Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Web on the Move, Part 2

Taking what we had learned from Monday's lesson, our computer lab exercise asked us to design a mobile device app that fulfils our needs as City students.  There was a lot of discussion and good ideas flying around; a lot of looking at our own smartphones and seeing how they presented their apps and such.  There was also much checking of City's Moodle system and its many flaws and drawbacks.

I'd initially been a bit worried about this exercise, not knowing exactly what I could bring to it; but the conversation and ideas were so stimulating, I soon became very excited about designing my own app.  As soon as I got home, I started making a mockup of a City Moodle app on Photoshop.

A City Moodle app mockup.  Does not discriminate between smartphones (but only because I don't actually have an iPhone).

  • Mail - Instant access to your City email account.
  • Discussion - Feed of the latest posts on the Moodle discussion boards with the option of instant posting/replying.
  • Compass - GPS or wi-fi based showing your campus location.  It allows you to key in your classes and get room directions.
  • Bluetooth - Allows you to instantly download lecture notes and slides so that you can read them on the move.
  • Scanner - Liam's brilliant idea!  See a book in the bookshop, and scan the barcode to check its availability at City's library.
  • Library - Access to your library account and the library catalogue; allows you to reserve and renew books whilst on the move.
On top of this there is a drop-down menu which allows you to access your course details whenever you want.  The drop-down menu unfolds over the length of the screen, and folds when you touch outside the body of the menu.  I'm sure there's a lot more that could be integrated into this.  I think it would be a great idea to have such an app for City students; the exercise made me realise just how useful it could really be.

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