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Library Mobile Web Design: Tips, Tricks and Resources


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Going mobile with your website? This presentation will walk you through some things to consider when thinking about the functionality and content of your library’s mobile presence, and point to useful tools for building your mobile website.

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Library Mobile Web Design: Tips, Tricks and Resources

  1. 1. Library Mobile WebDesign: Tips, Tricksand ResourcesRachel Vacek, Head of Web ServicesUniversity of Houston LibrariesBerika Williams, Web Services LibrarianVictoria College/University of Houston – VictoriaTexas Library Association District 8 Fall ConferenceOctober 22, 2011
  2. 2. The mobile phone is history’s fastest growingcommunication device
  3. 3. In 2009, 530 million peopleused a cell phone or smartphone to access the mobile web Strategy Analytics, March 2010
  4. 4. By 2015,that number is expected to rise to overONE BILLION people Strategy Analytics, March 2010
  5. 5. Smart phones have even overtaken the PC in sales
  6. 6. How smartphone owners describe their phones Browse the web, July 11, 2011
  7. 7. It’s not justabout thephones.It’s about theexperiencesthey have withtheir phones.
  8. 8. Name 5 things yourusers do when theyvisit your physical library.
  9. 9. Name 5 things yourusers do when theyvisit your library’s website.
  10. 10. Should theresources andservices that are inyour physicalbuilding and onyour websitealso be offered onyour mobilewebsite?
  11. 11. Yes NoIt depends
  12. 12. Reference RSS feeds Mobile services from blogs friendly databases LibraryOpen access instructionresources Your SMS QR codes services library website Event calendarLocation guidesor floor maps here Research or Catalog homework guides Social media Augmented Videos reality Image Audio collections tours
  13. 13. With so many options,how do you begin to plan for a mobile website?
  14. 14. Get to know your users• Conduct surveys or interviews of library users who use mobile devices• Ask in different geographic regions and cover all your demographics• Understand their mobile habits• Learn their device ownership trends
  15. 15. Get your users more involved in the process• Look at focus group alternatives• Create a “Developer’s Lab”• Create Internships• Conduct mobile evaluations, testing, and marketing through embedded librarianship
  16. 16. Ask questions• Why does your library want a mobile presence?• What are your peer libraries doing?• Do you know what your users want?• What defines success?
  17. 17. You want yourusers to feel goodusing the servicesand resources youprovide on yourmobile library site
  18. 18. Which do you choose? mobile website ornative application
  19. 19. Mobile Application Mobile WebsitePerformance • Runs locally, resulting in quick • Relies on the Internet, resulting in loading time slower load and response time • An app has to be developed for • Device agnostic, so only one each platform, pushed to each website needs to be built Access platform’s app store, and then • Access is through a web browser downloaded to a smartphone for • Can be viewed on many devices, users to access including feature phones • Updates are deployed through • Relatively simple to support as an app store that has a multi- there are less things to go wrong week submission and approval on the user’s deviceSupportability process • Potential to become more • Updates require users to complex download new versions • No interaction with an app store • Updates to server are instant for users • Mobile platforms such as • HTML standards evolve more Application Android, Apple iOS, Symbian, slowly Evolvement RIM and Windows Mobile are evolving rapidly
  20. 20. Mobile Application Mobile Website • Runs locally, resulting in quick • Potentially less satisfying loading time depending on Internet • Made for mobile so it has fluid connection and speed interaction and intuitive interface • If a mobile stylesheet is applied,Quality of User • Can access sensors such as GPS users might have usability issues Experience and accelerometers with access to webpages that are • Can take advantage of touch not mobile-friendly screens and gestures • With the exception of social • Can take advantage of augmented media and games, users still reality prefer mobile sites over apps • More risky because they can be • Less risky because site exists Technical more complex, riskier to develop • A mobile version can be created Risk and harder to test by applying a mobile stylesheet or by building a simplified site • Testing for native apps is slower • Only one site has to be tested and more complex if multiple • Quality assurance and usability Testing platforms are supported testing is simpler because there • Testing might involve UX such as is less involved touchscreens or GPS
  21. 21. Mobile Application Mobile Website • More investment because it • Less investment because it’s requires more resources, time quicker and easier to build Cost and skills • Can support any device that has • Have to develop for multiple a web browser platforms • Thousands of mobile apps • Users can find your mobile available on each platforms’s website via search engines, linksMarketing store, making the audience from other websites, and links smaller and more focused embedded in emailsOperational • Must have room on the • Good cellular or wifi signal is smartphone to download required Issues • Application development • Knowledge of HTML and CSS demands more sophisticated for basic mobile theming skills • Skills in HTML5 and PHP are Skill Set • Developers with these skills are useful for creating more engaging harder to find websites, but not all smartphone browsers support HTML5 yet
  22. 22. Summary of features Mobile Application Mobile Website • Easy to locate in an app store • Platform agnosticPros • Faster speed because it’s installed • Flexible and easier control over locally maintenance of content • Specialized functionality • Can be built in HTML & CSS • Requires specific knowledge and • Slower than a mobile app skills to develop • Less functionality than a mobileCons • Built differently for each platform app, but HTML 5 is changing that • Approvals are required to place in app store
  23. 23. Which is best for your library?
  24. 24. Mobile WebsiteMobile Application Both Neither
  25. 25. You know what’s on your websiteYou know the needs of your usersYou know what tech skills you haveavailable to you You know the limitations of yourlibrary’s wifi
  26. 26. Let’s dig in!
  27. 27. Options for building mobile native apps• Native platform SDK (software development kit)• General purpose multi-platform tools - attempts to “write once, run anywhere”• Outsource the development, or hire a developer with mobile app development experience on each platform you want to create
  28. 28. Options for building mobile websites• Develop a mobile CSS• Do nothing - users will still see your site, but it won’t be optimized for the best mobile user experience• Google sites - mobile templates -• Have an open-source cms like Wordpress or Drupal that power your website? Find a mobile friendly theme!
  29. 29. Options for building mobile websites• Mobile application tool with web capability - Completely home-grown approach• JavaScript framework and code libraries - jQuery Mobile, iUI, jQtouch, iWebKit• Use Chad Haefele’s Mobile Site Generator -
  30. 30. Hybrid ApproachYou can do more than one of the methods for creating your library’s mobile presence
  31. 31. Managing your mobile site• Design & Functionality - Can be determined by the stylesheet or the framework chosen - Keep your branding consistent• Content - Have a strategy for maintaining the content - Pull (RSS feeds, from other systems if you can in content APIs, etc.)
  32. 32. Examples of mobilelibrary websites and applications
  33. 33. New York Public Library
  34. 34. NCSU Libraries Computer Availability Find your study group
  35. 35. NCSU Libraries Reserve a room Historic image collections
  36. 36. Seattle Public Library
  37. 37. Nashville Public Library They have a mobile website, but it includes links to device specific apps
  38. 38. VC/UHV LibraryMobile Web Presence
  39. 39. Library Website
  40. 40. MobileWebsite
  41. 41. Mobile-friendly Research applications usersresearch tools can download themselves
  42. 42. Users love the Users can get directionspopular LibGuides to the library
  43. 43. Using QR codes tomarket mobile site
  44. 44. UH LibrariesMobile Web Presence
  45. 45. A different approachiPhone App + Mobile Website
  46. 46. An iPhone app for searching the UH Libraries’ Catalog was developed by graduate students in the the “Ubiquitous Computing” course in theUniversity of Houston Computational Physiology Lab
  47. 47. Mobile Website - Think differently about the RSS feeds are quick andhierarchy of your homepage easy but have limitations
  48. 48. Include catalog and/or LibGuides comes with adiscovery platform, but be mobile interface, too clear on tool’s purpose
  49. 49. You have videos? Create a Show off your images onchannel and include them your library’s Flickr site
  50. 50. Features we’re considering• Mobile campus walking tour with historic images pulled from our Digital Library collection• Mobile version of the Digital Library• Expanded computer availability to other labs in the library, possibly branches• Laptops available for checkout• Room/computer reservation• More research tools specifically made for mobile• More social media integration• Augmented reality layar
  51. 51. Reference RSS feeds Mobile services from blogs friendly databases LibraryOpen access instructionresources Your SMS QR codes services library website Event calendarLocation guidesor floor maps here Research or Catalog homework guides Social media Augmented Videos reality Image Audio collections tours
  52. 52. Final thoughts• Understand your users’ mobile behaviors and needs and look at the tools at your disposal before you decide between a mobile app or website• Sometimes a simple mobile stylesheet is a good enough place to start• Don’t just recreate your entire website in a whole new mobile website• Start small, add more complex features over time• Walk a day in your users’ shoes to get a feel for what services might be helpful on a mobile device
  53. 53. Helpful resources• “Choosing Between Native and Mobile Web Applications.” Gartner Report by Analyst Nick Jones. February 23, 2011.• The Anywhere Library: A Primer for the Mobile Web. Courtney Greene, Missy Roser, and Elizabeth Ruane. ACRL 2010.• M-Libraries, Library Success Wiki -• Chad Haefele’s Mobile Site Generator -• Google Mobile Sites -
  54. 54. Thanks!Rachel VacekHead of Web ServicesUniversity of Houston Librariesrevacek@uh.eduBerika WilliamsWeb Services LibrarianVictoria College/University of Houston – Victoriawilliamsbs@uhv.eduPresentation available