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Improving Your Library's Mobile Services


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ALA TechSource Online Workshop given on Apr. 27, 2016.

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Improving Your Library's Mobile Services

  1. 1. Improving Your Library’s Mobile Services Bohyun Kim Associate Director for Library Applications and Knowledge Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Health Sciences and Human Services Library | Twitter: @bohyunkim ALA Workshop on April 27, 2016
  2. 2. What We Will Cover Today 1. Today’s mobile landscape 2. Mobile user behavior 3. Library’s mobile websites from 2007 to 2016 4. Responsive web design 5. Ways to improve your library’s mobile services #alamobile
  3. 3. 1. Today’s Mobile Landscape Source: GSMA, “The Mobile Economy 2015”
  4. 4. In 2016 Worldwide “Global Feature Phone and Smartphone Shipments 2008-2020,” Statista, accessed April 18, 2016,
  5. 5. In 2016 North America Senior Vice President and BCG, “Northern American Feature Phone and Smartphone Shipments 2008- 2020,” Statista, accessed April 18, 2016, smartphone-shipment-forecast-in-north-america/.
  6. 6. Source: GSMA, “The Mobile Economy North America 2015”, 2015.
  7. 7. comScore, “2016 US Cross Platform Future in Focus” Platform-Future-in-Focus, 2016. U.S.
  8. 8. U.S. comScore, “2016 US Cross Platform Future in Focus” Platform-Future-in-Focus, 2016.
  9. 9. Back in 2013: 37 percent of our Internet time was spent on mobile. ComScore, 2013 Mobile Future in Focus, white paper (Reston, VA: comscore, February 2013), 12,
  10. 10. Now: 65 percent of our Internet time is spent on mobile. 35 65
  11. 11. comScore, “2016 US Cross Platform Future in Focus” Platform-Future-in-Focus, 2016.
  12. 12. The Significance of the Mobile Web  “The mobile Web is no longer an inferior or a complementary means of accessing the Web. It is a competitor to the desktop Web and will soon be accessed by more people than the desktop Web. The mobile Web has now surpassed the desktop Web as the most used digital platform. Considering this situation, offering only a basic set of information and features on the mobile Web is no longer a viable strategy.” (p.13) Bohyun Kim, The Library Mobile Experience: Practices and User Expectations, Library Technology Report 49(6), ALA TechSource, 2013.
  13. 13. 2. Mobile User Behavior
  14. 14. comScore, “The 2016 US Cross Platform Future in Focus,” Platform-Future-in-Focus, 2016. U.S.
  15. 15. (a) More Mobile-only & Multi-platform Users  Mobile-only internet usage is becoming more prevalent, driven largely by the 21 percent of Millennials who are no longer using desktop computers to go online.  More than 3/4ths of all digital consumers (age 18+) are now using both desktop and mobile platforms to access the internet, up from 68 percent a year ago.  Meanwhile, the 55-years-and-older consumer segment is actually the fastest growing faction of mobile users. comScore, “The 2015 US Digital Future in Focus,” Future-in-Focus, 2015.
  16. 16. (b) Heavier Mobile Data Usage Driven by Ubiquitous 4G Connection Source: GSMA, “The Mobile Economy North America 2015”, 2015.
  17. 17. (c) Increase in Mobile Traffic from Video  Cisco forecasts that total mobile traffic driven by video will grow nine times between 2014 and 2019, or at a 54% CAGR (compound annual growth rate).  As a proportion of traffic, video will increase to 75% of total data in 2019, compared to 60% in 2014. Source: GSMA, “The Mobile Economy 2015”
  18. 18. comScore, “Mobile Internet Usage Skyrockets in Past 4 Years to Overtake Desktop as Most Used Digital Platform,” Overtake-Desktop-as-Most-Used-Digital-Platform, 2015.
  19. 19. (d) Growing Digital Media Consumption as a Whole  While most of the growth in digital media consumption over 2010-2014 has occurred on smartphones (up 394 percent) and tablets (up 1,721 percent), these mobile platforms are not eating into aggregate time spent on desktop.  Digital media consumption on the desktop platform has also grown 37 percent since 2010.  Americans engage with screens during more occasions throughout the day than ever before. comScore, “The 2015 US Digital Future in Focus,” Future-in-Focus, 2015.
  20. 20. U.S. comScore, “2016 US Cross Platform Future in Focus” Cross-Platform-Future-in-Focus, 2016
  21. 21. comScore, “The 2015 U.S. Mobile App Report,” Whitepapers/2015/The-2015-US-Mobile-App-Report, 2015 U.S.
  22. 22. U.S. comScore, “2016 US Cross Platform Future in Focus” and-Whitepapers/2016/2016-US-Cross-Platform-Future-in-Focus, 2016
  23. 23. comScore, “2016 US Cross Platform Future in Focus” Cross-Platform-Future-in-Focus, 2016
  24. 24. Monica Anderson, “Technology Device Ownership: 2015,” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, October 29, 2015, In the U.S., 45% of all Americans now own a tablet.
  25. 25. (e) Decline in the Ownership of Some Digital Devices  Smartphones are transforming into all-purpose devices that can take the place of specialized technology, such as music players, e-book readers and gaming devices.  This explains why those ages 18-29, ownership of MP3 players and computers has declined by double digits in the past five years. In 2010, three-quarters of 18- to 29-year-olds owned an MP3 player; by 2015, only half (51%) had one.  There is a similar pattern with computer ownership. Today, 78% of adults under 30 own a laptop or desktop computer, compared with 88% who did so in 2010 . Monica Anderson, “Technology Device Ownership: 2015,” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, October 29, 2015,
  26. 26. Aaron Smith, “U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015,” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, April 1, 2015, 2015/. U.S.
  27. 27. (f) Are Mobile Users in a Rush?  Not always but they expect the mobile Web to be as fast and usable as the desktop Web.  “People are turning to their smartphones more to utilize their downtime than to meet some urgent need and users are not always in a huge rush when they are using their smartphones.” (p.11)  “People are willing to and actually do turn to their mobile devices for a longer time than just a few minutes and for tasks that can be complicated.” (p.12) Bohyun Kim, The Library Mobile Experience: Practices and User Expectations, Library Technology Report 49(6), ALA TechSource, 2013.
  28. 28.
  29. 29. Categories of Mobile Use  Lookup/Find (urgent info, local): I need an answer to something now – frequently related to my current location in the world.  Explore/Play (bored, local): I have some time to kill and just want a few idle time distractions.  Check In/Status (repeat/micro-tasking): Something important to me keeps changing or updating and I want to stay on top of it.  Edit/Create (urgent change/micro-tasking): I need to get something done now that can’t wait. Luke Wroblewski, Mobile First (New York: A Book Apart, 2011), p. 50.
  30. 30. Mobile Consumer Behavior  There’s a persistent myth that mobile users are always distracted, on the go, “info snacking” in sessions of 10 seconds. That’s certainly part of the mobile experience, but not the whole story. Mobile isn’t just “mobile”. It’s also the couch, the kitchen, the three-hour layover, all places where we have time and attention to spare. 42 percent of mobile users say they use it for entertainment when they’re bored. Those aren’t 10-second sessions. That means we shouldn’t design only for stunted sessions or limited use cases. Josh Clark, “Nielsen Is Wrong on Mobile,” .Net Magazine, April 12, 2012, opinions/nielsen-wrong-mobile.
  31. 31. The Second Screen Stephan Marais, “The Rise of the Multi-Screen Phenomenon,” Mediavision, June 5, 2013,
  32. 32. Mobile Device Use For a Prolonged Period Danielle Bulger, “smartphone owners: A Ready and Willing Audience,” Compete Pulse blog, March 12, 2010,
  33. 33. Mobile First, Literally  Mobile has quickly moved from being just another way to consume content to a platform that helps us accomplish more all day, every day. 65 35 comScore, “Mobile Internet Usage Skyrockets in Past 4 Years to Overtake Desktop as Most Used Digital Platform,” in-Past-4-Years-to-Overtake-Desktop-as-Most-Used-Digital-Platform, 2015.
  34. 34. Don’t Dumb Things Down on Mobile  “There are, of course, differences based on mobile and desktop usage patterns; but the core value of a web service remains the same across both formats and beyond. In fact, you’ll quickly find your customers will expect to do just about everything (within reason) on mobile. Especially those who primarily (or only) use their mobiles to get online. So don’t dumb things down on mobile—focus on what really matters most anywhere people can access your website.” Luke Wroblewski, Mobile First (New York: A Book Apart, 2011), p. 22.
  35. 35. 617/the-future-of-work/the-future- of-microsoft-office-many-apps- many-interfaces-many- devices?partner=rss
  36. 36. (g) We Spend More Time with Our Smart-phone than Our Partner.  While the average British smartphone owner spends 97 minutes a day with their nearest and dearest, they spend 119 minutes – just shy of two hours – on their phones. Mobile Life Report by O2/Samsung (2013), dear-im-on-my-phone.
  37. 37. or-phone-snubbing-can-kill-your-romantic-relationship/
  38. 38. Internet on Maslow’s Pyramid
  39. 39. Share & Discuss in Chat! Do you notice any interesting or new behavior by mobile device users that can be relevant to libraries? What is it & how is it relevant? Any questions or comments for the presenter or fellow workshop attendees so far?
  40. 40. 3. Library Mobile Websites  In the past, mobile-optimized websites were separate from desktop websites and included limited information such as the library’s hours, contact information, etc.  They were miniaturized versions of the full desktop websites just for mobile device users.  Since then, most library websites have been redesigned to be responsive, making separate mobile-optimized websites obsolete.
  41. 41. Example of a Non-Responsive Website
  42. 42. Harvard Libraries – 2010, 2012, 2013, 2016
  43. 43.
  44. 44. Auto-Redirect to the Mobile Site
  45. 45. CSU Pomona Library Mobile Website – 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2016
  46. 46. 2016
  47. 47. University of Minnesota Libraries – 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2016
  48. 48. 2016
  49. 49. VCU Libraries – 2013 and 2016
  50. 50. NCSU Libraries Mobile Website - 2007, 2012, 2013, and 2016
  51. 51. 2016
  52. 52. 2013 & 2016 - Search Boxes Are Staying
  53. 53. Richland Library
  54. 54. Today’s Library Mobile Websites  There is no longer a substantial difference between a mobile website and a desktop website.  Rather, one library website is served with the layout that renders the site best on the platform of a user’s choice.  And that is achieved by making the library website responsive.
  55. 55. 4. Responsive Web Design (RWD)  A responsive website is the one that responds to and adjusts itself to a different size of a device screen, on which the website is viewed.  The term, “responsive web design,” has become popular from the article that a web designer and developer Ethan Marcottee wrote in 2010.  The goal of responsive web design is to make a web page look equally well regardless of the screen size of a device. Ethan Marcotte, “Responsive Web Design,” A List Apart, May 25, 2010,
  56. 56. RWD - Benefits  Offers the full content for mobile device users.  No need to locate the mobile version link or remember the separate URL for the mobile version (if there is no auto-direct in place).  Nor the hassle to toggle between the mobile site and the desktop site.  The goal is to offer all library services available regardless of the platform a patron is using, in a manner that is easy to navigate and intuitive to use.
  57. 57. What Makes RWD Responsive?  A flexible, grid-based layout  Flexible images  Media queries  Always design for mobile first, and then for desktop.
  58. 58. Comparison Bohyun Kim, The Library Mobile Experience: Practices and User Expectations, Library Technology Report 49(6), ALA TechSource, 2013.
  59. 59. (i) RWD - Common Problem 1  An extremely long page filled with too many navigation items, links, and more links.
  60. 60. Streamlinecontent
  61. 61. (i) RWD - Common Problem 2  Responsive sites usually do not give users an option to go back to the full desktop website.  For those who are familiar with the existing library website and know exactly where to go and get the information they want, the automatic change in the website layout on a small-screen device can be disorienting and confusing.
  62. 62. Opt-out Option by Developers  Provide an option for mobile device users to opt out of responsive design by removing or changing the viewport meta tag.  Examples:  “Should Users Be Forced into a Responsive Design (without the Ability to Opt Out)?,” Stack Exchange - UX, May 1, 2012, responsive-design-without-the-ability-to-opt-out .  Chris Coyier, “Opt-Out Responsive Design?,” CSS-Tricks, September 12, 2012,  BeverlyH, “Opting Out of Responsive Design (choosing desktop layouts on mobile),” Dynamic Drive Blog, April 16, 2015, Design-%28choosing-desktop-layouts-on-mobile%29
  63. 63. Opt-out Option by Users “How to Disable the Mobile Version of a Website on Your Phone” phone/
  64. 64. (i) RWD - Common Problem 3 Brad Frost, “Separate Mobile Website Vs. Responsive Website,” Smashing Magazine, August 22, 2012, smackdown/. A typical page - 687 KB and loaded in about 8.75 seconds. A typical page - 4.2 MB and took whopping 25 seconds to load.
  65. 65.
  66. 66. RWD Resources and Tools  Bootstrap  JQuery Mobile  Ethan Marcotte, “Responsive Web Design,” A List Apart, May 25, 2010,  Matthew Reidsma, Responsive Web Design for Libraries: A LITA Guide, American Library Association, 2014.  Matthew Reidsma, “Responsive Web Design for Libraries: Beyond the Mobile Web,” in Mobile Library Services: Best Practices, ed. Charles Harmon and Michael Messina (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013), 79– 94.
  67. 67. Share & Discuss in Chat! Is your library mobile website and other related library systems responsive? If so, what are some of the issues your library is experiencing in terms of providing good library service to mobile device users in the library website or beyond? What are some of the projects your library is planning for in order to address those issues?
  68. 68. 5. Improve Your Library’s Mobile Services (a) Responsive Website
  69. 69. (b) Library Catalog
  70. 70.
  71. 71. (c) Databases, eBooks, e-Journals
  72. 72. (d) eBooks & Audiobooks
  73. 73. (e) Discovery Layer
  74. 74. (f) Authentication & Full-Text View
  75. 75. (g) My Account & Interlibrary Loan
  76. 76. (h) Course Reserves
  77. 77. (i) Chat & Room Reservation
  78. 78. (j) Digital Collections
  79. 79. (k) App Recommendations 176092&p=1158704
  80. 80.
  81. 81. (l) Native Apps congressional-record/id492077075
  82. 82. (m) Mobile Device Checkout
  83. 83. (n)Telepresence Robots
  84. 84.
  85. 85. (o) Wi-Fi Hotspot Lending fi_hotspot_device
  86. 86.
  87. 87. (p) Mobile Payment
  88. 88. (q) Indoor Map
  89. 89. (r) Indoor Navigation  An app developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides location-based recommendations using the user’s mobile device signal and beacons. Source: James F. Hahn, “Indoor Positioning Services & Location Based Recommendations,” March 10, 2016, presented at the Code4Lib 2016 Conference, dle/2142/89471.
  90. 90. (s) Full Wireless Coverage
  91. 91. (t) Charging Station
  92. 92. Today’s Mobile Web  The mobile Web is now the most popular platform for accessing the Web.  All tasks available in the desktop Web should be supported on the mobile Web.  And more should be offered based upon the features only available on the mobile device.  Improving library’s mobile services is now all about providing better mobile user experience as a whole.  Focus on how mobile devices user can have the best user experience inside a library building as well as in a library website and associated systems.
  93. 93. A Wish-list from 2009  Being able to search the library catalog on the mobile device.  Request or place an item on hold from their phone.  Customizable options and personalized information from the library regarding their library account and other services such as:  Contacted by text messaging when a requested library item was available for pickup or when a material was nearing its due date.  Text message reminders about upcoming library appointments.  Being able to customize their mobile web experience such as:  Being able to pick their favorite databases or choose their own top ten links to see on a mobile Website  A library building guide and an explanation of the call number system.  Text or have a live chat with a librarian about a research question or how to cite a source. Jamie Seeholzer and Joseph A. Salem, “Library on the Go: A Focus Group Study of the Mobile Web and the Academic Library,” College & Research Libraries 72, no. 1 (2011), 15-19.
  94. 94. Mobile Access to Libraries Surges  Compared with Pew surveys from recent years, fewer Americans 16 and older reported visiting a library, bookmobile, or library website in the last 12 months.  But, among those who have used a public library website, 50% accessed it in the past 12 months using a mobile device such as a tablet computer or smartphone – up from 39% in 2012. John B. Horrigan, “Libraries at the Crossroads,” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech, September 15, 2015, Andrew Albanese, “Pew Survey: Traditional Library Visits Dip; Mobile Access Surges,” PUblishers Weekly, September 15, 2015, traditional-library-visits-dip-mobile-access-surges.html
  95. 95. Library First, Mobile Second
  96. 96. To Summarize,  RWD for library content, systems, and services o The library website, catalog (OPAC), e-books & audiobooks, full-text databases, articles, e-journal list, and digital collections o Authentication, ‘My account’ management, course reserves, interlibrary loan, room/computer reservation, chat reference for mobile users, etc.  Create and sustain great user experience for browsing, checking out, and reading e-book/audiobooks on a mobile device.
  97. 97. To Summarize, (continued)  Mobile device & Wi-Fi hotspot device lending service  Recommend and introduce useful apps for library users.  Develop native apps, if appropriate and possible.  Look out for new services for mobile users. o Telepresence robot, mobile payment, indoor map, indoor navigation, mobile notification text alerts, gamification, etc.  Wireless coverage / charging station / more power outlets  Marketing and communication for mobile users
  98. 98. Questions / Comments? Twitter: @bohyunkim Blog: