Friday, September 17, 2010

World Congress By Smart Phone

The organisers of the World Computer Congress 2010 have provided a service for delegates with smart phones. This gives conference information about sessions, locations and times. The service also allows delegates to comment on sessions in a Twitter-like way. Each speaker was issued with an account so they can upload questions for their audience. The "Live Zone" for my presentation is now active (4PTR1200, 12 noon 23 September). This has a "Shout Box" for Twitter like comments, Speaker Polls (where I can ask questions) and "Presentation Evaluation Form" (where the audience can rate me). This is a good idea, but there are a few problems with the implementation.

What do I ask delegates?

When giving a presentation I don't usually expect to ask the audience questions: I expect them to ask me questions. Ideally the presentation is provided in advance, so delegates at read it and ask questions I can answer on the day (my presentation on Green ICT is online). So I will need a little more guidance as to what questions I can ask the audience.

Accessible Mobile Web Design

The mobile service for WCC2010 is separate to the main web site. I can understand the logic behind this, with the mobile service mainly for people at the event and introduced shortly before the opening of the congress. It would be very difficult to redo the entire web site a few days before the event to fit on a mobile phone. However, if designed for mobile access in the first place the main web site could have been a better design for everyone with a desktop browser, as well as being usable during the event on a smart phone.

The mobile site is in HTML5 (I checked it with the W3C Markup Validation service). Unfortunately it had some accessibility problems when tested with the TAW automated accessibility test: eight Priority 1, two Priority 2 and one Priority 3. Also it appears to have an excessive number of images for a small simple mobile page. The page scored only 70% on the W3C Mobile OK Checker. That is not a good score for a web page designed specifically for mobile phones.

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