Are Library Services Ready for the Mobile Web?

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  • 1. The Mobile Web Are Library Services Ready? Kevin Reiss Office of Library Services kevin.reiss@mail.cuny.edu 10/5/09 LACUNY Emerging Technologies Committee Meeting
  • 2. Is this the mobile web?
  • 3. Outline ● What is the mobile web? – User trends – Devices ● How do our current services perform on it? – Informal Evaluation ● What are our options? – Strategies for effective web design – What we can do now
  • 4. Mobile Web Use is Skyrocketing ● Mobile devices are fast becoming the most common computing tools. ● Pew surveys on Internet life say mobile computing will the dominant form of computing within 10 years. ● “Cloud” services will become more important ● Mobile Computing and Cloud Computing mean more 24/7 computing ● Web design practices need to be reconsidered
  • 5. Mobile Services and Younger Users ● 71 % of teenagers use a mobile device to access the web – Pew Survey on Internet Life ● 1700 text messages a month for teenagers in 2008 – Nielson Mobile Survey ● Being networked during all waking hours seems to be where we are headed
  • 6. SMS Text Messaging ● Is this an important means of service or content delivery for libraries? ● Certainly Important for Information Sharing ● Some rudimentary support in today's library applications ● Text message reference
  • 7. The Devices – by OS ● Symbian (Nokia phones) ● Blackberry ● Iphone/IPod Touch (fastest growing group) ● Windows Mobile Devices ● Android Devices ● Palm
  • 8. Mobile vs. Desktop ● Current mobile use has been described as “snacking” in between time spent at a desktop or full-size laptop computer ● This distinction is blurring – Think netbooks – lightweight laptops – Tablet PCs ● Most immediately think smartphones
  • 9. Netbooks
  • 10. Tablets
  • 11. Or Many Devices?
  • 12. Repeat of the Browser Wars? ● Mobile devices are typically run using proprietary operating systems ● Innovative Interfaces has a library application [Airpac] for the Iphone and Blackberry – What about other devices? ● Blackberry, Iphone Windows Mobile ● Android – Open Source – Linux-based mobile Operated system
  • 13. Develop for Just One Device
  • 14. Android Open Development
  • 15. Not to be forgotten...Wireless Reading Device
  • 16. Kindle Native Interface
  • 17. Kindle Format? ● AZW – proprietary kindle reader format ● Also support html, .mobi, .txt ● PDF is not fully supported yet ● DRM is important in the mobile sphere ● Ebooks are only approximately 3% of the book market but are gaining acceptance ● Compare the “book-like” experience of the kindle with the experience our current library “eBooks” offer the user
  • 18. How will DRM fit in? A Major challenge facing eBook authors, publishers, and libraries
  • 19. Core Library Services on the Mobile Web ● Search and Discovery ● Content Delivery – E-books – Full-text content – Citation Managers ● Reference Services ● Course Reserves / Course Management Support ● General Information; hours, location, etc.
  • 20. Search ● Needs to get better and easier – Voice search will be important – Search by picture will too ● Better results display is needed ● Browsing Options need to be more readily available ● Catalogs – SMS – Mobile Friendly Display
  • 21. Search
  • 22. Catalog Search Example
  • 23. Kindle App on IPhone
  • 24. Kindle App Search Example
  • 25. Content Delivery ● Electronic Books – Lacking quite a bit.... ● Research Databases ● Citations ● Multimedia? ● How will “personal” mobile libraries evolve? – Think Itunes for books – Think Zotero/Refworks/Endnote for content
  • 26. Ebrary
  • 27. Kindle Library
  • 28. EBSCO Platform accessed on Iplatform (iPhone/iPod Touch)
  • 29. Reference Service ● How will do our online reference services work with the mobile web? ● CUNY is a member of the OCLC-based questionpoint service ● How did an attempted session turn out?
  • 30. Reference
  • 31. Refworks Mobile
  • 32. Informal Service Evaluation Results ● Searching catalog was very cumbersome ● Questionpoint – Couldn't successfully start a 24x7 Chat ● Ebrary – No mobile version available – Content display not impressive ● Refworks – Mobile version available ● EBSCO Databases – No mobile version available
  • 33. How do People Actually Use the Mobile Web? ● Currently characterized as snacking between desktop visits ● Time filler (the kindle on the train) ● As lines between devices blur this will change ● Mobile devices will in some cases become a user's primary interface to the Internet
  • 34. Options for making web services work with the mobile web ● Three levels of compatibility with mobile devices courtesy of http://web.simmons.edu/~fox/pda/cil1_09_fox_mo ● Standard; display the standard http website within the device ● Transcoded; run your current site through an emulator – – see skweezer.com for example ● Create a true mobile website – Number of encoding options exist for building a “native” mobile website
  • 35. Three Mobile Web Scenarios Standard Transcoded True Mobile
  • 36. Trancoding Service
  • 37. W3C Mobility Checker
  • 38. Evaluate how mobile-friendly your website is
  • 39. Transcoded CUNY Catalog
  • 40. Transcoded Search Results
  • 41. Create a true mobile web presence?
  • 42. The Mobile Campus
  • 43. Users find your mobile website with auto-discovery ● Same Mechanism as RSS auto-discovery ● <link> tag in an HTML page header ● Pick a Content Management System that can help you easily maintain a mobile version of your web content ● A number of different coding options are available to the mobile web developer ● Ask vendors if they provide a true mobile web version of their content
  • 44. Have a message inviting the mobile user appear to try your Mobile option
  • 45. Apps vs. Mobile Websites ● An app could be a killer application the way a browser toolbar could never be ● We have LibX toolbars, should we have an “iLib” application? – General purpose apps seem less useful – Apps are generally focused around a single application or service – Reference might a good “app” choice ● Connect the user directly to the service they want ● If you can get the user to install it
  • 46. Your App will share space with the following types of services If you can get the user to install it...
  • 47. The Amazon App for IPhone
  • 48. App Problems ● Develop for only one platform ● Develop for every platform ● Getting users to install it may be a problem ● Focus your app development around specific content or services – Search – Reference – Courseware/Course Reservers
  • 49. Is this a good choice?
  • 50. How do you make your library functional on the mobile web? ● Consider developing a mobile version of your core web services if possible ● Efficient search and effective content delivery will be key on the mobile web (look for support) ● Provide SMS support within: – Content discovery tools – Reference services ● Clean URLs Count
  • 51. Manage Your Web Content Wisely ● Choose a modern web Content Management System (CMS) system if possible ● You can afford to be nimble and make a good choice for web content management if this is a decision you can make within your library – Wordpress/Drupal good options ● A modern CMS will help you integrate your services into all aspects of today's web ● Benefits: – You won't have wait for someone to build SMS support into your tool – Someone is likely to have already created the feature you want
  • 52. Wordpress CMS Mobile Web Example
  • 53. Wordpress Mobile Plugin
  • 54. Utilize Best Practices in Web Content Management ● Use XHTML Strict ● Web-friendly Images ● Accessibility Standards ● Minimize tables ● Don't use tables for page layout ● Investigate requirements for wireless markup compatibility – If you might the above five points you will be more than halfway there already
  • 55. Implement a Mobile Catalog
  • 56. Wireless Friendly Websites ● Are maintenance friendly websites ● Choose CMS tools that produce clean HTML ● Choose CMS tools that may already include mobile support ● Cloud-type applications are likely easy to integrate into mobile services ● Think RSS, Calendars – Developers have already built tools to work with these standards
  • 57. Even MARC can make it to the Mobile Web...
  • 58. ADD SMS Support to Core Services
  • 59. SMS Example Cont.
  • 60. Clean URLs Count
  • 61. Are your web services ready for the mobile web? Test them
  • 62. We Need to move towards an: ● An infrastructure where our web services are easily adaptable to whatever devices users want to access them with ● What we can do: – Select local web content management platforms that help us do this – Select content that is broadly compatible with the devices our students use – Encourage vendors and content providers to include more mobile support in their services
  • 63. For More ● http://mobile-libraries.blogspot.com/ ● For a thorough overview of mobile issues from a library perspective see – http://web.simmons.edu/~fox/ ● Try to use some library services on a mobile device you've got available – It will be an eye-opener ● Think about content delivery on the mobile web – Learn about kindle and kindle compatible formats