Earlier this year we surveyed all the tools available to us in our Sakai VLE, with a view to deciding which were the top candidates for mobilisation (whether by developing a new mobile-friendly interface or by tidying up the existing tool).
When evaluating these tools we tried to consider:
- how widely they were used
- how relevant they were to mobile use, and
- whether they were reasonably implementable within the timeframe of the project
As a result we’ve divided the tools into four categories:
- initially unnecessary
- unnecessary or unfeasible
We’ve concentrated on tools which provide the best ratio of participation to user-input (input of extended information is often difficult and time-consuming on the keypads or miniature keyboards of even the most modern smartphones), and on tools which allow the user to perform a single discrete task (e.g. “see what’s new”, “answer a poll”, “sign up for a tutorial”) rather than more complex tasks requiring extensive navigation. These more discrete tasks also allow for atomic operations rather than requiring the preservation of state throughout potentially unreliable network access — hopefully avoiding that only-too-familiar “I got halfway through and then I lost the signal and now I don’t know if it’s sent it or not” user experience.