Brown’s mobile web platform, m.brown.edu, was designed to quickly meet demand for a mobile-formatted presence at Brown, with flexibility, scalability and community contribution in mind.
In May of 2011, WebServices deployed a lightweight mobile web framework, m.brown.edu, which included the following baseline services:
Built with help from Public Affairs & University Relations and campus content owners such as Facilities Management, m.brown.edu is set up to allow interested members of the Brown community to easily create and 'plug-in' their own mobile services. The base site provides one starting point for visitors to discover Brown’s mobile services. Brown departments and organizations can build and provide new applications and promote their mobile offerings. And this is just the beginning; m.brown.edu is designed to grow and improve with the addition of new services.
A Great Site for Users
m.brown.edu offers Brown students, staff, and faculty and campus visitors an on-the-go reference to Brown information from contacts to events to maps and more. Since it was launched, additional modules have been added, including Brown Student Radio and event--based features for Commencement and Orientation. And there’s more to come. Potential additions on the horizon include an integrated shuttle tracker, campus tours, and course information. Best of all, m.brown.edu is customizable. As more and more mobile services are offered, users can use the customize interface to prioritize the services they want on the home page, and hide the ones they don’t. The platform recognizes users’ devices, and remembers their custom settings.
A Solution for Campus Departments and Content Providers
Brown departments, offices, centers, and groups can use m.brown.edu to quickly and easily offer their services to their audiences. It is device agnostic, so there’s no need to deliver multiple versions of a site or service to reach users on different devices. The platform centralizes tools for users, so providing a service promotes it to the mobile user community without needing to let everyone know about your new mobile site. It also provides opportunities for Brown content providers to team up with others to offer related services and information in a common space, reducing costs to individual departments, eliminating duplicated efforts, and redundant information.
An Opportunity for Campus Web Developers
The Brown mobile web site was built using the Kurogo fork of the MIT Mobile Framework. Interested developers can leverage the framework to help build flexible and easily-supported mobile web applications, and to offer them up to the Brown community through m.brown.edu.