Media Technologies – Libro

Assessment Task: In groups, develop a mobile application and pitch the prototype to the seminar class. Then, conduct two reports, as blog posts, one on the Prototype and creation of your application, and another Reflecting on the process of building the application – discussing teamwork and its conception.


Please Note: All links are to external sections that collude to form the two blog posts required for this section.


Libro – The Prototype

The application that we have devised is a result of several meetings, brainstorms and a collation of market research. Upon completing these procedures, the group settled on Libro – an app, designed for students and academics, to locate academic texts and compare prices from four major retailers, namely: Amazon, Ebay, ABEbooks and Waterstones Online. Furthermore, the platform allows the user to catalogue ‘favourite’ topics, areas of study or authors, depending on what they are researching.

Using the online platform Appypie, the group colluded to prototype an initial idea (see appendix 1.1). Using a series of hyperlinked pages, the online platform allowed for a convenient and simple building method that focused on dragging and dropping certain elements (like a search bar or buttons) into the frame of the mobile phone screen. Whilst this platform was practical and utilitarian, and avoided using major coding systems, Appypie did not legislate for building a particularly eye-catching or pleasant user interface. As a result, we began again using Adobe XD. Having had experience working with Adobe software in the past, such as Photoshop, the group were comfortable using the programme and were, this time, able to create a practical, useful platform with a visually stimulating design (see appendix 1.2). With the latest version of XD, 24.0.22, released this autumn, using a series of hyperlinked pages, navigated using affordances such as buttons, swiping and searching, the application was soon up-and-running. A video navigation of our application can be viewed here: https://jamesandrewtaylor.blog/2019/12/04/libro-application-navigation/

Appendix 1.1
Appendix 1.2

As with many modern digital platforms, data can be a valuable commodity; our application is no different. Data is a key area in modern digital commerce with a recent Daily Telegraph feature describing it as ‘as valuable as oil’. Data has become a hot topic of the postmodern era of technology – the Facebook ‘Cambridge Analytica’ scandal accentuating that. A lapse in the multi-million dollar making social-networking site’s security enabled third-party application developers access to personal data of millions of Faceboook users. Since then, data security has become of paramount importance to the entrepreneurs at the crux of the technology business.

Further information on the data consideration of the Libro app can be found here: https://jamesandrewtaylor.blog/2019/11/25/libro-data-considerations/

Additional considerations such as: Libro in the framework of Marshall McLuhan’s ‘tetrad’, researched by Josh, can be found here: https://joshhallamblogs.wordpress.com/2019/12/06/media-technologies-tetrad/.

Whilst expansion, proliferation and funding options, researched by Lois, can be found here: https://shuloisspencer.home.blog/2019/12/06/funding-options-financial-chances-and-growth-expansion-media-technologies-assignment-1/

To inform design and conception decisions, the group collated some research into possible consumers and, specifically, the level and area in which they study. We felt that these details, among others, could help us tailor the design of our application – perhaps, for instance, the results show a preference for arts-based subjects or that more Undergraduate students are likely to purchase academic texts than those studying A-Levels. These were all important facets of the design considerations. The results of our research can be found here: https://jamesandrewtaylor.blog/2019/11/22/libro-market-research/

From the beginning, we decided, as a group, to devise a strict plan of meetings, discussions and documentation in an attempt to ensure success in this task. Having all partaken in group work before, some with more success than others, we knew that for a group to work efficiently, each member has to make equal effort. My full reflection on this process can be found here: https://jamesandrewtaylor.blog/2019/12/06/libro-the-reflection/

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