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Widgets in Practice

Cloud created by:

Juliette Culver
25 November 2008

Presentation by Ross McLarnon, Youth Media

YouthWire - desktop widget platform running on 65000 PCs in 130+ education institution. Desktop first thing students see when log in, so important for communication.

Survey with students about widgets - calendar, calculator, favourite, notes, news, search - requested by students missing from desktop environment. calculator most commonly asked for! favourites - can't save favourite bookmarks on PC as move between PCs

Students can choose widgets and position. Stays same when log in again. Personalisation of desktop space.

Architecture diagram, each partner has local caching service

Went live October 08, 156000 unique PC users, 21000 used widgets, most popular University news, 68% registered users male, average age 22, 23% studying business and administration

Information available on intranet, but sometimes more useful on desktop

Planning to integrate with VLEs. Bespoke widget development (e.g. for univeristy's YouTube channels), get and grab widgets for social network spaces. Comes out of student portals not being used way had been hoped. Also widgets for mobile. Alchohol/drug awareness website promotion through widgets. Developed widget - if user wants to enter mobile number can deliver content to mobile.

Comment from audience - with java widgets, allowed personalisation but students lost stuff they wanted, lots of support, caused problems so locked down.

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