On your cell phone: Kent State’s Web site

Nicole Stempak

Popular content now available on mobile devices

Credit: DKS Editors

Kent State’s Web site is now mobile.

Three months ago, Kent State joined 16 colleges nationwide in subscribing to Usablenet Mobile Education. Useablenet is a unique service that assists companies and universities in creating a specialized version of their existing Web sites for BlackBerry, Treo, iPhone, PDAs and web-based cell phones, according to the company’s Web site.

The content is optimized for a small screen and is selected by Kent State based on which features users would access most, said Nick Taylor, Useablenet vice president of business development.

Kent State signed a yearlong agreement with UseIblenet for $9,600, which was funded through Information Services.

“It’s a very simple solution for students or faculty with mobile devices to access Kent State’s Web content in a format that’s optimized for that device,” Taylor said.

Kent State’s decision to subscribe to Usablenet is in response to consumer trends.

“More and more people have mobile devices and are checking their electronic communications on the fly; we are trying to meet those needs,” said Lin Danes, manager of Web content services and electronic communication for university communication and marketing.

Marla O’Neal, senior electronic media major, said she’s never had a problem using Kent State’s mobile site from her BlackBerry. But compared to other news Web sites, it’s “fairly basic,” she said.

“It’s pretty plain – just the logo and a couple links like dining and menus and directions and maps,” she said.

Justin Yelling, sophomore criminal justice major, thinks the mobile Web site is easy to navigate from his Treo.

“I forgot the date of the (Third Eye Blind) concert and was away from a computer,” he said. “So I just looked it up on the mobile Web site,” he said.

While Yelling said it’s a nice service, there are “certain things you can’t do, like check your e-mail,” he said.

Danes said accessing FlashLine is not possible, yet.

“We’re still in the very early stages of this project, so we’re still identifying other opportunities, and access to FlashLine would be one of them,” Danes said.

Contact general assignment reporter Nicole Stempak at [email protected].