Mobile Reporter is a tool to support young people report on local stories of importance to them in their local area. Young people receive a story brief via sms message and are given a 24 deadline to get the story. They use their mobile phones to record text, photographs and video and audio interviews and other footage. They then use a desktop computer to write and structure a multimedia story.
Tools:Dojo, SMS gateway, Mobile Phones
Deliverables: Capture/Analyse System
Many young people come to the clubhouse to learn about computers but more so to get involved in personally meaningful projects. One thing the members of the clubhouse are keen is talking about their area. Mobile Reporter was an attempt to provide a scaffold for them to report on things going on in the local area and bring these artifacts into the clubhouse so they could structure them into a story. A secondary motivation was to provide an evaluation of a similar therapeutic system, My Mobile Story, by using it in a similar context with individuals from similar backgrounds to the target users.
Mobile Reporter underwent usability evaluations over a 3 week period with 8 participants. These involved 3 distinct stages. The first stage was an initial usability task that participants completed individually under observation. The second stage took place between meetings in the clubhouse. Participants were sent 'missions' to their mobile phones which gave them a story to report on and a deadline by which they had to reply. Finally, the third stage took place in the club and involved them constructing a story on a desktop computer using the Mobile Reporter software and all their collected content. They were observed writing these stories and then completed a post-evaluation usability questionnaire.
Mobile Reporter provided young people with a way of bringing their outside life into the clubhouse and to structure it in personally meaningful ways. Furthermore, it helped assess the practicality, usability and appeal of a therapeutic system before clinical use.