PNS Mobile Webmail

The project

This one month project consisted in the conception of a mobile version of school's webmail, optimised and thought for touch-screen devices, like tablets and smartphones. The idea came from our irritation while trying to access the webmail page from a small touch-screen device. Although we were used to import our mails into a native application our to redirect them to a mobile web application like GMail, a survey showed that more than 50% of students reading their mails on their smartphone or tablet were using the standard webmail, even if really uncomfortable.

After a study of existing solutions, our team of 4 students developped a "mobile webmail" based on a MVC architecture with PHP, on top of which we created a user interface designed for touch devices and smartphones. To manage this, we relied on the Mobile jQuery framework, providing a nice API to create such interfaces and dynamic touch-gestures like swipe (sliding your finger on the screen, like the unlock gesture well known from iOS users), finger-scrolling, etc. We also took care of content accessibility and information display, in order to make useful information quickly reachable, clearly displayed and easily readable.

Our solution is still online, used by students and Polytech teachers and administrative staff. It can totally be reused for any other webmail platform, since it only requires some configuration changes to be deployed on another server and connected to another mail server.