Fort Vancouver Mobile - A video overview

Courtesy of: Research Assistant Aaron May of Washington State University Vancouver's Creative Media and Digital Culture program. Produced in 2011.

Video highlights from the apps (36-minute version)

This montage provides a sampling of some of the video media in the Fort Vancouver Mobile apps. This app is much more than just a video distribution system, but these videos show the variety of content, from expositional segments to new journalism to those intended to prompt the development of interactive narratives.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Next round of FVM app slides

Lead designer Marsha Matta has created the next round of slides to consider for the launch of the FVM app in June. ... Here are the images, with issues for discussions raised below.


We have been using typography embedded on images, which looks fine, but that approach does not allow for ADA accessibility, because the web page readers cannot determine what on the image is text and what is not. So our plan is to place the text separately on the images, through HTML, which the readers can pick up. Yet that creates a new problem, of which font to use. Here is a list of all of the universal fonts that most machines can translate directly. None of them are particularly attractive. In earlier versions, we have tested a variety of sans-serif fonts (because those are easier to read at smaller sizes), including Tahoma, Arial and Trebuchet. Here is a look at Helvetica and Georgia (a serifed font):

Of all of the versions we have seen (thanks for your patience, Marsha!), I think Helvetica looks like the best fit. Anyone disagree? Comments? ...

Launcher icon:

We continue to refine the launcher icon ideas, going from the bastion and outside views, to the more metaphoric idea of the palisade and gate as a portal through which visitors will walk.

I'm thinking that the launcher icon should lead to the opening screen, which are developing below. ... I have mixed feelings about the open gate versus the closed gate. I like the idea of an open gate as welcoming, but I also like the closed gate image as something that needs to be opened and stepped through, so that's the place in which I lean at this moment. Thoughts?

Opening screens:

Although we only show a static image below, these opening screens actually are quick animations of the gate swinging open, with other details in movement as well. I really like the textures and colors that Marsha has developed in these images over time. What do you think of them?

Kanaka module:

New images developing the look of the Kanaka module

Kane module:

Alternative opening screens for the Kane module

New Twitter-like screen alternatives:

Again, a typography question ...

And one other integral screen under development, to show prompts:

Comments on any of these are encouraged and appreciated. Just post below.


  1. I like it all, my comments have to do more with logistics.

    These images are perfect sizes for iPhones and a number of Android devices (320x480), but won't quite work for all Android devices (not to mention tablets, but I don't think we need to worry about those yet).

    As long as the original image sources are made in a high quality / resolution size (like above 1280 pixels wide) with the following aspect ratios, then I'll be able to size them properly for various devices:

    2:3 - this covers the standard iPhone 320x480 resolution as well as the new high res 640x960 and other devices with the same ratio

    9:16 - this covers a lot of common Android phones, like the Droid 2, Droid X

    10:16 - this covers a lot of newer phones, with 1280x800 displays, though we might be able to just get away with using 9:16 images here?

    2:3 and 9:16 are going to be the most common devices, so we should have those at least.

  2. This is Kapuanani:

    Looks good!

    I think it is best to stick with a standard sanserif font like Helvetica or Arial. I'm a Trebuchet fan for websites, but on a small device - san serif is the way to go.

    For the twitter-like feed especially, the Papyrus font is very hard to read and even more so when condensed. I recommend sticking with a standard text throughout unless it's for a header or logo. (Papyrus is way overused).

    Like you Brett, I also like the closed gate idea and think it would look good to then open to the Klahowya welcome text.

    Also be sure to make sure the justification on text and headers remains consistent. Center, Right, Left, etc.