Student Reflection – Digital Media Proliferation

On Writing for the Academic Paper versus Writing for the Mobile Phone Application

Nathan Anderson

I think it is more challenging writing for the mobile app, although it depends on what exactly you’re presenting. I find it easier to write, whereas when there is a mobile app, you have to find pictures and things to go along with your content and that takes time. You also have to think about the design of your work and how it will all fit together to make sense. When I wrote the paper for this, I was able to just sit down and flow through my thoughts, which I found to be more natural. On the other hand, once you are familiar with the tools, it becomes easy to throw in information and you don’t need to write as much. Rather, it is more of a summary of the main findings because on a mobile app, people don’t want to read large blocks of text.

The most annoying thing I had to deal with on the mobile app development was having to have 4 files open in Dreamweaver and switching between them to edit the separate parts where as in word, I could just scroll to where I needed to be. I also had to open the pages in a browser to see what it would look like with the Javascript. Resizing every image in Photoshop also took a lot of time that could have been used doing more research. Between the two, it’s hard to say which I would pick because I like the final product of the mobile app more, but the paper is simpler.

Nikki Arens

Writing for an interactive space in much different than writing a research paper. The differences lie in both the different media types as well as the content and interactive ability of the information. In a space that is much like the journalism field, the content of the information not only needed to be short, but it also needed to be through and interactive.
In a research paper, the information needs to be very detailed. This makes for longer explanation and complicated sentence structures. In an interactive site the sentences need to be short and concise, allowing the audience to still gathering the same information but quicker than reading an entire research paper. Because the information is so short and offers little to no deep explanation, hyperlinks provide filler to that gap. By providing hyperlinks, it allows the author to get all the information to the audience as well as answers to any questions he or she may

have regarding the content. It also allows for larger detailed information if the audience would like to know more about a certain subject mentioned. Another topic of interest when talking about interactive and mobile sites is the space there is to work with. Pictures and words are much smaller than that on a computer or laptop. In this project, it caused issues in providing maps and pictures. Having the ability to make the map interactive dike that provided by Google Maps on a computer) would make the mobile site more effective in identifying the landscape of the locations mentioned. Comparing the differences between writing for mobile applications and print works lies both in space, content, and interactive ability. While the differences seem small, they are significant in the overall creation and development of the project.

Madeline Baron

When preparing a text it is important to consider the context in which it will be used. The same information should be presented differently in different contexts to optimize its effectiveness. Print and mobile are very different contexts.

Presenting this information in a printed format allows for the most detail and a larger amount of data to be available. A printed report like a mobile app should be easily navigable. I included a clear title and sub-headings to aid navigation and improve clarity; it is also double spaced for easy reading. Unlike mobile apps a report is not designed for on-the-go consumption. My report is designed for in-depth reading. My report is tangible, it is printed on paper, and the main form of interaction the user applies is reading it.

I suppose I could have included pictures in my written report, but I saved those for usage in the mobile app context. In the mobile app my goal is to condense a large amount of information into quick clear tidbits of information. To get more information into a smaller space to be digested quicker by on-the-go users I utilized images and text. I included graphics in efforts to make the information more appealing to the eye. My goal is to not over crowd such a small space but to give the eyes areas to rest.

I was not required to pick a color schema for the written report. I stayed with the standard; black on white, there was little debate in my mind. On the other hand for the mobile app I gave great consideration to how my color choices would effect the information and the over all effectiveness of the piece.
The mobile app requires more from the user. They must have a smartphone that will host the app. They must scroll and tap to access the information. There is more interaction with the mobile app information even though the information is not tangible like the printed report. The users’ physical interaction takes place through their phone that can be used for many other things other than this mobile app.

Overall there are similar aspects to take into consideration when producing texts whether they are for print or for mobile use. Approaching these aspects according to their unique contexts, purposes, audiences, and so on will improve the quality and effectiveness of the end result.

Kerrie Brown

Writing for this project was quite interesting. I have never written anything for a mobile phone application or anything of the sort before. While normally when I begin to write a paper I spend a few moments before had making a general outline of what I would like to write about, this was a different experience. Instead of writing an outline I just used my notes and snippets of information from my mobile phone application. When I view a game or an application on my phone, they all generally consist of short little one to two sentences paragraphs. That way the page isn’t filled with over bearing information that the reader doesn’t want to take the time to spend reading. The point of having applications on ones phone is to access information of whatever sort quickly and efficiently. Being that all of the information I collected through my research was generally statistics, it was fairly easy to turn those in to simple sentences letting the user access the information easily. From there I took every bullet point of information I had collected and went back to the original websites. Once I had re-read all of the articles and journals which I had pulled information from I was able to start writing my paper. The biggest difference I found between the two types of writing was for an essay or paper much more explanation is required as well as much more data. While for a phone application only quick notes are needed to inform the user.

Megan Cole

There is a difference when it comes to writing for the mobile culture as opposed to writing for print. When it comes to writing for mobile devices it’s all about short and to the point. Getting out the most important information in the smallest about of space. When it comes to print it’s not as important, if it’s important at all to condense your work. Print is when you can allow your ideas, and thoughts flow, they do not have to be constrained to fit in the grab and go style of mobile culture.

Writing for mobile must also have graphics or flashy designs to keep the reader interested, because for the most part, those reading what is written for mobile devices are of the younger generation who were brought up on flashy. Writing for print can also contain graphics or pictures, but it is not necessary.

One form of graphic would be the use of graphs and tables. They are often used in print, but they are also very useful when it comes to writing for mobile, because it is a way of presenting a large amount of information in a condensed, easy to understand organization.

Aric Danis

The first and most obvious difference that I noticed regarding writing for print and writing for was how compact and dense you have to make the information when writing for mobile applications. I think that mobile applications need to be designed around more factual and definitive information such as numerical values and graphs rather than said opinions. It proved much easier to gather many different sources and produce a more thorough text with research paper than with the mobile application, where it was easiest to stick with a single source per bit of information. Another difference with writing for the interactive section was that you had to keep in mind how the user of your mobile application was going to interact and navigate the section. This for me proved the most daunting, especially with limited knowledge of creating the interactive sections and using Dream weaver to do so.

Faye Dompier

There is a great difference in writing for a mobile app compared to an actual written essay/paper. It is much easier writing for an app because you want to keep your audience focused on what kind of information you are giving them. They don’t want to have to read a big long paragraph just to get the few pieces of information they are curious about. (Personally, I think the digital era is making people become more easily distracted and don’t want to have to sift through large amounts of information to get what they need. This isn’t necessarily bad; it creates a new type of genre for writing and a style of thinking that wasn’t available in the past.) Bullet points usually suit apps or very short sentences (and paragraphs if absolutely necessary), but that differs from a research paper because you have to be aware of flow and grammar (of course one should be aware of grammar in apps as well).

Word choices are also pretty important. People can use more sophisticated words in a paper, it could potentially help with credibility and it will seem more like a research paper, an academic piece. In an app, that is not totally necessary, unless of course if someone is creating a scientific app.

To put it simply and sum it up, apps don’t have to be overly wordy because graphs and images can help get what you are trying to present to an audience. A research paper could use the same kind of technique (graphs and images) but it’s mostly a wordy document meant to give more in depth information.

Travis Gendron

Context has a massive impact on the style and format of information. A specific example of this is the comparison of writing for a mobile application as opposed to a research paper meant for a print medium. There are both similarities and differences to be found when writing for each of these contexts. Primarily, content remains very much the same, while style, layout, and the form of information presented varies greatly.

The interactive time zone project incorporated both a mobile application meant for smartphones and a research paper dealing with the same content. However, the style of the writing was very different. For a mobile application, the information needed to be concise and to stick mainly to the facts and data. Mobile applications are expected by users to provide information quickly and efficiently. On the contrary, a research paper provides facts, but also analysis, explanation, and discussion of these facts. This requires much more reading and thought on the part of the user, as they play a greater role in picking out the most relevant information for themselves.

Layout is perhaps the most noticeable different between writing for a mobile application versus a research paper. Mobile applications have a very limited amount of space for an author to work with, as the typical smartphone screen is 320 x 480 pixels. This requires information to be presented briefly and the design elements clearly grouped, as the small space tends to give everything the appearance of being “mashed” together. In a print document, such as a research paper, the space is generally multiple 8.5 x 11 inch sheets of paper, offering much more space to work with. There are also fewer design elements and spacing suffices to separate paragraphs and ideas. Mobile applications often do not have enough space to really separate elements with only white space.

Information form is the final major distinguishing factor between writing for mobile applications and research papers. Mobile applications involve limited text and visuals. Also, they tend to be much more interactive in the presentation of information, giving the use more control. In a research paper, there is almost solely text and no interaction.

Additionally, information is very linear in that one must start at the introduction and read through to the conclusion in order to gain a full sense of the point of the paper. In mobile applications, there is not “narrative”, as the user is able to navigate the information in any order that they choose.

Chen Lin

For my person experience, writing for mobile does not need to be as solemn as writing for print. Articles or applications in mobile phone have to be more interesting in order to attract reader. So I Insert some pictures, and different colors for different section, or sometimes I need to use different background color or pictures. The words are significantly less on mobile than on print, because no one wants to read a whole paper on a mobile phone. I must summarize, and only put the key points on the page. Oppositely, writing for print should be more formal. I should explain everything in details, because I have several pages not just a small box.

Kari Mlynar

When writing a research paper versus researching information to be incorporated into an iPhone app, several things must be taken into consideration. Mobile and print are two very different mediums and must be treated as such when gathering and organizing information. Mobile phones and devices such as tablets are much smaller than the types of material print media is featured on. Thus, information contained to a mobile source will need to be shorter and more condensed. It is difficult to read a long, complex article on a mobile phone, so portraying that information in a clear and concise way can be difficult It is essential that when converting printed information into mobile information, the most crucial pieces of the information are contained and all else is cut out so as not to disengage or intimidate the user. That being said, a link to where the user could find the original, uncut information can be included in the mobile version for the user’s convenience should they choose to locate the information in its entirety. In addition to the issue of size and accessibility, mobile information-specifically applications-is designed to be very visually appealing to draw the user in. An app with no color or designed is not going to be as successful as one with color and interesting visual elements.

When I designed my app, I did my best to make it enticing, colorful, and fun. However, as I write this paper, I am not as concerned with making it colorful or graphically interesting-I care more about laying down the full amount of information that I researched. In fact, making this research paper colorful and full of graphics would take away from the effect of the information and make it complicated and difficult to read. While this is not true for all forms of print media (for example, posters are usually colorful and visually appealing), regarding research papers, simpler and cleaner is better.

Madeline Peabody

When creating this project, I soon realized that print and mobile require completely different styles because of the context in which they are read. The screen of a mobile phone like the iPhone is very small compared to a piece of paper with print on it. As an iPhone user, I understand that most mobile phone users don’t like to read large blocks of text, and if the font is too small it can be hard on their eyes. For this reason, text must be broken up under subheads, and the font size shouldn’t be compromised to fit more writing on one page. I appreciate it when a webpage has a mobile setting; the design differences between a print-based website and a mobile site are extremely helpful when it comes to readability and navigation. When I was creating my interactive section, I paraphrased and shortened what I had in my print section. The mobile user wants information fast- they don’t want to have to search through a document for it. For that reason, I also incorporated the headers so the user can find what they are looking for quickly. My interactive section is extremely shortened but if I was the consumer using this application, I would be satisfied with the level of information given. Pictures can add a lot to information on a interactive section in ways they can’t on a print section. A mobile phone application is made instantly interesting when stunning graphics are used. And with such a high screen resolution on the new iPhone, users want to see detailed pictures. When I come across a web page on my phone, the pictures, not the text, are what draw me in. I was a bit confused on how much to include in the interactive portion. I don’t think an application should have a ton of information; it should just briefly touch on the most important aspects, provide some visual representation, and move on.

Annette Perkowski

In comparison, both writing an app for an Iphone and writing a paper had their upsides and downsides. Creating the app was a new experience for me. On the one hand that was interesting; it was nice to be able to share information in a different platform then I was used to.

For the first time I really felt like I could utilize color and pictures. I found pictures that I the best represented the respective countries and then used them to create color pallets for the different pages. I also felt that I could use less text to convey more, which was refreshing from several paged reports I was usually used to writing. However, the fact that it was a new median meant that I was not thinking of things that ended up making the app lack as a finished product.

For instance, I did not add any colors to the main page, making it rather bland. I also didn’t know if linking web pages to the app would turn out well, so my information ends rather abruptly and there is no way for the user to search farther if they wished for more information Also, seeing as I don’t own any piece of technology that contained apps, I was not used to seeing them on a regular basis. This made me feel rather out of my depth on what even the most basic app is expected to do.

A paper, on the other hand, is much more predictable. I’ve been writing papers since middle school. I have the intro, three body paragraphs and conclusion memorized. I know plenty of tricks and unique ideas to make my paper a more interesting read. On average, I am very confident when I sit down to write a paper that I can do what is expected of me to get the good grade. However, this familiarity has come from writing paper and after paper for years. Writing an essay is one of the most common assignments in my entire school career. No matter what I do to it, it is still basically a wall of text I have seen on my screen a thousand times before.

The technology of communications will continue to grow and the numbers researched in the report will increase more and more. As more lines are put up, more signals fill the air and more ways of communicating between humans develop, the world will continue to shrink. Soon people will be able to communicate with anyone, anywhere, in the blink of an eye. The entire world could be at a person’s fingertips, or maybe even be in their minds. Time will cease to trap man.

Yu Song

In this project, it is very interesting to compare the two countries, South Korea and North Korea. They are from the same native groups. In the analysis, I found that they share the same ideas. However, the North Korean government is strictly limiting the communication between these two countries for political reasons. They are willing to accept the convenience of digital media, but they are also afraid of the information from outside. So they would prefer people not to be able to access the Internet or limit it in a small area. However, we can still see the development of Internet, computer and mobile phone during the recent years in North Korea. The proliferation in Japan is also interested because of the game culture. The Japanese, especially young kids, would prefer to work on the cellphones and play on the PlayStation or Wii rather than computers. This makes the Internet access in Japan develop fast and decline in the computer distribution. The other interest area is the input of domestic languages. South Korea and Japan developed their own methods to input their language into the computers and mobile phones on the standard keyboard.

Alex Slepak

The creation of material for the mobile world is much different than the creation of material for consumption in the traditional manner. New media is a very different realm than the traditional media that many are used to composing for and consuming. There is a much greater focus on taking bite-size pieces of information and making them easily and rapidly consumable. The same information may be presented, though it is usually pared down to the bare minimum, and may often be without any elaboration. This focus on the bare minimum comes from a combination of two factors: Mobility and screen size. The average mobile user is just that, mobile. They don’t want to be slowed down by an overabundance of information. While there are mobile apps that provide information on a much grander scale, these are usually apps that present information from sources more commonly accessed through other media devices such as full size computers, or they are meant as reference tools for those who are in the field. This particular app is being created more for the use of those who just want an at a glance understanding of the information, and thus doesn’t go through many of the interpretive hoops that a full-length paper might Screen size also influences the amount. of information contained in a piece of mobile media. Mobile devices have to have smaller screens in order to maintain their portability, most having screens under 3.5″ diagonally, with a usual pixel range of about 320*480, a quarter of the size of a screen on a common netbook Even though some devices may have higher resolution screens (for example the iPhone Retina display at 640*960), these screens are still limited by their physical size, as at a certain point, information would become too small for the human eye to perceive. The screen size limits the amount of information on screen at a given time. While this may be fixed by integrating scrolling, it is considered by some users to be a tedious measure, and is a frequent candidate for removal. In short, mobile applications display less information in order to fit it all in a small space with minimal scrolling, and to allow easy digestion of the information, thus keeping the user, and the user’s brain, mobile.

Briana Tucker

This project was semi confusing at first, but as I started to work on it more I found that the application was way more interesting to work on than the paper. Writing for the mobile app allowed me to add pictures and color schemes. I was able to use less numbers and more white spaces. Mobile apps are suppose to display everything that a regular website displays, but with a shorter and more interactive interface. The app is simply for the enjoyment of the user. The positive thing for the print information is that people have something to read. The paper offers a hard cover copy of the information. The paper offers the general public the opportunity to view this information were as the app is only available to the public that is lucky enough to have a smart phone. The research paper needed more time and more effort to create.

Melissa Wilber

For the main page of the mobile phone interface, I set it up so that you will see an image from the country when you click on the location. I chose this method instead of reading an overview, like the background Information within my paper. This way the user will be able to quickly see the country and it will keep their interest. It is much more user friendly to have a picture than the overview of a country. Personally, I would rather look at the picture, and I think most other iPhone users would agree they would like to see visuals on their phone. I used the same technique even when they go to read about Internet access or mobile phone proliferation so that the user is still informed by the picture and so there is visual appeal.

One of the major differences between web, mobile, or printed Information is how the Information is presented. For example, in my paper I was able to elaborate and fit in all of the information I needed. However, when writing for the mobile device it would be useless to put in that much information and the user would quickly disregard it. Instead, I shortened it to one main point which is much more manageable for the user to read and remember. It is Important to keep in mind that mobile users have a shorter patience, they are looking to get their information quickly and efficiently, not sit down and read a whole paper. At the same time, for a mobile user visual appeal is much more important, people like pretty things.