Thursday, 12th January 2012
Europeana: Culture on the go
Source: Europeana Professional
Internet use via mobile phone and tablet offers a different user experience from the desk-bound PC. This is not just a growing platform: mobile user interface designs are beginning to influence the look and feel of desktops: the tail wagging the dog.
Mobile devices are being used more and more for accessing the Web for information and nobody yet knows what the impact or implications of this will be for web providers and usage. It might be expected that mobiles will extend the reach of websites and draw in a wider range of people (more digital natives perhaps), partly because they are seen to be social and ‘cool’. Many of these new users will have little experience of traditional web information services, like Europeana, which owe more to the library world than to the consumer one. This combined with the fact that: a) mobiles enable people to search on the move, virtually anywhere and at any time; b) people are generally searching on smaller devices, which typically have less functionality; and, c) mobile users are comfortable paying to access information on mobile phones, means that we might expect a different form of information seeking behaviour to evolve. If this proves to be the case then websites like Europeana need to change fast or face decoupling from the consumer.
Three years ago, Europeana was prescient in its design for users with mobile phones, but in the past year the growth of tablet devices has been the next big wave. Mobile, touch-sensitive, lacking keyboard and mouse, but no longer a tiny screen; the design of tablet interfaces is feeding back onto the desktop. Europeana needs to anticipate the new ways users will search and navigate, to match expectations viewed `on the go’.
+ Direct link to document (PDF; 6.8 MB)
By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
Adrian can be reached at email@example.com
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