Mobile Journalism: class blog

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Your work for *next* week

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 WBEZ 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?

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Filed under: Homework

3 Responses

  1. Keri Morgan says:

    Deborah Fellinger
    Keri Morgan
    Ashley Mchale
    Anne Pilon

    Our mobile strategy is broken into two parts, first is a basic program available on the mobile web that will be free of charge. An account would need to be set up by users, which would be free of charge, and this would allow them to save some of their favorite stories from the radio. This account would all access to users’ saved stories and it can also be used on the WBEZ website as well. Users could also sign up for email/text alerts to remind them when certain shows are playing as well as emergency notifications.

    Besides that aspect we have also came up with an iPhone/Android/Blackberry app that users would purchase for a small charge. The free mobile web version allows users to save currently streaming or previously aired programs, while the extra features on the actual app would include an alarm that would play the current WBEZ streaming program and a “record this show in the future” feature. The app will feature applicability to share stories via email, Facebook and Twitter.

    Our mobile strategy sets out to allow users to share and save stories of their choice from WBEZ and to increase WBEZ’s accessibility, especially for users who do not carry radios or have a car radio to listen to. This strategy engages users by appealing to the personalization factor that most people want in every media outlet as well as apps and mobile usage. Our main goal for this mobile strategy is to not only appeal to WBEZ’s longtime listeners but a new generation of users that would now have the mobile accessibility to listen to the radio when they want and how they want to do it.

    When we tested this strategy we noticed that the saving feature would be the most important part so we drew from that. This led to email/text alert features for reminders of when favorite shows would air. Also this led to “record this show in the future” to provide as much accessibility for users’ favorite shows as possible.

    We also wanted to appeal to everyone and make this very user friendly so we realized one of the most important parts would be story categorization to appeal to all users’ needs. We wanted to bring the accessibility that most mobile news outlets have to WBEZ such as a map that would follow your location and bring you stories by your location on a map. We learned that the use of these personalization features was very important to bring to WBEZ’s mobile strategy.

    Within the prototyping and testing phase we saw a pattern that accessibility of a radio is a major hurdle in people listening to radio, so it is important to increase its accessibility via methods other than the typical in the car scene. We learned that people don’t like things to be complicated, too many graphics or buttons may get confusing and screen size is very limited. This is why we decided to stick with minimal images and try and keep it as simple and straight forward with buttons. An important feature we felt users wanted to have included was a save option. This allows it to be more personalized and is something users look for. Since personalizing the application was important to our users we also thought the map of pinpointing where stories are going on would ad to that personalized experience so they can see what is going on near them. We also added a categories feature rather just the original search feature so people can personalize their experience by tailoring what kinds of things they wish to listen to and find them faster.

    To use our prototype it starts with a screen with multiple options to choose where you wish to navigate to. Once you click on which link you would like, from archives, your settings, searching, or the listen now option the screen will take you to a page that has options to go back to the homepage at any time. The search option has multiple categories such as entertainment, business etc. You can also use an option to donate by credit card or via Paypal account. The user we believe that will be using this could be anyone, we didn’t target a specific crowd but with our personal settings it will allow whoever the user may be to tailor it to their needs. We hope their experience will be quick and easy. They should be able to listen to exactly what they wish and not have to be bothered with things they are not interested in.

  2. Jonathan Nelson says:

    Tim Young
    James Delaney
    Nick Orichuia
    Jonathan Nelson

    As a group, we each came up with our own ideas and ultimately decided on a prototype that would be the most beneficial for WBEZ and its users.

    We continued to build off the original idea and all of us were able to contribute to making it grow and be more effective. Using the dry-erase board allowed us to work out some of the problems that could possibly occur allowing all of us to see what was going on and what could make it function the best.

    One of the key components that we wanted to include was to allow directions to the events to be available right there in front of the user. We will use a GPS locater in the user’s phone that will track the user’s location and give him or her directions to whatever event they are looking to attend.

    The original prototype idea proved to be the best for WBEZ and the users, but we then took the idea and wanted to make it grow. We took the five events tabs that are on the site and are going to allow users to use their phones to find all events that are close to their location.

    We want everything the user would need to know to be in front of the user so he or she doesn’t have to look in many different places to find it. For example, when the user finds something that they want to attend when it is selected, he or she can get directions, as already mentioned, get the time the event runs, buy tickets and send the map or directions to a friend that is going.

    Creating a paper prototype was fast, to say the least. If we had started programming something for the phone from the start we would have gotten no where. The flexibility of the simple prototype allowed for changes to be made on the fly, and best of all, there were no technology related errors.

    It also gave the chance to try anything, regardless of it being beyond our technical skills. Anyone can scribble on paper. Getting the scribbles to make sense and come together really helped focus the project and polish it final model.

    To really see how this model is useful though a couple examples are needed.

    Max is a college student in the loop. On Tuesdays he has a morning class and a late afternoon class. This is always a long and boring stretch of time for him to fill. Going to the same coffee shop every week has gotten old and he feels like he could be doing more with his time.

    After class he opens the app on his iPhone. After setting the search radius to a walkable distance he looks for all events. There are a couple later on that evening that interest him and after clicking through a few he finds a free band playing in Millennium Park. He recognizes the name and and sends the event and location to a few friends he knows are in the area.

    About half an hour later a group gathers and enjoys a band play between classes.

    This is not an app that is limited to just Chicagoans either though. A tourist would get a huge amount of use out of it.

    Jane is in town for the week for a conference that only lasts three days. She doesn’t have an Internet connection and doesn’t know anyone in town. She does want to get out and have some fun though. She is from a smaller town, so big events don’t really happen there.

    She downloads the app, opens it up and searches for all sorts of events all over the city. She plans out two days packed with stuff to do, figures out the costs and can guess how much transportation will cost her by using the directions given to her and planning a route.

    She gets to see real time updates that don’t exist in tour books. Her mobile phone allowed her to get around the lack of an Internet connection and the application made it simple and easy.

  3. Jonathan Nelson says:

    Updated report:

    As a group, we each came up with our own ideas and ultimately decided on a prototype that would be the most beneficial for WBEZ and its users.

    We really wanted to concentrate on smart phone users, specifically those with an iPhone. As of right now, the iPhone holds a 23% market share in the smart phone market. The iPhone market share in the US has jumped 365% in the past year and continues to rise. We feel that a lot of the consumers WBEZ are trying to reach are a large portion of that 23% that are iPhone users.

    We continued to build off an original idea of marketing to smart phone users and all of us were able to contribute to making it grow and be more effective. Using the dry-erase board allowed us to work out some of the problems that could possibly occur allowing all of us to see what was going on and what could make it function the best.

    One of the key components that we wanted to include was to allow directions to the events to be available right there in front of the user. We will use a GPS locater in the user’s phone that will track the user’s location and give him or her directions to whatever event they are looking to attend. The other thing we really wanted was an easy to use, friendly user interface, something that can be used by the most advanced mobile phone users and by those who have just gotten their first smart phone.

    As a group we decided the GPS based events application would be the best fit for WBEZ and the users, but then we took the idea and wanted to make it grow. We took the five events tabs that are on the sites events section and are going to allow mobile users to see all the events listed in those five categories allowing them to find events best suited to their desires.

    We want everything the user would need to know to be in front of them so he or she doesn’t have to look in many different places to find it. For example, when the user finds something that they want to attend when it is selected, he or she can get directions, as already mentioned, get the time the event runs, buy tickets and send the map or directions to a friend that is going.

    Creating a paper prototype was fast, to say the least. If we had started programming something for the phone from the start we would have gotten no where. The flexibility of the simple prototype allowed for changes to be made on the fly, and best of all, there were no technology related errors.

    It also gave the chance to try anything, regardless of it being beyond our technical skills. Anyone can scribble on paper. Getting the scribbles to make sense and come together really helped focus the project and polish it final model.

    To really see how this model is useful though a couple examples are needed.

    Max is a college student in the loop. On Tuesdays he has a morning class and a late afternoon class. This is always a long and boring stretch of time for him to fill. Going to the same coffee shop every week has gotten old and he feels like he could be doing more with his time.

    After class he opens the app on his iPhone. After setting the search radius to a walkable distance he looks for all events. There are a couple events later on that evening that interest him and after clicking through a few he finds a free band playing in Millennium Park. He recognizes the name and and sends the event and location to a few friends he knows are in the area.

    About half an hour later a group gathers and enjoys a band play between classes.

    This is not an app that is limited to just Chicagoans either though. A tourist would get a huge amount of use out of it.

    Jane is in town for the week for a conference that only lasts three days. She doesn’t have an Internet connection and doesn’t know anyone in town. She does want to get out and have some fun though. She is from a smaller town, so big events don’t really happen there.

    She downloads the app, opens it up and searches for all sorts of events all over the city. She plans out two days packed with stuff to do, figures out the costs and can guess how much transportation will cost her by using the directions given to her and planning a route.

    She gets to see real time updates that don’t exist in tour books. Her mobile phone allowed her to get around the lack of an Internet connection and the application made it simple and easy.

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