Let’s do good for students using mobile

The challenge

The Associated Students UCLA (ASUCLA) is the student-controlled, nonprofit organization that has provided retail and student union services to the University of California Los Angeles 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 for students to understand all the options available to them.

The ask? ASUCLA wanted to build a mobile app to help students discover and explore the full range of retail, dining, and study options on campus — all in just two months before incoming freshmen were about to spill onto campus for orientation activities, as this was 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 such a tight schedule.

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The process

We designed 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.”) Creating an intuitive and organized flow to reduce cognitive load for students, our designers organized ASUCLA facilities by types — i.e., eating, shopping, and spaces and services. Eateries were also organized by location on campus (north, south, east, west), and other services were organized under intuitive subcategories as well.

We added cards where clicking on any listing would bring 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.

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. Information within the app can be updated in real time using this admin tool, without requiring app updates or developer involvement.

The result

ASUCLA-run eateries, shops, and facilities integrated
2 months
for design, development, and delivery


Up against the clock, the CitrusBits team thrived — designing, developing, and deploying ASUCLA’s stellar 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.

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