Mobile Technology Presentation

I just gave a presentation on mobile technology for the Future Tech Strategies in Libraries symposium for the University of Toronto iSchool. Here are my slides! This presentation have two parts:

  1. current and emerging trends in mobile technology devices
  2. eight ways libraries can respond to these trends

Enjoy!

Web Design Trends for 2014

I recently presented this talk at Internet Librarian 2014, and wanted to share it here too! If you want to see some really good notes from my presentation, check out Sarah Houghton’s post (thanks, Sarah!).

I did some research via Google on web design trends for 2014, took the trends that reappeared a bunch, and … here they are: 15 Web design trends in 6 loose categories:

Category 1 – Mobile:

1. Mobile-first design. Start designing on the small screen, then widen out to tablets and desktops. If you can’t do it on a mobile device, you probably don’t need it on your “big” website, either.

2. Responsive. Use a responsive or adaptive design, so your website works great on all screen sizes.

Category 2 – Designy Things:

3.Simplicity. Many web designs are going for a more minimalistic, simplified look. Make sure the design doesn’t get in the way of, or overpower, your great content.

4. White Space. Goes along with simplicity. White space can help emphasize content. Use it just like they do it magazines.

5. No Flash. Websites are still working on moving away from Flash and towards more modern design languages like HTML5 and CSS3.

Category 3 – Visual:

6. Parallax. Parallax design is a way to provide design depth and almost a 3D look to your website. IT reminds me of layers in Photoshop … just done on websites.

7. Flat Design. Sorta funny. Flat design and parallax design are almost opposites (but not quite). Flat design focuses on clean design and good use of color and whitespace. Think the new iOS design, and you’ll get the idea.

8. Blocking. Blocks of content – think Pinterest. I think it works great on sites like Pinterest or Flickr, where there’s a ton of content and the content is all on equal footing. On library websites like New York Public Library’s main page? Not so much. I’d guess their content is NOT equal in terms of importance, and the bottom of the page looks like an afterthought, like they forgot to “finish” the website.

9. Big Images. Use of large images on websites is a trend at the moment – even having a large image in the background of a website.

10. Colors. Using colors is big, apparently. Depending on what “hot web trends for 2014” you read, you’ll get a variety of answers as to what colors are trending – subtle and calm colors, retro colors, even neon colors! But know that web design is “colorful” these days. So think about using a tool like Adobe Kuler to help choose popular colors for a website. Or just go to Home Depot and get some matching paint swatches, and use those as a color base for your website.

Category 4 – Typography:

11. Web Fonts. We’re no longer limited to a couple of web-safe fonts. Think about using new web fonts like Google Fonts or Typekit.

Category 5 – Content:

12. Video. Video is still growing in importance.  A recent Pew report on online video says that 78% of online adults now watch or download video content. It’s an easy way to provide viewable content on your website.

13. Social Media. Social media integration is important for all types of websites and organizations. It’s a great way to share content out to customers in all the online “places” they hang out at.

Category 6 – Navigation:

14. Large Buttons. Websites are starting to use large, easily seen buttons. Make them big and bold!

15. Vertical Scrolling. Think about using “sticky” navigation that glues itself to the top of the page, or social media sharing plugins that glue themselves to the side of a page.

There you go! 15 web design trends for 2014. Are you redesigning your website? We are! Please share your new design ideas!

Still Talking about Old Technology?

I’m guessing that your organization is still talking about how to implement old technology. You are holding meetings, creating working groups, forming committees. All based around implementing something that still seems new to you, but in reality is pretty darn old!

“Old technology? No way!” you say. Wanna bet? Here’s a short list of technology that gets discussed in libraries right now, with origin/founding/first appeared dates (yay for Wikipedia!):

  • Twitter – 7 years old (founded 2006)
  • Facebook – 9 years old (founded 2004)
  • ebooks – 42 years old (we’ll say 1971, though prototypes and patents go all the way back to the 1940s!)
  • ebook readers – 15 years old (1998, probably earlier)
  • QR Codes – 19 years old (created in 1994)
  • PC with OS’s newer than XP – 7 years old (Vista came out in 2006, though no one actually used it)
  • Apple Mac – 29 years old (Came out in 1984. I’ll guess many people remember the commercial, but haven’t actually used one)
  • Cell phones – 40 years old (First call made in 1973)
  • smart phones – 12 years old (started appearing in 2001)
  • text messaging – 21 years old (created in 1992)
  • IM/Chat messaging – 25 years old (IRC appeared in 1988)
  • wifi – 25 years old (appeared in 1988)
  • RFID – 30 years old (first patent in 1983)
  • Youtube – 8 years old (founded in 2005)
  • mp3 files for music – 19 years old (appeared in 1994)
  • digital media labs – 93 years old (ok, this one’s really hard to date. DMLs are really just small recording studios, which have been around in one form or another since at least the 1920s)
  • hackerspaces – 47 years old (This is another hard one to date. The Chaos Computer Club, an early hackerspace, was founded in 1981. But I think you could put the Homebrew Computer Club in this list, started in 1975, which helped spawn Apple. And my dad and my uncle Bob have had workshops in their basements with all sorts of crazy machinery since I’ve been alive. So I’m dating these at 47 years old :-)
  • Cloud computing – 63 years old (There have been mainframes/dumb terminals since the 1950s, which could be argued to be early cloud-based computing)
  • 3D Printing – 29 years old (the first working 3d printer appeared in 1984)

So I ask again – are you talking about old technology … like it’s new technology? Do you have staff who can’t use ebooks, are wary of smartphones or text messaging reference, or look at you crazy when you introduce the concept of a hackerspace to them? Is your library/city/governing board still wary of new-fangled social media tools like Facebook or Cloud computing?

Makes you think, doesn’t it!

Steampunk mobile phone pic by Urban Don

Web Design Trends for 2012

I’ve been working on some large writing projects this year, and in the process, came across some great lists of web design trends for 2012 that I thought I’d share. Let me know if you are incorporating any of these into your websites!

Web design trends for 2012

Web Design Trends in 2012

  • Responsive Web Design
  • Fixed-Position Navigation
  • Circles
  • Big Vector Art
  • Multi-Column Menus
  • jQuery/CSS3/HTML5 Animation
  • Ribbons & Banner Graphics
  • Custom Font Faces
  • Infographics
  • Focus on Simplicity

15 Web Design Trends to Watch Out For in 2012

  • Responsive Interface Design
  • Touchscreen Mobile Devices
  • Tons of Freebies!
  • HTML5 & CSS3 Standards
  • Ribbons and Banners
  • Premium WordPress Themes
  • Online Magazines
  • Easy Drop Shadows
  • Dynamic Typography
  • Image Gallery Slideshows
  • Modal Popup Boxes
  • Inspirational Lists
  • Generated Image Thumbnails
  • Oversized Icons
  • Exaggerated Hyperlinks

Web Design Trends for 2012

  • Oversized Logos/Headers
  • Sketch/Hand-drawn Design
  • Slab Typefaces
  • Typography
  • One Page Layouts
  • Huge Images
  • Change of Perspective
  • Interactive/Intuitive Design
  • Modal Boxes
  • Minimalism
  • Oversized Footer
  • Retro
  • Intro Boxes
  • Magazine Layouts

Top Website Design Trends for 2012

  • HTML5, CSS3 and JQUERY
  • Mobile Compatibility and Responsive Layouts
  • Typographic Layouts
  • The Grid
  • Large Background Images
  • Perceived Affordance and Metaphoric Design
  • Social Media Integration
  • Illustration
  • Single Page Websites
  • Parallax
  • Elegant Modal Boxes

15 Top Web Design and Development Trends for 2012

  • Progressive enhancement
  • Responsive design
  • Flash will survive
  • Native support for plug-in features
  • Appification takes hold
  • Web app fragmentation
  • Mobile gets bigger
  • A device explosion
  • Respect beyond aesthetics
  • social battles heat up
  • Growth of the two-screen model
  • Distributed workforces
  • Stronger customer service
  • Better value, not lower prices
  • Pushing the boundaries

The State of Web Design Trends: 2012 Annual Edition

  • Responsive Web Design
  • Grid Systems
  • Typography
  • Technology Pushing Art
  • Scrolling, Vertical Narratives
  • Like it’s 1983
  • Modular Interfaces

So – get busy and start designing like it’s 2012!

image by Mike Licht

CIL2010: Dead & Emerging Technologies Panel

I was on the Dead & Emerging Tech panel this year at Computers in Libraries, so here are my slides.

This panel is supposed to be entertaining and provocative (and hopefully have some good thoughts too), so it was tricky to do, but fun too.

So – enjoy!