Hooper Jennifer bat app aFrom assignment to App Store in five months: After creating a demo version in her New Media class, UMaine Intermedia student Jennifer Hooper teams up with NMD alum Justin Russell to release a Community Connector mobile app for local riders.

Hooper first floated the idea for a Bangor Area Transit bus finder last October in The Pool as an assignment for a U-Me class in networks and creativity. Her description detailed eight features the app should have. Encouraged by overwhelmingly positive reviews from Pool users, she used skills learned in her New Media class to build a prototype in HTML and CSS that demonstrated its potential.

Hooper Jennifer bat app cWhen Hooper approached Sephone Interactive in Bangor, her demo caught the eye of Kelly Cotiaux and her coworker Russell, a New Media alumnus who just happened to work on The Pool as an undergrad. Russell worked with Hooper to build a native version for the iPhone and Android phone, which you can download for free from communityconnector.sephone.com.

From the Sephone blog:

Hooper Jennifer bat app bUniversity of Maine graduate student Jennifer Hooper approached Sephone Interactive Media with the idea of a mobile application to make bus information more accessible. “When I started riding the bus from Bangor to Orono in September, I found it slow to navigate to the online bus schedule from my phone, and I kept misplacing my printed schedules. So I created a prototype for the app in one of my classes. Sephone transformed my ideas into a real app that benefits the Bangor community. That’s the best part.”

“This first version of the Community Connector app puts information about our area’s great buses at your fingertips,” says Justin Russell, a developer at Sephone and graduate of the University of Maine. “We really liked Jennifer’s idea, and we wanted to help the community by building a tool to promote the Bangor region’s growing bus system.”

Keep an eye out for Hooper’s tutorial on how to style HTML for a mobile device–featuring her prototype for the Community Connector–when U-Me New Media launches its “just-in-time” learning resource later this year.

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