Released: Feb 2015

Graduated: May 2017

JSTOR Snap is no longer operational. Much of its functionality was incorporated into Text Analyzer.

Snap a picture of any page of text and discover articles from JSTOR about the same topic. Providing a mobile research experience that isn’t just a stripped-down, small-screen version of desktop search, JSTOR Snap takes advantage of the unique qualities of your smart phone.

What we did:

  1. Evaluated OCR services and built core infrastructure. You can read about the technology powering Snap here.
  2. Conducted a flash build in a coffeeshop in Ann Arbor, iterating on the design and implementation of the site while guerilla testing with students and faculty coming into the shop (in exchange for a $5 coffee gift card). For more on this flash build, see this short video.
  3. Polished and released JSTOR Snap as an open prototype. JSTOR Snap was a web app, not a native app.

What we built:

What we learned:

  1. Mobile research experiences that we tested were better received when they didn't try to replicate the desktop experience but instead took advantage of the specific power and form factor of mobile devices.
  2. Users perform two distinct actions when looking at search results. First, they evaluate the set of results to assess their own search parameters and whether they are on the right track. Second, they review individual items returned. On a desktop, they can do that effectively in one screen/design, but in mobile, we chose to make this two distinct steps and designs.
  3. Users were intrigued by using material they had on hand, but sometimes that material was digital and would not work with Snap.