A Mobile Site Better Than its Web Version: MU Libraries

While a lot of students have complaints about the design of the library’s new website, the mobile site works much better in terms of navigation and usability. Here’s a screenshot what the mobile site looks like: library.missouri.edu/mobile. (However, you browser on your cellphone sometimes cannot transfer you to this site.)

Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.25.37 AMScreen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.39.34 AM

First of all, the navigation is much more clear than the web version. It covers basically what the students will need from library:

  • Hours & Location;
  • Find Books;
  • Find Articles and Databases;
  • Reserve a Study Room;
  • Contact Us;
  • More information;

Compared to this, the web version looks a lot more cluttered, and the way it organizes the content seems confusing to many. The tabs like “In the Library” sound very confusing about what is enclosed within that menu button. And this is why students are sometimes not very satisfied with the web version.

Second, the mobile site can even complete some database search tasks, like accessing EBSCOHost. A friend of mine has told me she has finished all of her literature search task on the phone, and the versatility should be one of the many reasons she works this way.

Last but not least, the design of the mobile site is very modern and clear. With the eye-catchy icons representing each of the categories on the navigation menu, readers are motivated to explore different functions. For example, most people won’t bother going into “Contact Us” if they visit the main website. But on the mobile version, people may want to provide some feedbacks if it doesn’t take too much time to finish.

In addition, it actually saves time for basic tasks. For example, if you want to reserve a study room or find library hours on the main website, it takes more than five clicks to get to the information, unless you use the search box. But on the mobile site, everything you need most often is on the homepage.

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