Thinking about Mobile Content Yet?

Mobile devices - December 2013My library’s web developer, Nathan Pauley, shared this article with me: The Mobile Moment, by Luke Wroblewski. In the article, Luke discusses how processes, priorities, and product thinking change when the majority of your web traffic shifts from desktop to mobile devices.

Probably a good thing to start thinking about now, rather than later. Why? Well, in my library’s case, we are getting closer all the time. For example, the image included in this post shows mobile visits for my library’s website for December 2013:

  • Blue = desktop website visits (67.4%)
  • Green = mobile device visits (20.3%)
  • Red = tablet device visits (12.3%)

So … add the mobile and tablet percentages together, and you get 32.6%. Almost 33% of web traffic coming from some type of mobile device! What was that percentage a year ago? A whopping 17.6%. If that rate continues, we’ll be around 50% mobile traffic in another year. Wowser!

What should we be thinking about when we hit 50% mobile traffic? Here are some thoughts – please add yours!

  • Responsive website, or at least some form of mobile website. That’s why my library is going responsive (our redesign should be live by the end of January!).
  • Mobile-friendly content. It’s not enough to have web-friendly content. Think about making that content mobile-friendly, too.
  • Easy ways to share, like, and interact with social media sites.
  • Quick ways to connect to library staff and to library content directly from a customer’s mobile device.

What else? Let’s get this mobile thing figured out!

CILDC Day One: Mobile and Augmented Reality

So I’m at Computers in Libraries 2012 in Washington DC – always a great conference! Make sure to check out presentations online, and follow the #cildc hashtag on twitter… Here’s a couple of notes from a session … more to come later!


I walked in late to this session, but what I heard was great.

Jeff Wisniewski was talking about mobile stuff, and said this:

mobile first is different than mobile-friendly! Then gave examples of how some people are redesigning websites with tablets and smartphone functionality in mind.

Good stuff…

Next up – Cindy Hart, talking about augmented reality and library resources for enhanced digital storytelling…

they used to help them create stories. Looks like a cool tool to check out!

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