By Lucy Dunbarton
Aiwip, an app that lets students print for free, ran an ad asking for a student journalist to interview students at a university with their service to find out why people were using it. I applied, got picked, so here’s my piece. I went to King’s College in London to find out more.
After talking with a lot of students away from the cold outside, there seemed to be five common reasons why they liked using free printing.
It’s free (the ‘er, why are you asking me?’ reason)
It wasn’t surprising that a lot of students looked at me like I was stupid. If the printing was free, then that was better than paying for it. Case closed.
Now, I know that’s obvious. Who doesn’t like something that’s free? But that couldn’t be the only thing. Just because something is free doesn’t mean you’ll do it. Skinny-dipping in the Thames during winter is free, but I wouldn’t do it.
Trying to find out ‘why’ people actually used Aiwip was far more interesting. Crowd wisdom distilled down into 4 reasons:
I write things down
This was a popular response from people on ‘why’ they print. If you like writing things down or making notes, then you need paper. Don’t hate me for saying the obvious.
I genuinely find it easier to learn from paper
I was skeptical about this, but quite a few people said they seemed to find it easier to remember something from paper instead of a screen. Actually, a quick Google showed there was science to back this up. Apparently, it’s better for your brain to digest info from paper. In fairness, I had a think about screen vs. paper, and I do remember the last paper book I read – The Buried Giant – way better than some of the Kindle ones I have.
Aiwip is easy to use
Quite a male skew on this one (if that means anything). People told me that it was far easier to use Aiwip’s app than some clunky printer process they had to use before. I tested Aiwip’s printing process and it was easy. It makes sense to me that, when you can order a taxi with Uber, printing should be as easy as well.
Print where I want to
This mostly came from international students in student accommodations. They said Aiwip had free printers in their buildings and at the uni. You could basically print where you wanted to. When I looked at the app’s ‘find a printer’ map, it showed there were lots of printers around London. Aiwip said to me that students can use any Aiwip-enabled printer in the country. It kind of reminded me of finding cinemas on Google Maps.
You can try it out for yourself by downloading the app (free) here.