Posts Tagged ‘mcdm’

My crude animation on social media addiction and relationships.


“Where the Hell is Matt” is a short video series by Matt Harding that takes a look at locales around the world and features people of all different races, cultures, demographics, etc. coming together in a somewhat organized dance. In relation to the work of Marie-Laure Ryan, author of Narratives and Digital Media there are many factors in Matt’s videos that make them effective narratives.

Ryan states that a narrative is a sign with a signifier or discourse. Now typically when we think of discourse we think of some sort of dialog, conversation, or really any use of actual language – but in her book Ryan states that the signifier can manifest in many different ways, including that of gestures performed by featured characters. In Matt’s videos these gestures are expressed through dance. The cultural differences among his audiences would make typical, language-confining dialog ineffective, therefore his story is illustrated through mimetic or dramatic narration that is universally comprehendible.


Tonight I couldn’t help but think of Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message” and how the way we experience a story greatly relies on the medium in which it is delivered. A perfect example of this is Avatar. In the theater the 3-D imagery was somewhat astonishing when partnered with such realistic CGI and needless to say – I was sucked in… but on a tv or mobile device the experience relates to that of when I watched Ferngully in middle school. My main question after class this evening is how do we optimize the content we put on the web to create the same kind of emotional engagement we may see in a theater or even a live scenario? If the medium is the message what is the impact the internet is having on how our media is experienced and how do we make it better?

The following are some government/health related mobile applications:

The Human Body


Summary: This mobile application features details about the entire human anatomy and how each body part works. It addresses all major systems including the nervous and muscular systems, the internal organs and the skeletal system. Additionally, it also features all major parts of the brain. It features photos of each part along with a brief description and operates as an encyclopedia of the human body.

Used by: It is great for those learning/working in medicine as well as those who are just curious about how we operate.

Compatible with: iPhone, iPad

Contractions for Mobile


Summary: This mobile application is used for women in labor so they can keep track of the distance between their contractions. The expectant mother or father can press a button as soon as the first contraction begins and it will keep track of them from there. It tracks the contraction intervals as well and the length. You just tap the screen at the beginning and end of each one. If for some reason things go crazy and you leave the app, it will still track the woman’s data.

Compatible with: iPhone, iPad

Used by: Expecting parents.



Summary: CityLife is a mobile application that allows users to locate schools, parks and transportation within their local vicinities. It allows users to constantly track local attractions. You can also rate, comment, or share information about these locations, as well as provide information as to how to improve the community. It can also be personalized and can facilitate gaming.

Used by: People trying to locate local government institutions.

When it comes to smart phone applications I am admittedly a novice. It wasn’t until Stephen pulled me aside last quarter and showed my the possibilities of my droid that I had even thought about downloading new applications. Now I don’t know what I would do without applications like navigation and satellite radio.

In this mobile applications course I would like to learn more about what makes a successful mobile application vs an unsuccessful one. How do programmers and designers target what exactly users want and need and then put those needs together in a simplified mobile application?

In addition to the design process I am also interested in what types of applications tend to be used more than others and why.

I am also interested in learning more about the patent and distribution process of mobile applications. For example how do these apps make it to Droid and iPhone formats? What is the process developers must go through to get approval by the mainstream marketplace, and how much of those profits must be split with the mobile distributor?

Most of all I am interested in learning about how I could possibly develop my own application: where/ how do I find a reasonable programmer? Do I have to make my programmer a partner? What kind of user testing do I need to hold before my application can be considered good enough for distribution?

Overall I am excited to learn more about mobile applications and the ways they can grow to viral use. I think they are becoming vital tools in usability and marketing and know that this is a realm I will benefit from learning more about.