Kaplan Mobile: A Case Study In Mobile Content Delivery And Data-focused Product Development

Maureen McMahon (Kaplan Publishing), Jeff Olson (Kaplan Test Prep)
Market Broadway North
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Jeff Olson, Vice President, Research and Analytics for Kaplan Test Prep, and Maureen McMahon, President & Publisher for Kaplan Publishing, will discuss the company’s challenges and successes in building Kaplan Mobile, an iOS application that delivers free digital versions of course content to registered Kaplan students and retail customers. The session will focus on how publishers can build strategic mobile delivery platforms (iOS and otherwise) which not only provide value to their customers, but are a source of data. This data not only offers insight into customer behavior, but permits companies to plan strategies for product development and improvement based on real world usage of their products. Using the recently released Kaplan Mobile as a case study, Olson and McMahon will present the data collected during the application’s initial testing phase, and how that data influenced the product’s lifecycle.

Mobile applications, native, web, and hybrid, are an attractive product for publishers to offer to their customers. As more and more readers turn to mobile and tablet devices for content, publishers are increasingly pressured to find mobile and tablet computing solutions that fit their needs.

As publishers begin to oversee software development with these applications, there are many new considerations that must be made in terms of User Experience, content and feature set appropriateness, and strategic development.

In this session, Jeff Olson and Maureen McMahon will discuss the company’s challenges and successes in building Kaplan Mobile, an iOS application that delivers free digital versions of course content to registered Kaplan students and retail customers.

The session will review how the project evolved from an application focused on features to one accomplishes a simple, yet necessary task: content delivery. McMahon will explain why publishing companies should focus on enabling customers to access their most valuable asset, content, and build out an ecosystem that allows for agile functionality development. Presenting data from user behavior and actual testing results, Olson will explain how Kaplan Mobile was built to aggregate this data and he will share an analysis on how users are integrating digital course materials into their study plans.

The presentation will detail the technology beneath the application and how Kaplan is using the application as a data aggregator to further understand how students are using digital study materials and how that information can be used to drive future features and new applications.

Photo of Maureen McMahon

Maureen McMahon

Kaplan Publishing

Maureen McMahon is president and publisher of Kaplan Publishing, one of the nation’s leading publishers of academic and professional resources in print and digital formats. In addition to overseeing content production, delivery, and management for Kaplan Test Prep course and retail products, she oversees Kaplan Labs, an initiative that focuses on the potential for emerging technologies to improve learning outcomes; Kaplan Mobile; and EPUB 3 product development.

Prior to joining Kaplan in 2006, she was vice president and publisher of the Kaplan imprint at Simon & Schuster, and held several positions at Random House, including publisher of The Princeton Review, associate publisher of Villard Books, and director of national accounts.

Photo of Jeff Olson

Jeff Olson

Kaplan Test Prep

Jeff Olson is Vice President of Customer Research for Kaplan Test
Prep. Olson specializes in tracking the education marketplace using
online and telephone surveys, longitudinal tracking surveys, and
pricing and promotional studies.

Olson’s surveys and commentary have appeared in hundreds of U.S.
periodicals, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall
Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and Newsweek. He was
profiled in the Washington Business Journal newspaper in July, 2006.
Olson was educated at the College of William & Mary and trained in
survey design & data analysis at George Washington University.

  • Publishers Weekly
  • Ingram Content Group
  • codeMantra
  • Impelsys Inc.
  • SPi Global
  • Baker & Taylor
  • Blackboard
  • Bowker
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Innodata
  • Jouve North America
  • MarkLogic
  • Newgen KnowledgeWorks
  • Océ North America
  • Temis
  • Aptara
  • Atex
  • LibreDigital
  • Media Services Group
  • MarkLogic
  • Smashwords, Inc.

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at scordesse@oreilly.com

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