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Mobile App Dev: Final!

May 6, 2011 1 comment

We’re at the end of the semester–amazing. Here’s what you need to do for next week:

1) Build a hi-rez prototype of your application. It should be able to be demoed in a walkthrough that should show the general interaction a user can expect as well as highlight some of the unique capabilities/characteristics of the app.

2) Prepare a three-slide presentation that leads up to your walk-through that introduces:
a) the app, its name, and succinct concept
b) the intended audience for the app
c) the development process

3) In addition to covering those bases your FIVE MINUTE MAX presentation should also give a guided walkthrough of your app.

4) You will also be turning in an 700 word report that covers the following:
a) explains in detail the mobile strategy:
–what does it set out to accomplish?
–how does it engage users?
–what is the end goal?

b) Mentions things learned from the prototyping & testing process

c) Gives a narrative walkthrough of the prototype: be specific and include detail: who is the user? what are they trying to accomplish? what is the experience like?

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Categories: Assignments

Final Project Info!

April 21, 2011 13 comments

So we’re going to extend the mobile strategy work that we’ve done for the last five weeks into apps of your own choosing.

The app needs to be rooted in communication/journalism. A “draw a funny face on your friend” app isn’t that. An app that builds an ad-hoc reporting team at an event it. It can be an app that publishes information, or one that collects it (or a combination of the two). It can be an app that interfaces and dialogues with a community. It can be an app that… you get the picture.

It also needs to be rooted in an audience and fills a real need for those people–not a perceived one.

The app needs to be conceived of and presented in a context–where do people use this, and why there?

The app needs to target a specific platform.

NEXT CLASS: PITCH (5 minutes max)
Your pitch will do a few things:

  • Introduce the concept.
  • Introduce the audience/community it is created for
  • Give a basic sense of how it works.
  • Give the context that people will use it.
  • Explain what platform you’re targeting and why.

A 300 word report should be turned in that covers these same areas.

FOLLOWING WEEK: PAPER PROTOTYPES
Test your paper prototypes with five people from your community over the week. Bring your refined prototype to class, we will test it with each other. Additionally, post 300 words on the testing process, with video documentation, to the class blog.

FINAL WEEK: HI-REZ WALKTHROUGH + PRESENTATION
Build out a hi-rez prototype of your application and demo it in a five-minute presentation. Presentation & report specifics will be outlined on the class blog.

Categories: Assignments

Presentations & Prototypes for next week!

April 14, 2011 Leave a comment

For next week you need to do further testing on paper prototypes until they work “right.” Then build a hi-rez prototype that adds more detail and interactive functionality. This can be done using the tool of your choice.

In addition, you will need to propose a larger mobile strategy and talk about how your prototype fits into that larger strategy.

You will be giving a walkthrough of this prototype as part of a larger presentation next week. That presentation also entails:

at least two slides introducing your mobile strategy and explaining the prototype’s role in it. Slides work better without too much text!

a five minute presentation that:
1) explains the mobile strategy clearly and succinctly.
2) talks a bit about the insights that lead to this strategy.
3) introduces the hi-rez prototype, in a walkthrough.

In addition to this presentation, you will also turn in, both to the CPM folks and to me, a written report, of around 800 words that:

1) explains in detail the mobile strategy:
–what does it set out to accomplish?
–how does it engage users?
–what is the end goal?

2) steps through the process for arriving at this idea: what were the insights that you gained from observations? How did they drive the development?

3) Mentions things learned from the prototyping & testing process

4) Gives a narrative walkthrough of the prototype: be specific and include detail: who is the user? what are they trying to accomplish? what is the experience like?

**LOCATION AND TIME FOR OUR PRESENTATIONS WILL BE POSTED TO THIS BLOG ONCE IT IS CONFIRMED WITH CHICAGO PUBLIC MEDIA***

Categories: Assignments

Paper Prototyping assignment FOR NEXT WEEK

April 7, 2011 7 comments

So this week you’re going to be building paper prototypes of your idea (as individuals, NOT as a group). You need to test that prototype at least TWICE with a real user of your application.

This test should help you to refine your prototype and force you to fill in gaps in the UI and the workflow. Between your tests and bringing your prototype in next week, you should refine it based on the feedback your got from your tests. Here’s what else needs to happen:

You need to test your paper prototypes at least twice. Make refinements between the testing process (and during!). Document these testing sessions:

300 words on the testing and the idea:
What did you set out to test (i.e. what is your thing?)
What did each test reveal?
What did you change after each test?

Photo documentation (upload to Flickr) or EVEN BETTER: video, uploaded to YouTube.

Include links to your documentation and the report itself in the comments of this post.

And bring in your paper prototype for further testing in class next week.

Categories: Assignments

Mobile/Local Assignment

March 31, 2011 6 comments

We are partnering with Chicago Public Media for our Mobile Strategy Unit.

CPM has a mobile app for their station and web content–more information is available here.

This app is focused on the entire CPM brand, but they have lots of news and culture shows that are really brands of their own, most of them have no mobile presence separate from the CPM app. That’s a missed opportunity.

One that does is This American Life, whose mobile apps for Android and iPhone were built by the Public Radio Exchange.

We’re going to be proposing a mobile strategy for the CPM show Worldview. Please familiarize yourself with the show—be prepared to talk about what you heard next week.

In addition, we’re going to start the design process for these mobile prototypes by talking with potential users of the application about how they view the world, how they think about the intersection of local and global, how they collect and process information, etc. The key thing is to gain enough information from your interviews and observations to have a good sense of understanding of these users.

BY THE NUMBERS:
1. You need to talk with six people about the issues above. Collect these interviews and post them to the comments of this entry NO LATER THAN MONDAY NIGHT.

2. Looking at the entire class’s interviews, you need to come up with five insights that will help to define problems that next week you will work in small groups to brainstorm solutions for.

3. Bring those insights to class and be prepared to share them.

Categories: Assignments

Local/Mobile Survey

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

As discussed in class, we are looking at local news organizations of all mediums (print, broadcast–TV and radio–and web) and sizes to figure out what their mobile strategy is (or if it exists at all). Please choose THREE local news organizations–be diverse, we don’t need nine people looking at the Tribune, for instance–and fill out the following form for each organization.

You will need to read the form in advance of starting this project so you know what to look for. You will need access to both a web-connected mobile device and a computer.

PLEASE FILL OUT THIS FORM FOR NEXT CLASS.

Categories: Assignments

Mobile Reporting Final Project

March 17, 2011 7 comments

Over the last four weeks, we’ve looked at various methods to use your phone as a central point in reporting. We’ve looked at live coverage using both Twitter and video streams. We’ve looked at geolocational reporting, using both MyMaps and Fusion Tables. You’ve been using Posterous as a mobile blogging platform since day one, another great reporting tool. And today, we looked at using Twilio for creating voice-based reports and information collection tools.

For the capstone Mobile Reporting project, you should choose one of these technologies and use it to create a stand-alone (i.e. not related to your mobile blog or any other project we’ve done in class) reporting project. This is something that should be large-scale (remember, you have two weeks to do it). If it’s a live reporting project, it shouldn’t be a single event, but something that unfolds over a few days. If it’s a mobile blog, it shouldn’t be random observations, but a focused, clear reporting project. If it’s a MyMap or a Fusion Tables map, it’s built with many more points than our exercises of two weeks ago. And if it’s Twilio, it’s something that’s generating real value or collecting real data (and uses a real phone number)—again, a focused, reported project.

EXTRA CREDIT: Combine these technologies! If you effectively use two or more of these different technologies in your final project, you’ll receive extra credit.

Categories: Assignments