Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Solveig Bjørnestad: Designing and Evaluating a Mobile Tool for Location‐based News

Solveig Bjørnestad tells us about a project at the University of Bergen which she, Bjørnar Tessem, and Lars Nyre have done. Its aim is to create a mobile servie to create a location-based service for mobile phones using GPS and the content is journalism. A journalist is to tag news stories with geo-location and writes three versions of the same story, each targeted to the audience at a different distance (<100 m, between 100 and 500 m, >500 m). Headlines, vignettes, and pictures may vary among these versions. Final publishing is done by a designated editor. The reader is supposed to rank news stories according to their distance, decides whether tho read local, semi-distant, distant or all content. Both the LokaSkrivar (PhP and JavaScript) and the LokaLesar (Python for Nokia Symbian 60 phones, and later C++ for S60 + WebKit package) are programmed by master students.

Solveig Bjørnestad shows screenshots of the S60 interface. The evaluation was in three parts: field experiment (40 news stories, 32 respondents), observations, and a questionnaire (asking about demographic info, previous experience, experience with the tool, experience with the journalistic concept, how they understood location in relation to text and pictures). The study showed that the respondents found the software easy to understand, that some critical comments suggested improvements in the interface.

No comments: