B205 – Hacking Apps With the User in Mind
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM
Web Services Librarian, Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, The George Washington University
While responsive design and dedicated mobile websites have helped to make libraries more accessible on handheld devices, there often still exists a disconnect between the library’s mobile website and the databases and ejournals to which it provides access. Some databases, such as those provided by EBSCO, detect mobile devices and automatically serve up a mobile-friendly version. Others are not so simple, often requiring detailed instructions, the creation of accounts, and the downloading of separate applications. How then, can libraries present this information in a manner that is easy for patrons to understand while also being constrained by limited screen real estate? Hear how one library has hacked the “App Store” model to market library database apps in a manner familiar and intuitive to smartphone and tablet users. The Himmelfarb “App Store” allows the library to display apps by browsable categories and highlight newly available apps, all using eye-catching icons. Using a mobile, touch friendly-interface, users can swipe and tap to choose an app, pull up any special instructions, and down- load the app to their mobile devices just as they would install the latest version of Angry Birds.
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