In a previous post I indicated that we’d got to the point of releasing a beta aimed at existing mobile learners at the OU – primarily to provide a quick launchpad to keep on top of their studies. As an update, we’re still running at over 10,000 individuals accessing via mobile per month overall (many repeated visitors and some new users aggregating to over 22,000 in the last quarter).
Subsequently, a minor update added more mobile-friendly [Moodle] Resource Pages for easier access to files and assets (where these could be understood by mobiles).
In the next few days, I will be outlining the new features we are currently ‘integration testing’ on the staging servers using real course content copied over recently.
For OU folks only, this will be unlike previous testing periods where any member of internal staff could go and check their course – this time access is more restricted and needs to be granted, so if you’d like to check – please get in touch.
The main features we’re adding this time are:
- Structured Content (the OU standard content-managed web pages)
- ForumNG (the new improved OU forum)
Where appropriate, we have included as many of the features users would expect to see on the desktop view, but some are unsuitable and some have been realigned slightly to better work at a smaller scale.
And, of course, since we’re all about mobile web optimisation on this particular project, we’re testing where possible on iOS, Android, Opera Mini and BlackBerry. Once this next release is done, we’ll also be asking students for their feedback just over a year after the initial student survey that identified the priority areas for development.
Finally, a note on mobile optimisation itself – only the ‘launchpad’ has received specific design attention, with the first release of the other tools following some design rules, including appropriate spacing for key hyperlinks (for touch users), emphasising these key hyperlinks while de-emphasising system or other information. We’re expecting all new modules to receive further design input, but will see how this balances against future work.