Mobile Apps & Location-based services


Today’s NJSM Visit

Map to NJSM

  • 8:30 am – meet at AIMM 222
  • 8:30 am to 10:00 am – Mark Thompson teaches first half of class at IMM
  • 10:30 am to 12 pm – Greg presents Archaeology/Ethnography exhibits covering background and more detail. Beth B. talks about designing these exhibits and Beth C. add Educator’s perspective.
  • noon – drive back to TCNJ

Design Notebooks

Let’s take a few minutes to review your Design Notebook entries for this week.

Mobile Apps & Location-based Services

Why mobile first is outdated…

User Context

Which device to design for? Depends on user context; What are they doing? Why are they accessing (or contributing) content? Where are they?

Designing for read-only content on multiple device forms? Consider HTML5/responsive web design.

Designing for data collection? Consider the type of data:

  • Text? Maybe a web form…
  • Photos? Web form or mobile app…
  • Images or QR-codes? Mobile app.
  • RFid or iBeacon? Mobile app.
  • Other sensor data? Mobile app.


  • Camera
  • Microphone
  • * Wifi / Bluetooth / Bluetooth LE / RFID
  • GPS (not indoors)
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope

For more info on cell phone sensors and how they work, check out Sensors and Cellphones

Responsive Web Apps

Example Responsive Web Framework

Mobile Apps

Native or Code Generated?

Native Apps

Native apps are typically coded using Java (Android) or Swift/Objective-C (iOS).

  • Pros – better performance, direct access to hardware & sensors
  • Cons – lower-level programming required, (sometimes) more expensive to implement

Code-generated Apps

Code-generated apps are built using standard web technologies like HTML, CSS and Javascript, and then run through a processor application to convert the input files into native code.

  • Pros – easier/faster to build (HTML, Javascript, CSS)
  • Cons – slower performance (extra app layer in there), more limited access to hardware & sensors, UI likely not completely native, maybe confusing for the user

Voice & Messaging apps

Especially good for feature phones…


  • Close read the Native American History Scavenger Hunt worksheet
  • Try to answer the questions based on what you remember from last week’s visit
  • If you’re unsure about an answer, make a checkmark next to the question (you can revisit that question at the museum later this morning)
  • Based on the content covered by the scavenger hunt, formulate 3 questions to ask the museum staff  about the collections during our visit later this morning


Active Participation in Museum Exhibits

Culture Labs

  • Read Culture Labs
  • Create a new slide in your Design Notebook and title it “Culture Labs”
  • Write a short paragraph describing the nature of “Discovery” and how it facilitates learning.
  • Write another paragraph comparing David Edwards concept of “Culture Labs” with Jake Barton’s concept of active participation with museum exhibits?

The Internet of Things

  • Read “Networked Objects” in NMC Horizon Report 2016 Museum Edition pp. 46-47
  • Read “When Stuff Talks Back” in TrendsWatch 2013 pp. 24-28
  • Create a new slide in your Design Notebook and title it “Internet of Things”
  • Pick one or two examples of IoT being used in the museum setting and write a short descriptive paragraph. How might something similar be applicable in the NJSM setting?
  • Can you find any other examples of IoT in exhibit design?

Submitting Your Work

This week’s homework assignment is due next week before class. When you’ve completed them, post the link to your design notebook on canvas & post a comment on this page (Mobile Apps & Location-based Services), also including the link to your Design Notebook.