HGR – Hi, we’re members of the OSU Libraries mobile team. ==++
HGRToday, we’re going to share some work we’ve been doing as part of a larger effort to update our mobile website. So as part of the mobile libraries team, Laurie and I try to stay up-to-date on trends and research in mobile libraries and mobile technology. So we’ll begin by talking about where the mobile landscape is at currently in terms of demographics and trends. We stay on top of trends in large part so that we can maintain a relevant and useful mobile version of our website, so we’ll talk about that as well. As part of our attempts to monitor research in the mobile field, one surprising thing we’ve noticed is how little research was coming out regarding mobile library usability testing. Much has been written about the usability testing of desktop library sites and the difficulties that users have with library terminology on websites, but we weren’t seeing the same trend in mobile library sites beyond a study out of Portland State last year and some tips on how one might do some basic mobile usability testing. So we decided to see what we could learn from doing some more extensive usability testing on our own site. We’ll talk about that survey, some other ways that we monitor how our site is being used, such as analytics, and how that information informs our upcoming site redesign.
First, I have a question for all of you. How many of you have a library website that is in some way optimized for viewing on a mobile device? How many of you are directly involved in the development of your mobile site?Great, I just wanted to get an idea of who is in the audience today and your familiarity with mobile media. Recently, the popular media has been discussing the “mobile explosion”. I want to start by sharing a little market trend information that sheds light on why designing Websites optimized for mobile devices is so important. So, currently 45% of Americans own a Smartphone. That is more than double the amount of 2010. Of course, that number is only expected to go up. In the next stat you’ll see that 66% of young adults own a smartphone. And, for those of us who are university librarians it’s also interesting to note that 73% of college students own a smartphone and by the year 2016 90% of college students are expected to own a smartphone. So as you can see, this is a trend that cannot be ignored.
Now, I’d like talk briefly about some interesting information about the mobile landscape that can inform our understanding of where the market is going. For the first time in Facebook history, in Fall Quarter of 2012, their internet traffic saw more users accessing Facebook from mobile devices rather than from desktop or laptop websites. Now looking at my second bit of information up here, from a US Consumer Survey, 90% of Americans use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time. This means they might first hear about a new product on television, look it up on their mobile device, and then finally order it from their desktop computer, as an example. Why do I think this is so interesting? Because I spent many years employed in marketing and when we produced print materials they were branded and presented the same experience. So, considering that idea in this context, when you look from your main library website to your mobile site, are you offering the same look and the same experience? Does the user see the same information, or new information? Are they using the same navigation or is there an entirely different layout? These are all questions to consider when your patrons are trying to accomplish one task over multiple devices and screen sizes.
And finally, here is the last bit of information I’m going to share about nationwide mobile trends. Recently the Pew Internet project conducted a survey about cell phone use and and the US consumer. Two of their many questions related to libraries. As you can see, 63% of cell phone users say they would be somewhat or very likely to use an app for library services. 62% said they’d use an app that helps them find material in the library using GPS. This gives us an idea that the majority of consumers are interested in receiving library information on their phones.
HGR - This is what our site currently looks like. We have a separate, mobile version of our website that allows users to do some things more simply than they can on the regular version of our website, such as check computer availability, see how long the line is at the library’s coffee shop, and find out what floor the book they are looking for is on. However, you can’t do all of the things on our mobile site that you can do on our regular site, such as check your library account. We are using the iphone icon style and feel that this look and navigational style is starting to age. We had heard a variety of presentations that were arguing for including search more prominently on mobile sites. We thought it was time for a redesign, and wanted to do some usability testing to inform this redesign, but as we thought about what kind of usability testing we wanted to do help guide our redesign process we realized that we weren’t as interested in some of the typical usability questions that assess ease of use, how many clicks it takes users to get to certain pre-set tasks, or how they liked our color scheme. We were more interested in learning about what our users actually did on our site, how successful they felt their use of our mobile site was, and what else they might want from a mobile library site. [click for the arrow] As a result, we began conducting a survey during the middle of fall term that wrapped up in mid-January (a nearly 12-week period). In return for a $2 gift certificate to a local coffee shop, participants answered questions about what they came to the OSUL mobile site for. If they were looking for a book or planned to conduct research on a topic, we asked them to tell us their search. If they had previously used the mobile site to search for something, we asked them if they were able to find it. If they were looking for articles, we asked if they read the articles on their mobile device. We asked if there was anything they wished they could do on the site that they can’t currently do, and for any other general feedback on the mobile site.
HGR – So before I go into some of the results of our survey, you might be wondering why we didn’t simply use a web analytics tool to gather this information. We previously used Urchin and now use Google Analytics to gather usage information about our sites. And this data does inform our decision making. However, web analytics doesn’t provide information about intent or perceived success on the part of the user. [click for circle] For example, when looking at things like bounce rate - does the bounce rate (an analytical measure that indicates that the visitor didn’t go onto any other pages on our website, such as choosing to search in a database or the catalog) mean that the user was dissatisfied with our website or alternatively that they were successfully able to gather the information they came to our site for? [click for library website] For example, finding out what the library hours are? Also, web analytics don’t capture the content of our users’ searches (beyond site searches) – and as we were thinking about what to include in our site redesign, we wondered, are people entering short or long searches on topics? Do they search for known items or for broader topic areas? In other words, do users come to our mobile site with more informational needs or to perform tasks. These were all different types of questions that we wanted to answer before moving ahead with making changes to our site in response to our users’ needs.
HGR – Over the course of the next couple of slides, we’re going to go over some of the results of our survey. I’ll begin by describing the demographics of those who took the survey (another advantage over web analytics – when you adminiter a survey you can ask more granular questions about your users). We had a total of 115 total respondents. Our survey participants were primarily undergrads, which makes sense as OSU’s student population is 26,000 with approximately 21,000 undergrads and 5000 grad and professional students, so it makes sense to have primarily UG respondents.
HGR – We asked participants if they had used the mobile version of the library’s website before. Most had not used the mobile site before. We are assuming this can primarily be attributed to the fact that these results are mostly from fall term – a time when there are many new students on campus. However, an alternate explanation could be that people who use the site often are very task oriented and didn’t want to be distracted by a survey. Because the majority of respondents had not previously used our site, this led to an impact on responses to some of the questions later in the survey, which asked participants to remember previous experiences and satisfaction with our site.
HGR - So one of the main things we were interested in was intent – why were these respondents coming to the mobile site? Respondents could choose more than one item from a list of choices. So the graph is based on the percent of total responses. Library hours were the top vote getter. Almost no one came to our site looking for directions, I’m assuming because there are so many other mobile tools for that purpose. A decent percentage were planning to look for books or research information. We did give people an option to write in alternative reasons for coming to our site, and many of our participants were coming to our site for something else besides what we put on the list. [click to show table] As you can see, the primary something else was study room reservations, which you cannot get to via our mobile site. The same is true for any of the responses that are related to accessing a library account.
HGR –We were curious to see if different groups of users used the mobile version of the website differently. While we have not done a full-blown statistical analysis of our results at this time, it does look as if there was only one area in which there was any sort of significant difference between undergrads, grad students, faculty, etc… The area which does show some difference is between undergrads and grad students in terms of doing research on a topic. More grad students were using the mobile site for doing research on a topic as a whole. Which hopefully isn’t too surprising. But otherwise – everyone wants to know about the library hours, and no one wants directions to the library.
HGR – Because the survey was open over a 12-week period, which included winter break, we also wanted to see if people were using the mobile site differently at different times of the term, so we divided up the responses into during the term (blue bars), when we anticipated people would be doing more research, and finals week/intersession (the red bars), when we anticipated that people would be doing less research. Again, the graph is showing the percent of responses, and again, there is no statistical analysis on these particular numbers, but overall, there was not a lot of difference between the two time periods, which was somewhat surprising to me. Other than a slight uptick in looking for a book during intersession and a decline in “something else” meaning of course, less looking for study rooms during intersession, there weren’t strong differences. I’ll turn it over to Laurie now to share some of the non-numerical results with you.
Thank you Hannah. I’m now going to talk about some of the open-ended responses. I’d like to start by saying that I was really surprised at the thoughtfulness respondents gave to their answers. Or even that they took the time to answer the open-ended questions – because this was a survey administered through mobile phones. I really didn’t think people would give as lengthy or as thoughtful of responses as they did.So, here’s an example. We had several open-ended questions and one of the questions asked researchers who use our mobile site, “What are you searching for?” If respondents to our survey said they were looking for a book the survey then branched them to a question asking what keywords they planned to use. Here are SOME of the keywords they’d use when searching the mobile site for a BOOK.
If people said they were going to research a topic, not necessary search for a book, our survey branched them to a question asking what search terms they would use. As you can see from the book search terms and these, users are wanting to conduct some in-depth research using their mobile devices. In 2008, when we began planning our mobile site, our goal was to provide quick information users would need “on the go” like hours, computer availability, and library contact information. So, in a nutshell, our mobile site is not optimal for conducting in-depth research because at the time we did not think users would be attempting complex research on their phones because the overall penetration rate of smartphones was less than 20%.
Now, in addition to the pervious information we got from the open ended questions, we also go other useful information. Here is just a sampling of some of the responses.
We did as users what they would like in a mobile site, and these are a sampling of their responses.
Every open ended question contained at least one reply mentioning the booking of study rooms. In this open ended question, “Is there anything you wish you could do with the library’s mobile website that you can’t currently do?” Of the twenty-one people who answered it, eleven wanted the ability to make study room reservations.
Now that we’ve discussed the survey that Hannah and I administered, I’d like to chat about what we know about user behaviors based on site analytics. These analytics are taken from Urchin. We’ve recently moved our mobile site to Google Analytics, but from Nov. 5 – Jan 5, the time period this information represents, we were exclusively using Urchin for the mobile site statistics. Over this two month period, our mobile site had an average of 124 daily visitors.As Hannah mentioned earlier, a majority of our respondents to the online survey came to the mobile site looking for library hours. 9% of those participants indicated they came to find computer availability information. It’s interesting compare that 9% to our Urchin statistics. As you can see here, 37% of our mobile site page views were of the Computer Availability Map. That is an enormous percentage. The next most visited page is the mobile homepage, with 25% of the visits. I should note that that our mobile homepage is not just a navigation page, but also contains the current day’s open-hours. Intriguingly, the third most visited page, according to Urchin analytics, was research at only 3% of total pageviews over a 2 month period.
Of course, mobile users don’t just use the mobile site. Many choose to opt-out and use the main website instead. Here is a picture of what our main website looks like on the iPhone. Over this two month period, November 5th to January 5th, the library’s main site used Google Analytics to gather statistics. There were an average of 54 mobile users on the main website on a daily basis. Of those pages viewed, 48% were of the homepage, 8% were of a navigational page called “in the library” which you can see in this picture near the top bar. The study room page also had 8% of visits. And finally, the “Find It” page received 7% of visits. It’s interesting to note that three of the top four pages on our main site, viewed on mobile devices, are navigational pages.
Because there was somewhat of a disconnect between what users do on the mobile website (based on analytics) and what they’d like to do (based on our survey) we have decided to overhaul the mobile site using responsive design. Learning more about what our site visitors actually use, and not just what they say they might be interested in was helpful in leading us to this decision. Our Website Designer, Susan McEvoy, will be working on redesigning the library’s main site this summer and will work on the responsive design piece simultaneously. Now I’d like to tell you a bit more about Responsive Design and how it become the new trend in website design.
So, the discussion about responsive design began with Ethan Marcotte who wrote an article titled Responsive Web Design for A LIST APART, and online site, in May, 2010. Marcotte, a web designer and writer, notes that more and more devices mean that designers must design for various screen devices. This includes the smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, laptop computer, and even gaming consoles. Some have touch interfaces and others use a keyboard. As a Web Designer, Marcotte noticed that many of his customers in 2010 were requesting iPhone apps. He began to wonder how many specific sites he’d have to create…a version for the iPad? iPhone? the Xbox? Where would it end?In his article, Ethan begins by discussing responsive architecture, a trend in the world of building architecture. This is lighting, windows, temperature that is responsive to the number of people in a room. He goes on to suggest something he refers to as “responsive web design” which is inspired by his understanding of responsive architecture.“Fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries are the three technical ingredients for responsive web design, but it also requires a different way of thinking. Rather than quarantining our content into disparate, device-specific experiences, we can use media queries to progressively enhance our work within different viewing contexts. “
So, here is an example of one website viewed over three different devices. As you can see, using responsive design provides the same look and feel and the same information. Menus have been collapsed, pictures moved, and sometimes some elements are removed. Let me show you a few good examples.
First, I’m going to begin with Lancaster University. In 2012 they won the top spot in the Edustyle Awards for best Responsive Design Site in Higher Education. As you can see when I move from a desktop sized screen to a mobile screen, the tabs along the top collapse into two rows. My favorite design element is the rotating picture. Some elements from the larger page are thrown out, like the video. I personally disagree with their decision to do this, because viewing videos is actually one of the most popular mobile activities, with over 25% of smartphone users saying they watch videos on their smartphone daily (from Our Mobile Planet: United States from Google).Dakota State University: My favorite feature here is the Ask Us button, which never disappears and is an eye-catching color. I’m not sure we’d make the most prominent button “Ask Us” since our users have told us they are most interested in getting information about study room reservations and computer availability, but I do like the prominence of the button throughout the screen sizes. You’ll also notice the navigational bar along the top collapses to simply say “Navigation” with a drop down menu. One feature I do not like is the second navigation bar – although it’s part of the University’s overall template, I think it is too prominent when scaled to a mobile size, and the library’s identity gets lost.Canton public library was the first library to use Responsive Design. You can see the entire menu on the left collapses into a similarly colored button at the top that simply says “Show Menu”. The only piece I’d change about this site is putting the hours higher. Although it’s standard on their website to have the hours at the bottom of the page, on the mobile sized version the hours require a lot of scrolling to get to the bottom. In our survey, many of our users told us they came to the library site to find the hours.The final website is from a large university library. As you can see, the Search Box becomes the most prominent element when viewed in a mobile context. The News moves from the left to the bottom of the page.
Some final thoughts: There is currently a mobile explosion underway. More and more people are browsing the web on mobile devices. It’s no longer smartphones and feature phones. As I said earlier, we must now consider smartphones, tablets, 4-color eReaders, gaming consoles, etc. Currently most libraries, including ours, have designed a main site that is best viewed on a desktop/laptop; and then another fixed-width version for smartphones, like the iPhone; and our library also has a version for feature phones – however, our statistics show us that use on the feature phone has dwindled since we launched the site in 2009. Many libraries do not have the funding to develop two or three separate sites. Programming and maintaining two sites takes more time and more money when compared to responsive design. Responsive web design is quickly becoming the industry standard.
Bridges & rempel onw2013
Mobile Stats Are Not Enough: WhatDo Mobile Library Site Users Actually Do? Online Northwest, February 8, 2013 Hannah Gascho Rempel & Laurie Bridges Oregon State University Libraries
Outline• Demographics and Trends• Our Site• Our Survey• Analytics• Upcoming Site Redesign
Demographics• 45% of Americans own a smartphone.• 66% of young adults own a smartphone.• 73% of college students own a smartphone.• By 2016 it is projected 90% of college students will own a smartphone. Source: Pew Internet and eMarketer
Transition to Mobile – Happening Fast!• In Fall Quarter 2012, more people accessed Facebook on their mobile devices than from the web.• 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time. Source: All Things D and Google
How likely Americans say they would be to use the following resources at public libraries• A cell phone app for accessing and using library services: 63% somewhat/very likely• A cell phone app that helps patrons find material in the library with GPS: 62% somewhat/very likely. Source: Pew Internet
Survey Results What is Your Affiliation with OSU? OSU undergraduate 74 OSU graduate student 19 OSU faculty member 8Corvallis Community Member (non-student) 3 OSU Alumni 2 OSU staff member 2 Other 1 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Number of Participants 115 Total Respondents, Nov. 5 – Jan. 22, 2013
Survey Results How Often Do You Use the OSU Libraries Mobile Site? This is my first time 69 Less than Once a Month 16 2-3 Times a Month 11 Once a Month 7 Once a Week 5 2-3 Times a Week 1 Daily 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Number of Participants115 Total Respondents, Nov. 5 – Jan. 22, 2013
Survey Results What are you searching for on the librarys mobile site? Number of Something else Responses Library hours 47% Study room Something else 30% reservations 15 My account (holds, A book 25% overdue?) 4 Research on a topic 21% Renewals 3 Course reserves 2 Computer availability 10% Interlibrary loan 1 Staff Directory 4% Availability of other technology 1 Java II Webcam 3% Jobs 1A way to contact a librarian with a question 2% Academic calendar 1 Directions 1% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% Percent of Responses *Respondents could choose more than 1 item, n=112
What are you searching for during this visit to the library mobile site? Computer Java II Library A Topic Staff Direc- Librarian Something avail- Web- N hours book Research Directory tions Question else ability camOSUundergraduate 48.7 12.2 21.6 14.9 4.1 4.1 1.4 0.0 33.8 74OSU graduatestudent 47.4 5.3 31.6 31.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.3 26.3 19OSU staffmember 0.0 0.0 0.0 50.0 0.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2OSU facultymember 12.5 0.0 25.0 37.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 37.5 8OSU Alumni 50.0 0.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2CommunityMember 100.0 0.0 33.3 33.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3Other 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 100.0 1*Percent of responses (respondents could choose more than one response),Chi-Square = 38.78, Degrees of Freedom = 48
Survey Results What are you looking for on the mobile library site (by time of term)? 50% 45% 40%Percent of Responses 35% 30% During Term 25% 20% Finals Week/Intersession 15% 10% 5% 0%
Survey Responses - Books• Semiconductor• Oregon taxes• Pomerania• Textbooks• Beer and circus• Accelerated c++• Seafood quality• Writing a successful thesis and dissertation• Autism spectrum in children
Survey Responses – Research on a topic• Social justice• Ecological anthropology shared governance college• NCAA history• World War 1• Procurement and contract processes• Seafood quality• Ethnobotany Oregon• Dye properties and peak wavelengths• Company info for Applebee’s
Survey Responses – Open Ended Be able to pull up pdfs from an EBSCO search. If I could do this I would use it daily. Love the computer map. Super helpful! Would be nice to be able to pay a fine and renew a book simultaneously. Need to be able to quickly navigate quickly for the first time user …it was frustrating.I hate it. It’s not very user friendly.
Survey Responses – What do they want? Renew interlibrary loan. See what study rooms are available. Get help from someone!Access to account would be Easier access to internet files.great. Select from multiple options in drop-down list. It is very bland and basic. Make the search bar more prominent.
Survey Results – Open EndedIs there anything you wish you coulddo with the library’s mobile websitethat you can’t currently do?11 of 21 respondents: study roomreservations
Mobile Site Analytics (m.library.oregonstate.edu)Avg Daily Visitors: 124Page views:37% Computer Availability Map25% Mobile Homepage3% ResearchBrowser:42% Safari39% Mozilla Compatible5% Internet Explorer5% Firefox Nov. 5 – Jan 5
Site Analytics on Mobile Device (library.oregonstate.edu)Avg Daily Visitors: 54Page views:48% Homepage8% /in-the-library8% /study-rooms7% /find-itBrowser:72% Safari15% Android Browser9% Chrome Nov. 5 – Jan 5
Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte, 2010“We can design for an optimal viewing experience, but embed standards-based technologies into our designs to make them not only moreflexible, but more adaptive to the media that renders them. In short, weneed to practice responsive web design. But how?”