Magazine article Online Searcher

Don't Worry, Be 'Appy

Magazine article Online Searcher

Don't Worry, Be 'Appy

Article excerpt

APPS ARE TAKING THE WORLD by storm. There are literally millions of apps (according to Statista, in June 2016, there were 2.2 million for Android users and 2 million for iOS) that you could put on your mobile device--but you probably don't want to be quite that overwhelmed. You're more likely to pick the ones you use the most (WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Uber?) or that are situational (airlines, hotels when you're traveling). And get rid of irrelevant ones--do you really need the app for a conference you attended 3 years ago?

For information professionals, apps raise several issues. If it's web design, the user experience (UX) implications are significant. Responsive design should accommodate many different devices and screen sizes, but how to achieve this may not be as obvious as you'd like.

It also brings the opportunity for librarians to create their own apps, as Joseph Sanchez, Mesa County Public Library, did with Wild Colorado, and Ben Rawlins did for library research guidance at Georgetown College. These librarians not only had to make decisions about content but also presentation, technology, and usability.

Online searching on mobile devices brings its own dilemmas. Now that web search engines can give different results depending upon the device where the search originated-with the preference being mobile-you need to check results from a desktop versus mobile search. Oh great. One more step in the search process! Further complicating this is the search engines' predilection over the years to give different results depending on which browser you use, which adds yet another step in the search process. …

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