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David Lee King: Mobile ready websites

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Image: Mobile ready websites.

I'd guess that you have quite a few library patrons using your library's website through their favorite mobile device - either a smartphone or a tablet. I know my library's website does. Using Google Analytics, I can see that 35% of my library's website visitors were using a mobile device.

Image: David Lee KingDavid Lee King

David Lee King is the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends.

He speaks internationally about emerging trends, website management, digital experience, and social media, and has been published in many library-related journals. David is a Library Journal Mover and Shaker.

His newest book is Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections.

David blogs at

Read David's other articles…


Image: Social media

Here's a question for you: Do you know what type of experience your mobile visitors are having?

If not, it's time to do some testing. Here's what I suggest for starters. Get out your smartphone, and actually start playing around with your library's website. Make sure to visit a few of the more popular things to do at your website, including:

  • Check out a book: start at your library's website, click through to the catalogue, find a book, and put it on hold
  • Access a database: click the databases link, browse to find a database, and click the link. See if you can actually do a search
  • Check out your Events page
  • Read a blog post
  • Ask a question. see if the chat feature works on a mobile device and see if you can find what to do next
  • Anything else important at your library? Do that thing, to see if it makes sense on a mobile device

Image: Mobile ready websites.

After visiting your website, assess the experience you had. While thinking about the experience, ask yourself these questions:

  • Were you successful?
  • Was the page readable on a smaller screen?
  • Was the navigation easy to use on a mobile device?
  • Was anything clunky - did something not work as well as it does on the full desktop version of the website?

Once you work through those questions, you will most likely have a list of improvements to make to your website. Start making those improvements, and making your mobile experience a better one!