The carpooling application maintained by students and docents of the InnoLab found big interest by hundreds of students at Fontys Venlo that travel by train, bus and car daily. The first quarter of the study year 2015/2016 brought us a lot insights on how to improve Fontys Carpooling even more for you.
First, a brief introduction what I am talking about here - what is this 'Carpooling'?
Fontys Carpooling is a web-application that is available for free to students and docents at the Fontys campus in Venlo. It helps to find carpools to come to Venlo, from Venlo to your home or both. You just a car, if you have one, your home address and wishes when you want to drive to Venlo or back. The application will automatically search for good way matches for you and suggest you and the others to simply drive together. This makes sense when you look at the parking situation at Fontys, right?
That project was started to be developed in a Software Factory of the year 2014. A so called SoFa is a half-year project of students that are studying Software Engineering and Business Informatics at FHTenL. They build the basics and fundaments of this software. Docents and students basically liked the idea of having an easy helper to found carpools and carshares, so they decided that the project should be continued in order to be used live.
This happened this year, in 2015, by the ex-student Florian Antony who wrote his Bachelor-thesis about the Carpooling application and further developed it in this time. It went live for all of you and is in use since the start of the autumn semestre 2015. We really thank Florian for his awesome work. After he left and began a job, the project was given over to the InnoLab for the purpose of furtherly improve, maintain and run it at Fontys.
The first weeks are over, more than 300 users participate in the community and find new carpools daily and the team is satisfied. We heard good feedback but of course also critical and bad things which we want to use now to improve. It is the idea to improve the software and publish a new version just at the start of quarter two of the semestre.
A few improvements we will made with this new release are:
- Shorter loading times for slow sites
- Using more self-explaining words, people had problems with understanding 'listings'
- Slightly better structure of the app and sites
- Improvements for mobile users having big fingers, like me
We hope that these improvements will satisfy even more people and it will be used even more. The ultimate goal is, that every student and docent of Fontys Venlo that comes by car, train or bus has an account. We really stand behind the idea of Carpooling and want to prove that it is great. If we can show that to Fontys Eindhoven after the first semestre of 2015/2016, it could be used for all Fontys campuses united in the near future.
We tried to give you small insights into the projects of the InnoLab and show you what the "IT-guys" can contribute to an institution like us. We will keep you updated about the future of Carpooling and hope you like it.