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Inside Mobile Design and User Experience

Thoughts on mobile and social business applications, design, and user experience, by Chris Reckling.

The June releases of the Connections mobile apps for iOS and Android include server configurations that allow the administrator to add and remove links that appear on the app Home screen. If you're an admin, you can read about the details in this wiki article. This article will show you some examples of what it can be, using the iPhone as an example. It works the same way across platforms.

First, here is the app Home screen as it appears when all the Connections services are enabled.
Image:Extending the Connections Mobile Apps

This first example changes a number of things, based on the mobile config settings.
1.        The app name at the top is changed to "One Greenwell". You might do this if you've named your internal Connections deployment something other than "Connections". Alas, the name on the app store and the device home screens is still "Connections".
2.        I renamed 2 of the Connections services. I changed "Activities" to "Projects" and "Bookmarks" to "Dogear".
3.        I hid "Wikis" from the navigation. You might do this if you don't want certain of the services to be available on the mobile devices. (I also did it because I can't scroll down to show everything in these static pictures.)
4.        I added an entry to open the Sametime app. This uses the command url - sametime:// - and simply launches the app as if you had done it from the device home screen.
Here is what my first customized home screen looks like.
Image:Extending the Connections Mobile Apps

In this next example, I put Activities and Bookmarks back to their proper names and added a link to search IBM on Twitter. (Note: you should URL encode the urls you provide in the mobile config file.) I used something like this:  "". Tapping this link opens an embedded browser with the URL. You would use this same technique to open ANY web page. For example, if you have an internal Help Desk page or similar info you want to get into user's hands. (Of course, there is no guarantee they will actually tap on the entry!)

Image:Extending the Connections Mobile Apps      Image:Extending the Connections Mobile Apps

That's it for today. Let us know how it is going or other ideas you might have to use this new feature. We'll be showing some more examples as the apps are updated for Connections 4.

Chris Reckling
Mobile UX
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Chris Reckling | 17 September 2012 01:00:00 PM ET |

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