Designer's Corner

Triad Design Director, Cayce, Speaks About the Ordo App

The Paulist Press Ordo App, now in its fith year, continues to improve in development
 as a cleverly crafted & constructed Mobile App & E-Book Hybrid.

The 2015 Ordo App is the culmination of a four year endeavor to refine the mobile application originally designed in 2009 to make available the same body of liturgical information Paulist Press has been providing for priests and Catholic leaders in printed form for decades. The app spent its first three years solely as an Apple platform app, finally making it into the Android realm with the 2014 version, where it has since enjoyed increasing usage and popularity.

Intended to represent the printed version as closely as possible, the user is able to choose a date of information, go to that date, where the first screen presented represents the right hand page of the printed Ordo, the Liturgical Calendar data. While on that screeen, the user is able to tap a button in the upper right corner giving access to the Necrology & Memorials area. This area, as most users of the printed version are already aware, varies from one diocesan region to the next, of which there are 29 represented in the Ordo App.

The basic functionality of the app is that when the user downloads the app for the first time, it is at no charge, a well laid out carrier for information to be accessed and loaded into. On initial launch, the user is shown a welcome screen and offered a link through which a selection of regions will be found. The user navigates through that linkage to be in the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store environment where a selection can be made among the 29 regions. Regions are named for their primary city, such as Atlanta, covering large section of Georgia and Alabama, or Chicago, covering northern Illinois. The user is able to download as many regions as might be needed, priests & other leaders often working in multiple areas.

The challenges presented by the app were great and had mostly to do with its unique architectural character. Where most app concepts are such that allow extensive usage of preformed, pre-coded widgets in the Apple or Google authoring environment, the Ordo app was an outside-the-box concept from the start, one that makes use of only one prefabricated appliance: a date selector widget.

I've got some interesting challenges ahead for 2016, responding to some great feedback from the field. I'm looking forward to fully downloaded content rather than live database streaming, and also a left-to-right screen swipe function that will allow neighboring dates to be accessed without going back into the date search screen.

The Paulist Press Ordo App has been an exciting project, Paulist Press has been a wonderful group to be part of, and we're all looking forward to other similar projects in the future.

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