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TAMU Webmaster's Blog


Information and insight from the A&M Webmasters

m.tamu.edu

Athletics on m.tamu.edu

The first football game day is rapidly approaching. But what time is the game? Did you forget your handy bi-fold schedule at home? Today is your lucky day — although I don’t think you should go buy a lottery ticket quite yet —because we just released an Athletics application on m.tamu.edu that will give  you schedules, rosters, and news items for each of the Aggie Athletics teams, on your mobile device. (Rumor has it that you can also use your desktop computer to access this information quickly.)

Pop quiz: what was the score in last night’s volleyball match-up against Sam Houston? The answer, found on m.tamu.edu, is a win for the Aggies: 3-0.

I don’t know about you, but it is sometimes difficult for me to remember who wears which number, but I’ll never worry about that again. I can get a full roster — including coaches names in case you weren’t aware that Dat Nguyen has returned to Aggieland — on my mobile device…during the game.

You can also conveniently access the news articles for each sport in the News & Information app. That’s how I learned that Alyssa Mautz was named the National Player of the Week by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Congratulations, Alyssa!

We have plans to add more features and in-depth information to this new Athletics app, but we found it so valuable as-is that we wanted to share it with you now.

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Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 Mobile Web, Ongoing Projects No Comments

Education + Mobile: What the students really want

The fall has begun, and our expectations for the mobile site have been exceeded. We are nearing four thousand uses a day. The majority of those uses originating from Bus Routes, followed by Dining. Our mobile site, maintained and developed by Jeff and I, has dozens of features. From multimedia, to news, to student services, we have been releasing new code weekly. With over twenty separate web applications developed and deployed, our attention to detail has now come down to numbers. What statistics drive mobile edu? With potential for growth in all of our services, we have now started to realize that we need to pick our battles and attack the areas that will provide the most growth. Taking a look at the graphs I have made up, you can see that the majority of students are interested in student oriented services, not news and not multimedia.

top mobile web applications on m.tamu.edu

When aiming to build a mobile website for your university or school, the numbers show that students seek information that makes their day-to-day routine easier. What does that mean for Texas A&M’s mobile website? More focus on the student, and less on what’s currently cool elsewhere. On another statistical note, I thought I would share what operating systems are utilizing our mobile site.

operating systems using m.tamu.eduSeveral months ago, Apple products were leading 75%. Today, Apple products are still dominating the scene, but are followed much more closely by Windows, BlackBerry, and then Linux/Android. In terms of our mobile website those numbers suggest we prepare our site for more than the standard iPhone resolution and make sure we cover the much larger devices influencing these rises, like the new series of Droids and BlackBerry’s. We also need to compensate for desktops and laptops using the mobile site, which is also why we see such high numbers for Mac and Windows.

top browsers using m.tamu.edu

34% of devices accessing the mobile website are actually desktop and laptop class devices. Which brings on another question. What is our target audience? At first we thought we were developing a mobile website for phones, now it looks like we are developing a convenient website for smartphones and PC’s. The data suggests that students would rather find the information they need on a website that is plainly laid out without having to search a large website over for links. Scenario: I am at a lab on campus, or in a class on my laptop, and I’m hungry. Will I remember to visit dining.tamu.edu for a list of where to eat and times? Or will I remember seeing “Dining” on the list of links on mobile? If it were me, I’d pick the one I knew had what I was looking for, because its most convenient and gets straight to the point. No advertisements for new dining meal plans, pictures of other students eating food I wish I was eating, just the data.

So if you are currently developing or planning on developing a mobile website for the edu-verse, consider your audience. Are you just going to be making a mobile website for phones, or a central knowledge point thats easy and utilized past the mobile audience? Jeff and I have joked about it numerous times, making a site that has a bunch of links to everything a student might need (For those who choose not to remember domain names). It looks like we may be heading in that direction after all.

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Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 Analytics, Mobile Web, Ongoing Projects, Social Media 3 Comments

Mobile Hours Page

Last week Bob mentioned that we had released a few new features for the mobile site, including a page giving the hours of operation for the Open Access Labs. I’d like to piggyback on that announcement and open that category for others across campus.

We have combined that page along with the earlier released hours of operations pages for the library and Dining Services eating establishments. I’d like to invite other offices across campus to be a part of this. We are particularly looking for organizations that have lots of subcomponents and which don’t follow standard 8-5 business office hours. We can create new pages for organizations with lots of separate details, or create one ongoing list for those with shorter content elements.

If you think mobile device users on campus could benefit from having your hours online, please send them our way and we’ll add them to the section.

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Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 Mobile Web No Comments

Transportation Services Showcase Mobile Web

For those of you who haven’t seen it, Texas A&M University Transportation Services has begun campaigning our mobile website, m.tamu.edu. Every bus in the system is utilizing its digital marquees to read, “Whens the next bus?”, “Go Mobile”, “m.tamu.edu”. “Bus Routes” is the most popular application to date in the Texas A&M Mobile community. Broken down by bus routes, the highest demanded routes are:

  1. 12-Reveille
  2. 33-Texas Aggies
  3. 36-Cottonbowl
  4. 27(Weekend)-Ring Dance
  5. 27-Ring Dance
  6. 01-Bonfire

For those of you out there utilizing our tools, we thank you. We are here to better serve you and Texas A&M University. Special thanks to Transportation Services, and their cooperation throughout this entire project. As always, give us feedback on how we are doing, webmaster@tamu.edu.

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010 Mobile Web, Ongoing Projects No Comments

Mobile Video Gets A Face Lift

Since the recent release of video on the mobile website I have been working on the addition of all Texas A&M Official YouTube channels. At this release we currently have over ten channels varying from colleges, athletics, and several campus organizations like A&M IT, The Battalion, and The Association Of Former Students. One of my primary goals while working on the mobile project has been to bring all A&M feeds together, better than they have been before. Hopefully soon we will be able to use the mobile site as a pointer to all of those onlooking this university to find on-the-go media and information.

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 Mobile Web No Comments

m.tamu.edu is Now Available

Just before the winter break we released the mobile website for Texas A&M University. It is accessible at http://m.tamu.edu and should function appropriately on the majority of Internet-enabled mobile devices.

Goals of Texas A&M University Mobile

We’ve said it before but I want to re-iterate some points about this new site.

First and foremost, this website is not intended as a mobile version of the main Texas A&M site, www.tamu.edu. It is possible that we might have a slimmed down template for the main site in the future, but this particular site is designed to enhance experience on mobile devices, not provide the same content in a smaller format.

We want this site to be useful to you. In this first version we focused on a few key areas of interest including bus routes, search, and the calendar. We are dependent upon your feedback on these features as well as ideas for future features.

The mobile site is designed to get you the information you seek quickly. For example, we noticed that people hit the www.tamu.edu site during a football game in search of the answer to a trivia question, “What does A&M stand for?” from their mobile devices. This led us to add the FAQs page to the mobile site. We also see a lot of interest in searching the directory for faculty, staff, and student information, so we added a directory search.

Coming Improvements

While we haven’t yet set a schedule for the next release, we are considering including some enhancements to current features such as the Bus Routes information as well as adding video and course information. Ultimately we want to provide a similar experience to the TAMUMobile iPhone App to all Smart Phone owners using the mobile web.

Weigh in on your experience or wishes by commenting or emailing us.

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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 Mobile Web No Comments

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