LITA guide explores usability and the mobile web

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/03/2015


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Mobile technology has changed the way we interact with one another and our communities. With the proliferation of mobile devices and the constant availability of information access, it is more important than ever for libraries to meet users on their phones and tablets. But not all mobile library approaches are created equal, and in “Usability and the Mobile Web: A LITA Guide,” published by ALA TechSource, Junior Tidal clarifies the mobile web landscape, helping librarians and library developers create mobile websites and applications from a user-centered perspective. Whether they have previous experience conducting mobile web usability tests, or are new to the concept of user-centered design, readers will find:

  • a survey of mobile devices, with an analysis of their commonalities and differences, plus discussions on hardware and the concept of mobile context;
  • information on mobile apps, websites and hybrids, enabling libraries to make informed decisions on what’s best for their users and institutions;
  • nuts-and-bolts guidance on text editors, HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), web browsers and other skills and tools necessary for mobile web development;
  • an overview of usability and what the concept means with regard to the library experience;
  • tips for conducting usability testing and research, from planning to execution and analysis;
  • sample scripts for recruiting testing volunteers and gathering feedback, a boilerplate consent form and a bibliography of additional resources.

Tidal is the multimedia and web services librarian and assistant professor at the Ursula C. Schwerin Library at the New York City College of Technology, City University of New York. His research interests include mobile web development, usability, web metrics and information architecture. He has published in OCLC Systems & Services, Computers in Libraries and code4Lib Journal and contributed chapters to the books “Web Analytics Strategies for Libraries: A LITA Guide” and “The New Academic Librarian: Essays on Changing Roles and Responsibilities.” He has served as secretary for the Library Association of the City University of New York and in the past co-chaired the group’s Emerging Technologies Committee. He also co-chaired New York City’s code41ib chapter from 2013 to 2014.

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of ALA, educates, serves and reaches out to its members, other ALA members and divisions, and the entire library and information community through its publications, programs and other activities designed to promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology.

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