Professional & Technical Objectives

For the first assignment of this module I have had a quick think about what I could create.  The idea is to think of a project that is useful and viable in the new media field.  I quickly thought of developing an application (app) or a web application (web app) for the Apple iPhone.  As an iPhone owner I think it is great piece of technology that merely hints at where the mobile technology world is headed and what it is capable of.  So once I had the idea of creating something for iPhone I began to think what would I want to see available on the iPhone.  Something that I would find useful, something that wasn’t yet available.  I thought of websites or applications that I use a lot when using my laptop or a PC that I couldn’t access or could only partially access from my iPhone.  This proved a little difficult as iPhone has a great browser (Safari) built in, but there can be times when this can prove to be troublesome or frustrating (for instance, when in areas with low signal strength).

I thought of the idea of adapting existing content into a web app so that I could access certain parts of a website.  From this idea I decided that I would create a web app for the website Dead Format.  DF is a website that is dedicated to news about alternative music that is being released on the vinyl record format.  It offers news, features, contests, Trade Lists (where registered users of the site can list their record collection, and any records that they wants, and from there can trade and buy/sell records with other registered users) and Pressing Information (information about record releases such as record label, catalogue number and quantities of records pressed).  I want to focus on the trade lists, pressing information and the news sections, and bring these together in an accessible web app for iPhone users.

What I found most interesting about this idea was the fact that the vinyl record is considered to be a very dated technology, especially in the age where digital music seems to slowly be taking over as the most popular format of choice.  The pairing of something so inventive and new (the iPhone) along with something that many assume to be a ‘dead format’ (hence the name of the website) is a match that may intrigue many.  Vinyl resurgence in popularity in recent years has been a surprise to many, although in the area of music that I primarily listen to and follow there has been a massive vinyl following for many years now.

Before ploughing head first into my ideas I first took the time to do a ‘SMART’ analysis of my idea to see wether it would be viable for me to start my research.  SMART analysis looks at 5 fields, and these are listed below:

SMART Analysis

Specific – Am I being specific about what I plan to do?  I want to create a web app that takes certain aspects of a full website and deliver it in a more straightforward manner to users of the Apple iPhone.  This seems like I am being specific enough, and others will be able to see exactly what I am doing.

Measurable – Can I know when I’ve done it?  Yes of course.  Once I have finished the creation of the application and made it available to people to use then I will know that I have completed my idea and that people are using it and finding it to be useful.

Attainable – Is this is a realistic goal that I can achieve in the given time span of this project (12 weeks)? – I think that 12 weeks in an ample amount of time.  With my aims to incorporate and re-adapt existing information and coding it will prove to be a very realistic goal.  My plan to use HTML and RSS feeds to my advantage will do away with me having to write large amounts of content and code from scratch, instead allowing me to focus on the presentation and overall look of the application, while using the content already stored on the website and just delivering it to iPhone users in a more user-friendly way.

Relevant – Is it relevant?  I think so, yes.  A large number of people who collect records also seem to own phones with built-in web browsers.  Although I coding this specifically for iPhone this will not prevent users of other platforms (Opera, Windows Mobile) from accessing the web app from their devices.

Time-Limited – Can I do this in time?  As stated under the ‘Attainable’ tag, I feel that I will be able to create this web app in the given time frame.

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