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Jun 28

Mobile accessibility

I have had my eyephone for nearly two years now and I love it. Not necessarily the fact that its an eyephone, but the fact that its a smart phone.

The reference librarian in me likes being able to look things up at the spur of the moment.  The nerd in my just likes having the internet available to me, whatever the reason, everywhere I go (ISP/Phone provider allowing that is).

As these sorts of devices proliferate, my library has headed down the road that many have, of providing our content in a mobile accessible format. Its just basic at the moment, with links to mobile accessible versions of our branches and opening hours, our catalogue and account logins, our calendar of events etc.  Our library system vendor has an eyephone app, so it links to that as well.   Its a work in progress and its live, so it will be interesting to see how it is used.

Our website detects when a request for it is being made by a mobile device and it automatically delivers the mobile version. That’s great and I am pretty sure most mobile accessible websites work the same way.  From statistics we know that the library items we have on our mobile site are the most used, but they are not the only ones used. So we have a link to the desktop version of our website for those who are seeking other content.

You can imagine my frustration then, when I have gone to do something similar on other mobile sites – get to content that is not on the website’s mobile version, but is on their main site, only to find that I can’t. There have been at least two sites recently that I have ended up having to wait until I got to a desktop computer to access the content that I couldn’t from my phone.

A lesson learned for us.

The other lesson we are learning at the moment is considering how much of our website content needs to be there and if it stays, can it be into a mobile accessible format. But that’s ongoing, so stay tuned……

What sort of mobile accessible website delights or disasters have you come across?