Why did we do it?
Since the launch of our new web presence in January, 2010, the User Experience Design team has continued our commitment to finding new and timely ways to serve our users’ needs. Thus, in the summer of 2010, we embarked on a mobile user research project that culminated in our creation of a new mobile version of CDL’s website. We want to support our users whether they are at their desks or on the go in a mobile context.
How did we do it?
Before we started designing, we reviewed what our users told us over the course of the summer through surveys and interviews. We analyzed how they used our site by monitoring our web statistics. We also took a look at what other academic institutions and libraries were doing with their mobile sites.
We learned that when our users are mobile, they don’t need all of the information that they require when they’re in a desktop environment. They usually want quick hits of information that will help them in a mobile context, such as directions, contact information, and quick news. They don’t want complicated interactions or overly long content that would require deep and immersive attention.
Also, since we’ve never tested users in a mobile context, we had to build new user testing setups to be able to capture how our users felt when they tested our site. We created a new rig expressly for capturing mobile device user behavior. We have more information on this process in a CDLINFO article.
What did we do?
Site architecture and layout
We created a site with a concise architecture, content geared toward mobile use, and a streamlined layout.
Content and features
We enabled an auto-detect feature to recognize when certain mobile devices were trying to access the CDL website; the auto-detect would automatically send the user to the mobile site. We provided quick hits of information (contact info, directions, system status, CDLINFO news), map feature, and phone and email in-phone features.
We hope to continue to grow and develop our mobile site by monitoring use patterns, incorporating more features or content if applicable. So stay tuned and visit us when you’re on the go…