Now that I’m on a smartphone that has a real web browser and is capable of multitasking (the Palm Pre), In fact, I find myself expecting it to act like my laptop. I’ve stopped carrying my laptop or my netbook to work each day because I can do so much on my phone, but I’m still noticing where decisions made by web designers make my mobile life easier.
The alternative for me as the reader (acknowledging each person’s situation is different) is to:
- Leave the site up in a card until I get home in the evening and can manually bookmark it on my laptop. This works about 50% of the time.
- Email the site to myself so I can bookmark it later on my laptop. This works about 80% of the time but is annoying.
- Try remembering to revisit the site later on my laptop to bookmark it. This works 0% of the time.
As a result, I’m finding that I’m far more likely to bookmark something if there’s a direct link to post it to Delicious, and that workflow will continue for me until there’s a Pre app that makes this easier, which means I really appreciate sites that offer this. Even better is if you can add it so that it appears in your RSS feed so that it shows up in places like Google Reader and Bloglines, too.
Here are some options to consider for adding this functionality to your site.
- For WordPress blogs, you can use the Sociable plugin (I’m sure there are others, but this is what I use so I know it works). I have another blog post brewing on this topic, but this is yet another reason I encourage libraries to make their “what’s new” page a blog — you can then use the wealth of plugins out there to improve the user’s experience.
- For Drupal sites, you can use something like the Share module (I’m going to look into this for ALA Connect. If you’re using a different CMS, check to see if there’s a similar module for it.
- Failing that, or even for use on general web pages, check out something like the Add This widget, although I have to admit I’m not sure how accessible it is.
Regardless, this can be a relatively easy way to help meet the needs of your mobile users, a group that’s just going to grow in the future. Food for thought. Nom nom nom.