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Introducing Workplace Finder

News publication date: 
Friday, 20 October 2017
A group of students looking at a laptop

The University has over 150 workplaces, from college and department libraries to common rooms and cafés. Students are often completely unaware of this wealth of choice available to them, and often end up crowding into the flagship libraries or studying in their rooms.

Workplace Finder is a University of Oxford Innovation Challenge project which seeks to change this by providing a simple but comprehensive directory of the University's workspaces. Using the site, users can browse photographs of potential workplaces, consult opening hours and input search criteria in order to find somewhere which fits their particular needs and preferences. For example, you might need to find a quiet workplace where you can bring a hot drink and plug in a laptop. Another student might be looking for somewhere which will be open from 9am, has a livelier atmosphere and plenty of light.

Integration with Single Sign-On allows the site to know each user's college and/or department, and tailor the list according to which places they are allowed to access. All results are displayed on a handy map which also shows the open status of each workplace. The site was successfully pitched to the University's Innovation Challenge last Trinity term by DPhil student Joseph Poore, and was developed over the summer by the Web and Mobile Applications team in IT Services. The site is tailored for mobile or desktop use, and is powered by a variety of javascript-based technologies including React, redux, node.js and mongodb.