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IET Technology Coffee Morning: Meeting the needs of Library users on the mobile web

4 October 2011
Jennie Lee Building Meering Room 1 Ground Floor

Cloudscape created by:

Lynda Davies
7 March 2011


In order to meet the growing number of our users (in particular students) accessing the OU websites through mobile devices, the Library development team has been actively working on optimising the Library website to be accessible from the desktop computers as well as on small screen mobile devices. We developed the first mobile version of the OU Library website in 2007, working collaboratively with Athabasca University using their ADR (Auto Detect and Reformat) software. This version was a single column design intended to work on basic mobile phones as well on smart phones such as the Nokia N95. However, in the last couple of years our website analytics have shown an increase in visits from touch screen phones (e.g. iPhone and HTC Android), which has prompted us to redesign the mobile OU Library website to improve usability, especially on touch screen mobile devices. We are adapting MIT’s open source Mobile Web project which enables the website design to be optimised for three categories of small screen devices: basic, smart and touch screen phones.

In this coffee morning, we will highlight some of the developments to the mobile Library website and the work being carried out during different stages of the project specifically covering:

  1. Gathering user requirements for mobile library services through user feedback, focus group consultation and website analytics.
  2. A technical overview of adapting and customising MIT’s open source MIT’s mobile web software.
  3. The lessons learnt and key challenges and issues when it comes to designing content/website for smaller screens.

Demo of the new mobile OU Library website 

Presenters: Hassan Sheikh & Owen Smith (Library)

Location: Jennie Lee Building Meeting Room 1 Ground Floor

 Link to TCM 2011 Schedule:

"TCM YouTube Podcasts"