OCLC on the Responsive Web

Aaron Ganci, John McCullough


Patrons and staff are increasingly using mobile and tablet devices to access their library’s online catalog. Chapter 6 of Library Technology Reports (vol. 51, no. 7), “Mobile Devices: Service with Intention,” describes OCLC’s responsive web design (RWD) methodology in the development of its new discovery interfaces. RWD allows designers and developers to create one Web experience that can be dynamically optimized for any device’s screen size. The use of RWD has allowed OCLC to meet many observed and projected user needs with one design. This chapter details OCLC’s process and the insights and challenges encountered during development. The primary challenge identified is the issue of content priority. It is impossible to fit the same amount of content on both a desktop and mobile screen. With smaller screens in mind, the team was forced to prioritize the content of every screen, taking user needs and expectations into account. The team developed a content priority workshop to help in this process, the details of which are shared in this chapter. Testing of the designs will also be discussed and came in the form of usability tests, analytics, and responses from a beta site.

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Lee Rainie and Aaron Smith, “Tablet and E-reader Ownership Update,” Pew Research Center, October 18, 2013, www.pewinternet.org/2013/10/18/tablet-and-e-reader-ownership-update.

Ofcom, Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report, research document (London: Ofcom, October 2014), 5, http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/media-literacy/media-use-attitudes-14/Childrens_2014_Report.pdf.

Luke Wroblewski, Mobile First (New York: A Book Apart, 2011).


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