Monday October 10, 2011

A Digital View of Campus Life

A new interactive Viewbook, designed specifically for the iPad, is giving prospective students a cutting-edge, insider's look at University life.

Mailboxes overflowing with glossy collegiate viewbooks may become a thing of the past, replaced by the cutting-edge interactive technology Millennial students expect. 

Aimed at the new generation of digital natives, a new iPad application for the University of Dayton introduces prospective students to campus life through the interactive viewbook, engaging them with fast-moving video, bold graphics and opportunities to videoconference with admission counselors.

The new app designed exclusively for the computer tablet is already demonstrating global appeal: the free viewbook app has been downloaded in more than 20 countries, according to Sundar Kumarasamy, vice president for enrollment management.  

And he says the iPad viewbook is spot-on in sending a powerful message about the University of Dayton.

"We want people to look at us as a cutting-edge, innovative school. Everything we want people to associate with a University of Dayton education is evident through this application," Kumarasamy said.

He believes it's the first time any university has adapted its viewbook for iPad technology. Adobe Digital Publishing is featuring it as a case study and showcasing its innovative software use by 160over90, the University's Philadelphia-based marketing agency, which created the app and the original print viewbook.

The University first transformed the print viewbook in 2007, rolling out a dramatically different and edgier publication, a radical departure from traditional college viewbooks that feature smiling students on beautiful campuses.

"We wanted to leverage the investment we had already made in print, but translate it into something much more interactive," said Kumarasamy. "The computer tablet and iPad app allow us to put our viewbook in the hands of potential students and engage them as they explore it."

He says the University's admissions staff is already using the app to reach — in a personalized way  — some students who otherwise might not consider the University.

"We're sending iPads to high school counselors across the country for them to share with students they think might be a good fit for the University," said Kevin Schultz, assistant director for University marketing and digital innovation. "We'll do a videoconference with the iPad and look through the viewbook with them."

The students will see videos and slideshows about academic facilities, study abroad opportunities, athletics and student life. The app provides live Twitter feeds and other immediate content as well as links to the University's virtual tour, specific program pages and contact information.

The iPad app also has a tool to connect students directly to the University's online application and the widely used Common Application.

Kumarasamy said there are no plans to discontinue the print viewbook. However, the University plans to use it more strategically to eliminate sending duplicate copies and to better target recipients. 

At present, the interactive viewbook can only be seen on an iPad, although Schultz said the University eventually will make it available in other technologies. The free app is available at the iTunes store.

The new app was developed by 160over90 using the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite and Adobe InDesign CS5.5. For more, visit Adobe TV.  

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or