iOS + Android | Education + Lifestyle



The Challenge

Associated Students UCLA (ASUCLA) is the student-controlled, non-profit organization that has provided retail and student union services to the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) since UCLA’s establishment in 1919.

With more than 50 ASUCLA-run eateries, shops, and other facilities on a university campus used by more than 40,000 registered students, it can be challenging to understand all the available options. To address this challenge, ASUCLA wanted to build a mobile app to help students discover and explore the full range of retail, dining, and study options on campus.

With just two more months before incoming freshmen were to to spill onto campus for orientation activities – the best opportunity to promote the app — ASUCLA considered 10 different vendors and decided to partner with CitrusBits, the only vendor they could trust to deliver on schedule.

The Process

We aligned the app’s user experience with how actual UCLA students think when they’re ready to do something on campus besides attend class. (“I want to grab some lunch on North Campus before my Art History class.”) Within the app, ASUCLA facilities are organized by types – “eating”, “shopping”, and “spaces & services”. Eateries are organized by relative location on campus (North, Central, and South), and other services are organized under intuitive subcategories as well.


Clicking on any listing brings up a detailed view with more information, including real-time store hours and location. Once on a detailed view, users can get real-time directions to any facility through Google Maps or Apple Maps, seamlessly.

ASUCLA app screens


ASUCLA operating hours at each facility can vary depending on staffing, holidays, or other factors — and sometimes can even change at a moment’s notice. Therefore, ASUCLA staff needed an easy way to update store hours in real time, so that students wouldn’t need to trek across campus only to find that a store had already closed for the day.

To meet this need, we created a web-based admin tool that allows ASUCLA staff to make edits – in bulk, if needed – to update store hours or any other pertinent information. Importantly, information within the app can be updated in real time using this admin tool, without requiring app updates or developer involvement.


“They are really customer oriented and have proven they have a wealth of expertise in the industry. I communicate a lot with CitrusBits and both sides have worked hard to have shared expectations. I think that has really allowed the engagement to be successful.”

Karen Noh, Special Projects Director, ASUCLA

The Result

Up against the clock, we thrived — designing, developing, and deploying ASUCLA’s app in just two months.

The timely completion and overall product quality allowed ASUCLA to beat its forecast for downloads, and many students have given the app rave reviews.

Interested in Working Together?

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