What If You Designed Mobile First?

One of the things I get to do is teach a course for Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science on Web Development and Information Architecture. And, one of the things we talk more and more about in that class is developing a library web presences for a mobile environment. This summer the class is even reading a book titled Mobile First.

The thing is, designing for mobile isn’t just something to think about for library websites. It’s something to think about when planning programs, services, and collections that tend to be face-to-face but could really have an on-the-road or on-a-device aspect. For example:
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App of the Week: Project 365

Title: Project 365Project 365
Cost: $0.99 (free version also available)
Platform: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad (requires iOs 4.0 or later)

Photo journaling is a fun and powerful way to document an important occasion or even a whole year.’  Inspired by the photography website Photojojo, the Project 365 app helps users capture one shot per day, organize the collection of images, and share the results with friends and family.

Photojojo describes Project 365 as a “big undertaking with big payoffs.” They encourage photographers to take a picture a day, and their arguments are convincing: Continue reading App of the Week: Project 365

App of the Week: Gift Giving Special

Note: This is a repost from November 30, 2011. Now that the holidays are over and teens have new devices, and maybe gift certificates for apps in hand, those looking for just the right apps for those devices will find lots of possibilities in this gift-giving special.

In this special edition of YALSA’s App of the Week, our app reviewers bring you their selections (listed in alphabetical order) of apps that make great gifts for teens. If YALSA Blog readers have ideas of great apps to give to teens during the holiday season, feel free to add them to the comments on this post.

Title: Biophilia
Cost: Free initial download, $9.99 to download all song apps.
Platform: iPhone, iPad, iPod (requires iOS 4.1 or later)

Biophilia app iconBjork’s latest offering is part album, part exploration of music theory, and part audiovisual playground. Every part of this app is meticulously designed. From the font you see throughout, which was created especially for Bjork, to the sound and motion in the menu screen. Put on your headphones, and arrive in a galaxy of nine stars, one for each track. When you navigate to each song star, you have options to watch an animation, follow along with the score, read a narrative about the inspiration for the song or a musical analysis, and to play. In this case, play does not mean simply to listen to the song, but offers an option to explore an interactive piece, to play with the song, rather than just to play it. The music itself is as sensual and strange as Bjork’s other albums; the songs are conceptually connected by a love of nature and feeling of interconnectedness (hence Biophilia). Continue reading App of the Week: Gift Giving Special

App of the Week: Taptu – DJ Your News

Title: Taptu -‘  DJ Your News

Platform: Nook Color, Nook Tablet, Android, iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (Requires iOS 4.0 or later)

Cost: Free

TaptuHow many newspapers, blogs, websites, and social networking sites did you scan today before visiting the YALSA Blog? Whether it is for reference questions, professional development, or leisure purposes, the amount of information librarians consume on a daily basis can be somewhat overwhelming.’  This week’s app, Taptu – DJ Your News, helps combat information-overload by “mashing, mixing, and merging” all your social networking content, favorite websites, and news sources into a visual stream that can be browsed with the sweep of a finger.

Adding your favorite news feeds and websites is a simple task. Taptu’s “StreamStore” features popular streams sorted visually and by topic (see the image at right). In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Taptu has hundreds of curated topics like “2012 Elections,” “Twilight Breaking Dawn,” Continue reading App of the Week: Taptu – DJ Your News