Insite app makes tasks feasible, with glitches

By Gabriel Quiroz, Staff Writer

Signing up for classes, paying parking permit fees, filling out financial aid forms and many more tasks yearning for completion in a sometimes-stressful journey through college have now gotten a bit easier.

The new Insite app was released by the Contra Costa Community College District this past summer to help students and employees bypass user interface issues common with the previous site through better functionality and updated features.

The app cost $39,000 to create but is offered free to employees and students through the Apple Store and Google Play Store for Android users.

The most significant change is that services are now presented in a mobile-friendly manner with the belief that an app will offer a more familiar platform for students and increase ease-of-use.

The revamped Insite app was specifically built to add support for mobile users as the previous website was not very mobile friendly and based on old technology.

According to district Director of Information Technology Satish Warrier, the website’s servers also could not handle the demands they were tasked with maintaining, especially at the beginning of each semester.

“We had participation from students and employees throughout the district where we asked for input and showed some mockup designs before we actually decided on a specific product,” Warrier said.

Meetings and demos were held for students and employees at Contra Costa College for feedback on the app.

The first demo of the design was done in February of 2017 at CCC and again just a few months prior to the release of the app this past summer.

It puts the majority of students’ college needs in one place, which is especially beneficial for first-time students who need to go to orientation or navigate with a campus map.

Even services outside of campus like finding the right bus to catch to campus, with schedules, are readily available on the app.

Features like customizable tiles that users can move around on the app to suit their needs, a way to give direct feedback and share on social media are also improvements added to the improved Insite app.

Students seem to be receiving the app well on campus and enjoy that it’s on their smartphones. Some even said they rarely visit the website and now do all their school tasks through the app.

Business major Rae Morning said, “At first it was confusing, but now I use it for everything from my class schedule to financial aid. I only used the previous website for registration.”

Other students said the app has some glitches in online reviews and wished it would return to the previous site.

A few of the comments on the Play Store reviews said that it just brings users back to the site. Android user J Miller said, “Manage waitlist only directs you back to the website which tells you to get the app.”

Although there are mixed reviews about the app on both the Apple Store and Play Store, many students at CCC have said they are enjoying using the app and that they use it more often than they did the website.

It has almost 50,000 downloads with 40,563 being downloaded from the Apple Store and 5,367 from the Play Store.

Warrier said there will be updates and new features for the app being rolled out gradually as changes are being made and glitches fixed.