As smartphone ownership rises, usage patterns are expanding. Libraries face an increasing demand for online content delivered in a mobile compatible format while being constrained by financial and staffing limitations. Solutions are readily available through free and low-cost products to create mobile web pages and existing design models from which to draw inspiration. Platform-specific apps can easily support the kinds of content most commonly delivered on library mobile pages: basic contact information and outbound links to the catalog, databases, and other resources. Two software platforms for creating simple pages were tested, the free software from WordPress with mobile detection formatting enabled and LibGuides' mobile friendly platform in a basic version, free for those with LibGuides accounts, and the more feature-rich MobileBuilder version. Each was found to have advantages and weaknesses. Whichever platform is chosen, usability testing is critical. The authors offer a “Heuristic Checklist for Library Mobile Design,” detailing aspects of interface design, user characteristics, and content delivery that should be assessed to determine how well the platform serves a library's requirements for mobile usability.
mobile applications, interfaces, libraries, usability, design, evaluation
Library and Information Science | Software Engineering
Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T): Bulletin
TRAVIS, Tiffini and TAY, Chee Hsien Aaron (ZHENG Zhixian).
Designing low-cost mobile websites for libraries. (2011). Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 38, (1), 24-29. Research Collection Library.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/library_research/104
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