I gave a webinar for PLA last week on digital branches – fun stuff! Here are my slides… if a recorded version appears, I’ll link to it here!
I just read Your 4 Mobile Options by Paul Boag. Good stuff! In the article, Paul suggests that there are basically four options when it comes to having a mobile presence (taken from Paul’s article – you should go read the whole thing!):
Which one of these options should libraries use? Paul says this as a general rule of thumb: “A good starting point is to ask whether users are primarily completing a task or accessing information.”
I’d agree – that’s a good starting point. I’d go a bit farther, and say this – figure out what your mobile users are doing, and how they do it, and more importantly – WHAT they want to do. Then figure out the right flavor of mobile accessibility that best meets those needs. Also, figure out what you can do. For example, when my library was still on Horizon for our library catalog, we chose Boopsie because they could create a mobile version of our catalog (something our vendor hadn’t yet figured out). So we went with an app-driven mobile catalog.
We’re on Polaris now, and it comes with a web-based catalog that works great. Will we stay with our Boopsie app? Not necessarily, since the mobile version of Polaris works well. More on that later this year!
One other thing – if you haven’t yet started to think about the mobile web … why not? Pick something – anything – and start. Your smartphone-loving public is waiting!
Pic of Paul Boag from boagworld.com
Does your website, your library, or your new service have “potholes?”
Here’s what I mean by potholes – on your website, if the navigation is unclear, or if that “what do I do next” thing doesn’t make sense, you have caused a customer to stumble. You have effectively placed a pothole in your customer’s path, making it harder for them to navigate towards whatever it is they wanted to do.
Not a good thing!
A physical library building can do that, too. Poor (or non-existing) signage in a building can make people stumble. Arranging your book collection in a “made sense at the time” way can cause people to stumble.
If a new library service is confusing, has too many rules and policies surrounding it, or if information about the new service is hard to find on the website – again, these things make our library customers stumble.
A great way to increase usability – and hopefully satisfaction for our customers – is to find and fix those potholes. How do you do that? Here are some suggestions:
Then fix those potholes, so your customers don’t stumble.
What makes your customers stumble?
Pothole pic by Andy Wilson