U Minnesota: U of M Branded Mobile Solution
What is U Minnesota?
The U Minnesota mobile app, built on the Guidebook platform, is available to all U of M departments and colleges (system-wide). Staff and faculty can create guides that will display on U Minnesota that can be shared publicly for U of M event, conferences, and programs. To learn more about Guidebook, U Minnesota, and how they differ, visit here. Only staff and faculty with umn.edu email accounts may build and edit guides in U Minnesota.
The U of M has signed 3-year contract with Guidebook (2017-2019) to host U Minnesota. In our 2014-2016 contract we had unlimited guides, but now we only have 100 guides, per year, to share system-wide. This quantity should be sufficient, but we ask that departments and colleges be intentional and carefully consider how many guides are needed. A short video overview can be found here.
Please be aware that this contract with Guidebook will end as of December 30, 2019, and will not be renewed. The funding sources that made this system-wide contract possible are no longer available, and there is no plan to identify new funding sources. Additionally, many users have identified problems with the Guidebook platform and noted that functionality missing in Guidebook can be found in other available applications.
At this time, it does not seem likely that a system-wide supported replacement mobile app will exist as of January 1, 2020. Unfortunately this means that units/colleges will need to secure their own individual mobile solutions and budget accordingly. There are now numerous mobile app solutions available that provide this same type of mobile experience. Finding one solution to service the U of M enterprise-wide is not realistic at this time.
You are welcome to continue working with Guidebook after December 2019, but will need to purchase your own guides and host them on the general Guidebook app as U Minnesota will no longer exist.
We are not in a position to make recommendations for other mobile app services, however, feel free to continue using the U Minnesota Google Group to share ideas, recommendations, etc.
We wanted to be sure you were aware of this change ahead of time so that you can plan accordingly.
How to Use
To build your own U Minnesota guide:
Note: Our current contract only allows for 100 guides per year. In 2017 over twenty guides were claimed but never published. Before you begin, please be sure that you are fully committed to using the U Minnesota mobile app.
- Log-in to Guidebook. If you do not have a U Minnesota account fill out this form (only for U of M staff and faculty).
- Accounts created through the U of M will have access to create "premium" U Minnesota mobile apps and "standard" Guidebook apps (which cannot be published to U Minnesota).
- Make sure you are in the "University of Minnesota EDU" account and not your personal account (you will see a drop-down to toggle between accounts).
- Go to "Build new guides" and select a new "Premium Guide".
- Fill out the requested fields and select "Request access".
- It should take no longer than a few days to approve.
- After approval, start building! When you are finished building your guide, select "Publish". There will be one more short approval.
- Once your guide is published you will be able to make edits and republish as needed. The only two fields that cannot change after publishing are the guide name and event date.
If you have questions about this process or about your guide, contact Bill O'Connor.
Final approvals go through Bobby Wangaard in University Relations may take up to two days.
If you are new to U Minnesota and Guidebook, click here for tutorials on how it works.
Best Practices | Tips for Use
- Guidebook is fairly intuitive, so new users typically are able to figure out how to build guides. Once you have set up the basics you will find information about polls and surveys, metrics, and how to promote your guide.
- Once your guide is published you can determine if your guide is visible on the main Guidebook app as well as U Minnesota. To do this look under "Status" for the settings next to the word "Attached". You can then "attach" your guide to Guidebook.
- Mark your guide as "Private" if you want to control who sees it. You will be able to create a "Passphrase" to share with your audience. Using the Privacy is good if you want to publish early but not show in the public directory yet. Privacy can be turned on and off whenever you like.
- Too many guides can overwhelm our public catalog, so be sure to mark your guide as private soon after your event, and delete when you no longer need to reference the content (under Guide Builder select the Privacy tab to make your guide Private; those who have already downloaded your guide will still be able to access your guide). Guides that sit for too long may be marked private for you, and eventually may be deleted.
- Use the U Minnesota Google Group to ask questions and find out how other users are building their guides.
U Minnesota is managed by Guidebook, and not by the Office of Information Technology. If you experience any technical issues with the app or your guide (ei. Guide won’t publish, users cannot upload, etc.) you will need to contact Guidebook directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage all U Minnesota users to join the U Minnesota Google Group. It was created as a space to ask questions and share information.
Guidebook metrics are fairly easy to use, and a good way to determine the success of your guide with your audience and/or event. Visit the Guidebook Metrics page to better understand their measurement tools.
Promote Your Guide
In your U Minnesota account you will find a section on promoting your guide. Here you will find help for social media, email, and links to download your guide. There is also a link here that you can share with your desktop and laptop users (loads like any other public website).