Design Patterns #1

I'm always really curious to see what other schools come up with when designing their mobile solutions. I hope to share some of the more unique or interesting ones in a "Design Patterns" series. I've included three different takes in my first batch:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

The MIT mobile site is the granddaddy of a few mobile sites out there (including West Virginia University's). Nice that it degrades gracefully across multiple devices so that pretty much anyone can get at the data. It has an iPhone homescreen-like look for iPhone devices. Some might say that's not that original but I've found that there are very few ways of packing in a whole lot of sections into a very small amount of real estate. If a design functions well then use it. iPhone version on the left and smartphone version on the right.

University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame mobile site is based on the original v0.9 code from MIT. Obviously the main screen looks a bit different that what you see from other MIT-based sites. It was the first MIT-based site that I saw that I had worked in some nice original features like the open computer section and PrayerCast.

The University of Alabama

I saw the University of Alabama's mobile site pop-up on (an interesting site for ideas if you ignore the ratings which seem heavily skewed towards design houses). I really love the clean layout and theme for the site. I also like the clear branding that occurs throughout your use of the site. The choice to useĀ Google Static Maps even on the iPhone is interesting. I have to agree that the weight of the JavaScript even in the mobile optimized version 3 of Google Maps API does make it a hard choice to sometimes to include if you're looking to make the fastest/lightest site you can (which is sort of the definition of mobile). iPhone version on the left and smartphone version on the right.

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