Designing a Mobile Experience

Presentations by: Jason Michel, Kwabena Sekyere, Dave McLaughlin

Concrete examples and demos on mobile designs. Great follow-up to Jeff’s overview of the trends in designing mobile web and native apps.

Dave McLaughlin Presentation: Hartford County Public Library
Used a JavaScript framework for designing web apps and mobile WebKit devices–nice because works on a lot of platforms. jQuery is a JavaScript framework, just released alpha release for jQuery Mobile. jQTouch= offshoot of jQuery. It has been around for about a year, has example code, no clear development timeline, etc.

HCPL mobile: has a new releases and booklists feature in their web app. Very nice looking web app. Need to have functionality to renew materials via the mobile web app–working on this in the near future.

Jason Michel and Kwabena Sekyere: Presentation on Miami University Libraries Mobile Site
Created a mobile web over native apps because more people can use and you don’t have to design for each different device. Used Drupal for the mobile site and designed for core functionalities. Nice, functional mobile website. Unfortunately server doesn’t recognize that you are coming to the site on a mobile site and will load the regular site on your phone. You have to actually type in the mobile website URL to get to the mobile site.

Another set of talks that reiterate the need to seriously focus on creating mobile web apps/mobile websites instead of native apps. Great talks, but would have been so much better if the projection system was better so even the bloggers in the back of the room could see the code on the screen. (But, of course, this isn’t the fault of the presenters–they had good demos/examples)

Mobile that Works for Your Library

Talk by Jeff Wisniewski (University of Pittsburgh)

Yay! Time for talking about mobile technologies for the library! (We also have a virtual component for this session–very cool.) Oh, and don’t forget about the QR Code scavenger hunt.

Lots of ways to go mobile: we’ll be discussing different paths.

Why go mobile?
Estimated that within the next 5 years, that mobile internet usage will surpass desktop internet usage= “fundamental change in the landscape.” Smartphone sales are increasing and will outsell PCs by 2011, Need to be where are users are when they access the internet.
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Why Libraries Have a Future Keynote

Why Libraries have a Future: Adding value to your community
by Patricia Martin (

“Libraries are sitting on hidden assets”
Talking about what Patricia calls the Renaissance Generation: the conditions that we are currently experiencing is what it looks like right before a renaissance.

Renaissance means:

  • Innovation
  • Experimentation
  • Disruption
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Rebirth

Defining a generation as a 30 year swath of individuals. RenGen: Generation Y and the Pioneers of the Internet; in betweeen= smaller cohort.
“Experience economy”= need to experience it to believe it, creative, collaborative, “remix culture”= Belong, Create, Understand

“Radical change makesthe established culture irrelevant.”This is what we are experiencing today.

Indicators of Renaissance:

  • Death comes first: there must be a fall
  • Facilitating medium: must have a medium that allows for sharing of information (i.e. Internet)
  • Age of enlightenment: Internet is facilitating enlightment

Basically, the RenGen is about mass creativity (via blogs, YouTube videos, etc.) and collaboration. This then affects the economy–not a factory economy any more. (This sounds a lot like the work of Seth Godin, especially his books, Linchpin and Tribes.)

Success= need to give consumers a sense of belonging, individuality, space for creativity, and “manage the human interface.” [It’s not about the technology; it’s about the people]

Old system has brand at the center; new system has the user at the center. (This is interesting, see yesterday’s post about brands and Millenials. So now it seems like it is about branding, but making the user feel like it is an extension of his/herself.)

Applying to the Library
Figure out who your “super-users” are and talk with them to create a better user experience in your library. (Talking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs–just a side note, I don’t agree with this idea/theory)
Need to build a community and culture online–relate back to people’s humanity–it’s about the human interface (i.e. it’s still not about the tools; it’s about the people).
“The book is still the brain.”
Gold standard for a transaction is 11 seconds per transaction. Now it’s about ROT (Return on Time) instead of ROI (Return on Investment).
“The power of story is the new killer app”= “the ultimate human interface”
We need new story about the future and stories are always built on existing ones.

Social media is here to stay and is about collaboration and communication. You need to understand how to leverage this desire to creative, collaborate, and communicate. Basically, think about community and culture and how you can create this for your library. If you want another viewpoint on the subject of cloud computing, online collaboration, and creativity/humanity, check out You are not a gadget: A manifesto.

Handheld Librarians' Mobile Tech Tutorial Pre-conference Workshop

Today’s post is on the “Handheld Librarians’ Mobile Tech Tutorial” presented by Joe Murphy and Chad Mairn as part of the pre-conference workshops at Internet Librarian 2010. (There will also be a break in our regularly scheduled programming to introduce you all to my awesome friend, Monika, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium that you should totally go visit while you are in Monterey for the conference, but more on that later.) But first, let’s talk about mobile technology. Allons-y!

We are going to have an interaction discussion session today. (Yay for doing a needs analysis! Slightly annoying though that introductions take so much time out of the workshop session time.) Going to do lots of practical examples and going to have some guest speakers.

Framework for Mobile Tech
Looking at it via a concept of mobile literacy: three components.

  • Being aware of the mobile technology landscape: look at the trends (Twitter and blogs are great for finding this information); what tech is out there; how to use it
  • Understanding their impacts: on information engagements, on information systems, and user expectations.
  • How to look at applications: how to apply the mobile tech in a savvy way in the library

Mobile Applications for Androids
App Inventor: can use to create applications for Android. (As an aside, I can’t believe I’m the only one in the audience with an Android phone! Come on, people–Android rocks!) App Inventor allows you to to create applications without knowing a lot of coding–very much like drag and drop editing. (Chad likes the idea of web apps (especially with having HTML5 now) more than mobile apps–good to know about both. Joe sees the mobile v. web apps debate as a resource development issue.) App Inventor uses Java for editing the apps. Allows you to code/create applications on your computer and see real time changes on the phone–very cool. [Having a bit of technical difficulties at the moment, but I’m excited about this tool so I hope it works.] It looks a lot like building a puzzle–cute interface. After creating your app, need to put it in the Android market so your patrons users can download the app.

Developing and Designing the Mobile Devices
“Mobile users are on the go.” You need to develop for people who are on the go–should help developing streamlined apps. Test, test, test again when designing for mobile devices! Try out everything on different phones, different browsers, etc. You need to be adaptable because technology changes a lot. (Think perpetual beta and don’t worry about throwing out an app that is no longer relevant) My library definitely needs a mobile OPAC.

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WordPress Pre-conference Session

Pre-conference started out with a bang–first no wi-fi in the room and then we got our own wireless router hooked up! Thank you awesome conference staff! Now I don’t have to worry about this blog post will be erased due to loss of wi-fi. This pre-conference session is on WordPress by Polly-Alida Farrington and Kyle Jones (via Skype). [Resources (session notes) available at] Kyle blogs at The Corkboard. Polly blogs at

Goals: Get the pieces of the puzzle and decide what to get into deeper after the session: Content Management System (CMS) Tips & Tricks, Coding, Safe & Secure, Plugins, etc.

New WordPress books:
Digging into WordPress (updated for version 3.0) by Jeff Starr and Chris Coyier and Beginning WordPress 3 by Stephanie Leary
Kyle and Polly are publishing a book on WordPress in the spring via ALA Tech Reports

Basics 101
WordPress has a web interface–you can do everything online; you don’t need an application installed on your computer. It’s a content management system that is open source. (Yay for open source!) This is great because the WordPress community can develop new plugins and templates. There are 28 million installations of WordPress–very large community of people.

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