CIL2010: Developing & Designing for Mobile

Speaker – Jeff Wisniewski, Web Services Librarian, University of Pittsburgh

Notes from this session …

mobile will surpass desktop web access in the next couple years

if you can write html, css, and javascripting … you can write for the mobile web.

me – mobile apps are great …. but we even moreso need to be building for the mobile web.

context is important:

  • not interested in your lending policy
  • want to satisfy immediate info needs
  • usually we’re in busy places, doing multiple things when we are accessing mobile web

Mobile usability – oxymoron (not sure I agree …)

– minimize the need to input text when you can.

remember you’re designing fro a small screen and will have speed and latency issues.

Two important points to remember:

  • don’t make me think!
  • don’t make me type!

content – ask your users what they would find useful

Cake and icing:

cake – directions, hours, contact info, ask a question, etc.

icing – (do these if you can, later on, etc) – catalog search, article search…

be selective – everything is on a need to know basis

repurpose existing content – podcasts, video, alerts, rss type stuff

content we buy:

some have mobile friendly sites already, like EBSCO, PubMed, westlaw, etc.

Catalog: look for accessible version if possible – it will probably be mobile friendly

me – mobile – make sure our site and services work on a 3g network –

m.home – make a new mobile homepage:

single column

single lines

flattened hierarchy

short titles

simple standard html and css

include a mobile dtd type

ignore handheld css stylesheets. most new mobile browsers ignore handheld stylesheet statement

media query – the link media thing – tells browser to use this stylesheet if screen is smaller than a certain size

include action links like a href tel:phone# stuff – sms: – same thing – this allows people to click and call or click and text, rather than having to type

optimizing for mobile:

combine dependent files, minify your javascript and css, tell google  – register mobile site with them.

Google small business center – register library website with google local

use validation services

drupal has a mobile template

usability testing – do paper tests

analytics – google analytics has mobile tracking, or you can filter by user agents