Illinois State App

Campaign/Illinois State University/2015

The Problem

Website requests for ephemeral events such as conferences, festivals, and celebration weeks were growing in number and frequency at Illinois State University. These websites needed to reach a timely and specific audience but could not justify the investment of resources for full-scale website creation on behalf of the in-house web design office. At the same time, the campus and student body was becoming increasingly mobile and untethered.

The Project

Using Guidebook as a third party vendor, our office was able to provide event-specific information in a convenient mobile form, while matching short-term requests from campus departments with turn-key solutions. I led the efforts to create custom branding within the app, as well as an awareness campaign to help launch the app, describe its unique application, and promote adoption.


  • Organized communication between team of designers, copywriters, web developers and print specialists.
  • Conducted user research and developed overall visual concept.
  • Created design work for all print collateral.
  • Created promotional website for app download.
  • Researched, collated, and optimized photography for cross-media use.
  • Created original artwork and icon assets for branded app build.

The Solution

From interviews with students, I learned that speed, efficiency, and purpose were top priorities in a dependable mobile app. For this audience, mobile app advertisements are everywhere. To promote the ease of use and grab attention from a student audience, a photographic concept was used to connect the function of the product to their daily lives in and out of the classroom. Focusing on moments rather than technology conveyed the idea that the app would simplify their lives, leaving more time leisure.

The Results

The launch of the campaign was campus wide and immediate. Downloads soared the first year of the kick-off through a t-shirt giveaway incentive. For a download of the app and installation of two event-specific guides, students received a free t-shirt. This got the product into their hands and demonstrated it’s quick download and ease of use. Over twenty individual guides were available. After the one-day giveaway event, 40% of the on-campus audience had downloaded the app and downloads have steadily grown over the remainder of the year.

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