Why mobile? - Capita FHE

Report
Developing a Mobile Strategy
Alex Richards & Rachel Wetherall
1st November 2011
Why mobile?

Learners and staff are increasingly making use of
Smartphones

For the foreseeable future, we anticipate our internal
web-based systems will be the primary route to
interact with our data. However…

Analytics show us that, during the last three months,
4.8% of visits to our public website (which has no
mobile version) were from Smartphones

Part of the anytime-anywhere learning culture
Why mobile?

Lots of users are coming via iPad, but our existing
sites work acceptably there (but in the future we
hope to enhance where possible)

For staff, smartphones will have very specific uses
that will supplement our full websites. e.g. trips and
residentials, attendance capture, employer-site
assessors

For students, smartphones will have broader uses
that should encourage engagement, interaction and
ultimately support learning
Our plan

December 2011:
Launch pilot mobile ‘Columbus’ site for staff

Summer 2012:
Launch pilot mobile site for students

September 2012:
Launch full mobile site for staff

Autumn 2012:
Develop mobile attendance capture
Apps vs Mobile Websites
Apps:

Arguably provide a
better user interface.

Require multiple
versions for iOS,
Blackberry, Android etc.
Mobile websites:

Less polished user
interface, BUT
improvements likely
around HTML 5

Significantly less work
to support multiple
types of device
Pilot Project

Using Information Interface Web Client

Hosted on an internal IIS server, using a reverse
proxy to make it available to the outside world

Initial testing on iOS and Android devices

Basic Columbus-like functionality
Initial Design Mock-up
Creating the site

Using II Web Edition
to build individual
pages

A combination of
reportlistviews (core
reports), Reporting
Services reports,
buttons and panels
Creating the site

Test on multiple
devices

Test with real users
and on real tasks
Lessons learnt
Still early days, but:

Navigation and screen design is vital

Once you know what’s possible with the tools, revisit
the design/structure to make sure you make the
most of the technology

Needs gestures support and full screen mode to
begin to feel app-like
The future

Gestures support for swiping between navigation
sections will make a big difference to usability

More use of Reporting Services (performance
implications)

Considering social media integration

Exploring the use of advanced smartphone hardware,
e.g. GPS, audio, camera etc.
The future

Starting to consider how we develop beyond our
Columbus system (which was fully written in-house)
which is starting to show its age. Possibility for an
IIWE based future?
Questions…

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