Welcome Wednesday 26 September 2012


In preparation for next week’s SI Mobile Review, this week project team members from our recent mobile projects will demo their apps and mobile websites from 3-5pm in OCIO’s large video conference room on 4th floor Cap Gall. This is a great time to try out any apps and mobile websites you’ve missed from the growing list at http://SI.edu/Mobile and also hear directly from the experts on how they work.

Next week’s presentations on Thurs, Oct 4 will focus on learnings from these projects so no demos will be given then in the interest of time. If you haven’t already RSVP’ed or would like to be added to the invitation list for the SI Mobile Review, just let me know. We’ll start at 10am in NASM’s Briefing Room, and will end around 5:30pm. Lunch is provided; please bring your own drink and, if you feel like it, a snack to share in the coffee breaks!


  • Portrait Gallery – Responsive Design
    • 2 apps for Portrait Gallery: 1812 and Amelia Earhart
    • Allows scaling for different size devices and desktop
    • Pros: Flexible layout, images and type, all based on percentages, not on pixels
    • First steps: Flexible Grid (many packages available): http://foundation.zurb.com/
    • Video: used HTML5 (users don’t need plugins and supported on all mobile devices, unlike Flash; must be transcoded into three formats: MP4, WebM, Ogg); used Video.JS for video player (Flash fallback for older browsers)
    • Comment function: used intense debate comments
    • Development started before Retina iPad came out – another project had same situation and needed to add additional CSS to handle media
    • Templates can possibly be used by other groups
  • American Art Mobile Site
    • Dolphin Browser – allows you to preview what an app or site will look like on an iPhone or Android
    • Included responsive design
    • Mobile calendar developed (Trumba)
    • Added button “Mobile Mode Off”
    • Currently slideshows not compatible with mobile but works with iPad
    • Bandwidth issue: when someone loads the site on their phone, everything downloads (considered image delivery service from EDAN)
    • Spike of activity on Saturdays – would be useful to look further into this
    • Testing Passbook to push announcements of upcoming events on-site
  • Museum of the American Indian
    • Song for the Horse Nation
    • Circle of Dance
      • Unique menus
      • Swipe functions
      • QR codes directing to pages (compare stats with those over at Postal Museum)
    • Using Google analytics to track
    • Blending website with app features – what is now possible in mobile web?
  • World Heritage Site
    • Stories of World Heritage
    • Virtual exhibition website
    • Twitter Bootstrapframework
      • comes with an extensive javascript library
    • Retina display caused problems
    • Mobile Flash disbanded – no longer an option
    • Handling images also problematic b/c lack of current standards now
    • Bandwidth issue: when someone loads the site on their phone, everything downloads and causes increased cost of hosting
    • Used minimal javascript to keep download low
    • Issues with image and audio compatibility, used Sound Cloud and YouTube

      • Both still use iFrame, which causes vulnerability
      • Both deliver content to both app and website
    • Responsive design issues: 24 different viewpoint sizes with Android; 4 for iOS… you can’t do it all
    • Menus – must be re-thought – without minimal menus, you’ll over-clutter the site and not even be able to see content
    • Slideshows to save page real estate
    • Lightbox: Fancy Box
  • Stories from Main Street
    • Now about 15,000 downloads w/ 480 accepted contributions (only 150 on website to date)
    • Realized that it’s ok for the project to be evolutionary
    • Benefits from not being part of an exhibition
    • Lessons learned
      • Prepare and plan for what will happen with contributions when they come in – perhaps crowdsourcing?
      • Marketing is vital, even though it’s something that didn’t happen! Reluctance to do so b/c infrastructure isn’t in place to handle all contributions that have come in
    • Android app coming soon
  • Up Where We Belong – opening in NY soon
    • Audio app for the show used Tap platform
    • Uses Kiosk Pro
    • Help is contextual – shows help right on the screen
    • Buggy in the gallery; perhaps they’re not meant to run 24/7
  • For Next Week:
    • Looking for findings from app development to share with others so that we’re not reinventing the wheel
    • What is “Mobile First”?
    • How do we merge projects or at least pull from the same resources?

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