This presentation outlines how we have rewritten our Information Literacy package, SMILE, to make it fully compatible with mobile devices. At present it is available on our VLE, Blackboard, which has a mobile app, but the structure is not suitable for mobile use.
SMILE is written on Dreamweaver and has a sequential structure of twelve units covering information literacy and communication skills. It has been available for over 5 years and lecturers have suggested a wide range of new content. This does not fit easily into the existing menu structure, making it hard for users to quickly find and use what they need. We previously addressed this by embedding direct links to the subject areas into VLE modules, but this did not address the underlying problem of structure.
Dreamweaver have recently added the JQuery functionality to their package which allows you to build a mobile web site. I used this opportunity to completely restructure our existing package into a new one called SMIRK (Small Mobile Information Literacy Realworld Knowhow).
I also wanted to move it out of our VLE to make it more easily accessible with no need to log in and to get more reliable user statistics over a longer period of time using Google analytics.
The mobile format allows us to address user feedback on structure and navigation. SMIRK is constructed in small units which allow users to go directly to the content they need and navigate through it easily. We have involved the university’s disability team to ensure that the package is as accessible as possible.
SMIRK is structured with each unit built as a free-standing complete “chunk”. This allows much greater flexibility in main menu construction, we can have any number of different menus tailored to separate user groups, but have started with a simple navigation by “chapters”
It has a simple “back and forward” navigation common to mobile sites and apps which should make it more intuitive for the user.
It has been promoted to our students and academics using internal newsletters, and to mailbase lists for information literacy and open educational resources. Fuller presentations will be made to the Scottish Information Literacy Community of Practice and coPilot, which span all library sectors. SMIRK will be promoted in person to students, we have already shown it to a group of nurses. Internal promotion to academic staff will take place over the summer and quick links will be embedded in Blackboard. Feedback will be collated and used to develop a programme of improvements. Examination of Google Analytics will help us to plot the user journey and assess the popularity of each section.
Version 2 is underway, including code to enable automatic text resizing and improved navigation. It will also incorporate Google forms for feedback allowing collation of information into a single spreadsheet.
We may run formal usability testing in the new academic year with the help of the university web team.
SMIRK is available at http://www.gcu.ac.uk/library/SMILE/SMIRK/SMIRK_index.htmland will be shared via Jorum’s information literacy collection.
|Affiliation||Glasgow Caledonian University|