David Housman

Background

2013-08-14 22.25.14CMU SV was an Open Source Mobile app created by John Lee and David Housman in jQueryMobile and PhoneGap. This product has been released to Google Play and the App Store. The target audience is prospective CMU Graduate students in the high tech industry.

Requirements

  • Refactor web content and functionality into a mobile experience.
  • Create an app that would be functional offline (international students may not have a mobile plan in the US).
  • Build and release in 3 months.

In order to build a product within our timeline and resources, we avoided dynamic content, APIs, and avoided dependencies on the developers behind the CMU website. Instead assembled primarily static content that looks clean, consistent and optimized for mobile devices.

Repackaging Web Content for a Mobile App

Objective

Web in Mobile Browser

Mobile App

Facilitate travel to campus “Directions” not responsive and is difficult to use while traveling. Provide turn by turn directions from several locations in the bay, as well as a campus map
Present academic program information to prospective students Non-responsive pictures cause horizontal scrolling. Verbose and dense content creates vertical scrolling. We simplified the language from http://www.cmu.edu/silicon-valley/ and refactored the media. Mobile widgets maintain a clean look and feel.
Lead gen for Admissions “Information Sessions” Some content is not suitable for a mobile platform: Application information is not appropriate on a mobile device. “Find an info session” may not be visible to mobile users. At the bottom of most pages, display “Find an Info Session” button, with logistics for upcoming information sessions and contact information.
Support Alumni involvement with the school Has a news feed from a newsletter each quarter. Sometimes this happens after the announcement is stale. Created a news feed to retrieve alerts enabling timely distribution of content.

Screenshots

2013-08-14 22.30.58 2013-08-14 22.25.21   2013-08-14 22.30.52

Next Steps

  • Additional Content: Due to the short timeline, we were not to add all content from the CMU Silicon Valley website. (eg. Faculty & Staff, Alumni, Industry Connections, etc.)
  • Offline: One of the objectives was to make the app function offline.  The proposed solution was to store feed data using SQLite and sync when there is a data connections.
  • Facebook Integration: Be able use Facebook login and share any of the news feeds on Facebook
  • Push alerts from the news feed.