For the first time since 2009, Northwestern students won’t have to worry about forgetting their sport’s statistics or dear friends’ and professors’ faces after graduation. This spring, NW plans to reincarnate the college yearbook in a way that campus has not experienced in the past: through an iPad app.
The idea for this new platform was proposed by Professor Dayne Logan.
“I’m teaching a class called Multiplatform Communications this semester, and rather than lecturing it made more sense to have students work on developing something that can be hosted in the Apple Store,” Logan said. “I pitched the idea to several groups on campus, and the yearbook fell into place.”
The team designing the app is made up entirely of students. The group is led by sophomore Kara Nonnemacher, the project manager, and sophomore Emilee Berry, the creative director. The rest of the team is made up of senior Sara Van Gorp, junior Katie Krebs, and senior Meridel Weitz.
“We’ve mainly focused on designing templates, so hopefully it will be easy for someone to pick up this project in future years and plug in the next year’s information,” Berry said.
A Lookbook might also be available in future editions.
Since 2009, all student records have been stored in a database in the Computing Service Department. Most of the information for the app is being drawn from this database, the NW Beacon’s records and the NW public relations department’s photo database.
“You can expect to see information about athletics, fine arts, campus life, special events and students studying off-campus and abroad,” Berry said. “There will be lots of photos, and the app will link to sports statistics on NW’s website.”
The main reason for the discontinuation of the print yearbook was the cost. The last print edition of the yearbook was distributed in 2009 and cost the college approximately $35,000. Distributing the yearbook on the iPad will cost a mere $1,000.
“I think the app is a great way to present this information because we’re keeping up with times and adapting to where there’s a demand,” Nonnemacher said.
The group has finished most of the design stages of the app and will soon be submitting their work to the Apple Store for approval before its launch. Upon approval, the app will be available to anyone as a free download.
“I’d love to see students in future years allowed even more flexibility,” Logan said. “We’re working out the kinks, and I’m so proud of how patient the students have been. Hopefully they will be allowed even more room to be ambitious with their designs in the future.”