Kent mobile web application – update 2

We are drawing to an end of the first phase of work on the University’s Mobile App, we are now just working on getting deployed so people can start using it. This latest iteration has mostly been about tying up loose ends and making sure everything works. There are a couple of new features though, the most obvious of which is the new theme.

We haven’t done anything too radical; just tweaked the colours to ensure the app is easy to distinguish from others built on the same technology. The most significant change to interface is the home screen. We’ve grouped similar bits of functionality into sub apps to make what will be an extensive feature set more manageable.

To provide users with an interface they are familiar with we’ve created a grid based icon design that shares many similarities with the conventions laid down by mobile operating systems. It doesn’t do everything the native OS’s do, for example you can’t rearrange the icons. We haven’t ruled out adding this kind of functionality but certainly at this stage there are much more important things to be getting on with.

Some other new features include:

  • The Maps app now has a directions tab with information on the best ways to travel to the various campuses.
  • The PC Availability app now has the distance to each PC room based on your current location.
  • Medway PC Rooms now have their own tab so its easy to find a PC room for the campus you’re at.
  • Shortcuts for the main university web site, Moodle, SDS, the library catalogue and the news web site.

This is only the beginning

We realise some users might be disappointed by the lack of features and the fact that the most important services (SDS, Moodle etc) are just links to their normal websites. But developing mobile versions of these services is going to take time and we didn’t want to hold up the basics up while we worked on them.

Rest assured we will be working on them though, and over time you can expect those shortcuts to be replaced with proper mobile versions. Which one we do first will depend on the users, we’re keen to get their feedback to find out what is most important, so do let us know via the inbuilt feedback.

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