Journalism Mobile Projects Usability

My first iPhone (news)website


Last night I made my first iPhone website. The iPhone has a full Safari browser, but you can also use some iPhone specific styling to make a website better accessible on an iPhone. Today we connected the stylesheet to the EN database making the EN newssite available on the iPhone platform.

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

I have said it before, but I really think that the future of information is in databases, meta information and API’s (public or not). Making this website was done really fast (20 minutes CSS & 20 minutes coding by a programmer) because all the information was easily accessible.

If you want to make an iPhone website make sure to check the User Interface Library for Safari development on the iPhone. For mobile phones we also made

3 replies on “My first iPhone (news)website”

Wilbert, what you describe is a cms where content and look and feel are separated so you can easily make somethinf for different screens. Is that really the future? That’s been happening in CMS-land during the last 10 years hasn’t it?

Good point, my sentence can use some extra explanation, maybe I should have made the statement a little bit more sophisticated.

We use a CMS as a layer between a database and an interface. We often limit ourselves because we focus on the options in the CMS instead of the options in the database. We design a website first, design (or buy) a CMS next and design the database at last.

For an information provider your database is much more important than a CMS. For example you could use multiple CMS systems to modify the information on your website or in your database.

New – future – applications (widgets, websites, social networks, aggregators) could use and combine elements from the database that aren’t used by the CMS/website. They could use information you have never used (needed) before.

Social websites are known for all the connections in data they make. Often resulting in slow websites and extra servers, but also resulting in new ways of navigating through information and adding new value to existing information.

At the newspaper we make collections, widgets, pictures, videos, articles and a newspaper. Most of it is stored in databases that are connected, but not everything is in the same database.

Every bit of data in a database is accessible and can be connected, in theory. In reality it often costs a lot of time, money and effort to do the smallest things.

I don’t know what the future will be like. I think the fragmentation of interactive media has just started and this will only continue. This is not a problem, if you can make sure you can add the right value to the right media in the right place.

So you have to make sure all your information is stored right, tagged with valuable meta information and easy accessible for yourself or other people/developers/enthusiasts. You cannot build something for every platform. This isn’t a problem, because others will make what they need, if you let them.

If you make information you have to focus on the information instead of the medium. I don’t know if the website or CMS as we know it still exists in ten years, articles and your information probably does.

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