Classes made portable with app redesign

Kavish Harjai, News Editor

Courtesy of Abhinay Ashutosh

The student-developed app Kipin Hall celebrated the integration of a web-based educational platform into mobile solutions for Apple and Android devices today. The app, which facilitates the classroom experience in a way similar to NYU Classes, has launched at colleges across the country, including NYU, Columbia, Baruch, Rutgers and Harvard, for students and faculty to download and test.

The application was initially in a web-only beta phase during the fall semester. In January, the application launched for a class on iTunes — an online course catalog program that various students around the world can access. Up to 50,000 students experimented with Kipin Hall.

Abhinay Ashutosh, CAS sophomore and Kipin Hall co-founder, helped redesign the application to a mobile solution based on feedback from those who used the beta version. Ashutosh said the design was more than a recoloring of the interface. Rather, it was a reconsideration of how people responded to the application.

“The initial design lacked a mobile solution, which students and some professors, find more convenient to use,” Ashutosh said. “One big feature students and professors wanted was the ability to take their classes with them, so we created a native mobile app for both iPhone and Android, which are available on Feb. 3 on the App Store and Google Play.”

Emanuel Hahn, Stern senior and president of Tech@NYU, said the app’s differences from NYU Classes are one of the benefits of Kipin Hall.

“First off, it’s a huge improvement to NYU Classes just in terms of its user interface,” Hahn said. “All your classes are very well displayed at the top and there’s no confusion or unnecessary clicking to move from one point to another. It strips away a lot of the unnecessary sections in NYU Classes and consolidates them in a single page under each class.”

The new design will also allow the academic community to be more connected.

Stern senior and chair of Tech@NYU Kimberly Pham said the social nature of Kipin Hall is a great advantage.

“It just makes a lot more sense. As part of a generation where we’re used to interfaces like Facebook, I think Kipin Hall does a great job of capitalizing on that sort of information flow and organization,” Pham said. “It’s also inherently a much more social product, encouraging student interaction via commenting and question and answer.”

Professors are able to try out new teaching methods and see how receptive students are. Furthermore, clubs and organizations will be able to cut down on email correspondences and manage activities with more ease, Ashutosh said.

Hahn was also excited about how the app fits into the modern world.

“Abhinay put a lot of effort into design and it shows in Kipin Hall,” Hahn said. “It’s just pleasing to look at from the get-go. NYU Classes or Blackboard, on the other hand, look like [they were] meant for the ’90s. Kipin Hall is designed to represent what the internet is more like today.”

Possible future plans include a trial at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and a pilot for online classes for pre-med students at a large medical school in New York City.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday Feb. 3 print edition. Kavish Harjai is a news editor. Email him at [email protected]