Providing Mobile Web Library Services - NCSU Libraries Download

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The Education Institute
Providing Mobile Web Library Services
NCSU Libraries
David Woodbury, NCSU Libraries Fellow
Jason Casden, Digital Technologies Development Librarian
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David Woodbury
Project Planning and Design
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Why invest in mobile development?
5 billion
reasons
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“People expect to be able to work, learn, and
study whenever and wherever they want to.”
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Our motivation
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About NC State University Libraries
• We serve the largest higher education institution
in the state
– 31,000 students & 8,000 faculty members
– Large focus on science, technology, engineering &
mathematics
• History of innovation & collaboration
– Endeca discovery layer on our catalog
– Early mobile library site (MobiLIB)
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Our mobile services
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NCSU Mobile Web (Campus Site)
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NCSU Libraries Mobile Team
• Jason Casden, Digital Technologies Development Librarian
– Developer
• David Woodbury, NCSU Libraries Fellow
– Project manager
• Markus Wust, Digital Collections and Preservation Librarian
– Developer & co-creator of MobiLIB
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Project timeline
Three months from planning to launch
• Project planning, site
wireframes in September (one
project manager)
• Development and testing in
October (two developers)
• Formal launch & promotion in
November
• Main website redirect in
December
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Project timeline
Iterative development since launch
• Enhancements added by other
developers
• Bug fixes as needed for new
devices
new
new
new
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Our mobile services
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Locations & Hours
Computer Availability
Book & Article Search
Room Reservations
GroupFinder message board
Reference Services
News & Events
Webcam Feeds
Link to campus mobile site http://m.lib.ncsu.edu
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Locations & Hours
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Computer Availability
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Catalog Search
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Catalog Search
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Reference Services
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GroupFinder (message service)
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What to mobilize?
• What services are currently available?
• What services are applicable on a mobile
device?
• What services translate well to the mobile
environment?
• What tools can be created easily?
• What would be fun to see?
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Don’t mobilize everything
• Nearly 100 links!
• Always can link back
to home page, if needed
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“Mobile” is not just shrinking the page
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Use only essential, relevant content
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Use only essential, relevant content
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Reduce options, simplify
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Limit data to mobile context
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Limit data to mobile context
• For time oriented
data, we assume
current day & time
• We assume action
oriented
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Use the mobile interface
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Provide appropriate tools for the
user’s context
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Expose hidden, useful content
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Jason Casden
Technical Planning and Implementation
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When to Make a Native App
• Charging for it
• Creating a game
• Using specific
locations*
• Using cameras
• Using accelerometers
• Accessing the
filesystems
• Offline users
* Actually available to web-based applications
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The Case for Mobile Web Apps
“I believe that unless your application meets one
of these native application criteria, you should
not create a native application, but should
instead focus on building a mobile web
application.”
— Brian Fling, “Mobile Design and Development”
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WolfWalk
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•
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Native iPhone App
Geolocated special collections images
Track the user’s current location
Browse historical images of sites on campus
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Shoutouts
• The project team
– Tito Sierra, Jason Casden, Steven Morris, Markus
Wust, Brian Dietz, Todd Kosmerick, Joseph Ryan
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WolfWalk, Two Ways
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Distribution Channels
• Open vs. Controlled
– Administrative overhead
– Bottlenecks
– Technical restrictions
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Our tools
• Mobile website
– XHTML 1.0 transitional
– CSS
– non-essential JavaScript and AJAX
• MIT Mobile Web Open Source Project
• Leaned on pre-existing web services
• Targeted higher-end devices
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No developers?
• Tools that require only HTML knowledge
– WordPress, iWebKit, iUI, jQTouch, Dashcode…
– Good for static content
– May lack good multi-tiered device support
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No developers?
• Vendors
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–
–
–
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Boopsie, Terribly Clever…
Can manage mobile development process for you
You may lack control over the final product
May be expensive
Doesn’t develop internal expertise
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Data Reuse
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CatalogWS
Library Hours
Study Room Reservations
GroupFinder
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Best practices
• Standards and official guidelines
– Useful, but slow-moving
– Don’t get stuck
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Lots of Devices
Top Level
iPhones, Android
phones, Palm Pre
Large touch
screens,
sophisticated web
capabilities
Middle Level
Blackberry, Nokia
smartphones,
Windows mobile,
etc.
May lack touch
screen and some
CSS and
JavaScript
capabilities.
Low Level
Web-enabled flip
phones
Small screens, low
web functionality
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Content Adaptation
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Separating data from presentation
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Testing
CC BY-SA 2.0:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/392918
9482/
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Recommendations
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Be Agile
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Rapid development cycle
Think iteratively
Adjust to change quickly
Avoid paralysis
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Play
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Collaborate
• Campus efforts
• External projects
• Steal what you like
– Improve it, so it can be stolen back
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In Summary…
• Mobile websites are becoming very
sophisticated
• Mobile web app development is web
development
– just a little different
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David Woodbury
Assessment
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Assessing the site
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What’s popular at NCSU Libraries
Pageviews by service
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What’s popular at NCSU Libraries
Views by device
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Further assessment
• Assess actual student needs
– Survey students
– Study behaviors
• Invest in services that can be used in a variety
of contexts
• Get input from across library staff
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Coming Soon!
• Patron account information (checkouts &
renewals)
• Access to electronic reserves for classes
• Building wayfinding
• Tools for staff
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Questions?
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