated and thank you to everyone who attended the event!