Is your web interface mobile friendly?

by Kathy Bryce Tuesday, January 10, 2012 8:14 AM

Odds are that your website will be viewed on a tablet or smart phone.  The Washington Post reported that “The last week in 2011 was the biggest ever for Android and iOS. According to mobile app analytics company Flurry, over 20 million devices were activated between Christmas and New Year, and 1.2 billion apps were downloaded. That's about 60 percent higher than every week of December before Christmas, and marks the largest number of apps ever downloaded in a single week, passing a billion downloads for the first time.”

Have you tested how your website looks on a mobile device?  There are free resources for this such as iPad-Emulator.com for the iPad, or the Opera Mobile Emulator.  See also a more comprehensive list - The Best Mobile Emulators & Responsive Design Testing Tools ... .

In many cases, search screens will work and function well in a mobile browser, but you may wish to create a search screen optimized for smaller screens, just to make the experience that much better. See our blog post WorkSafeBC Launches Mobile Version of Library Catalogue for an example.

Although we don’t recommend substituting a PDF for a search of your database, sometimes this can be useful for fairly static content, i.e. for recommended lists of web resources, or archival finding aids. Most software has a Save As PDF option and if not, there are many free printer drivers such as PrimoPDF or PDFCreator that let you print to PDF very easily.   The good news is that your PDF’s can be opened on mobile devices and manipulated using a touch screen.  As well as enlarging for easier reading, with apps like iBooks or Kindle you can also view thumbnails and flip through or bookmark pages. Features such as highlighting or annotating are not available though.  Your PDF’s can be saved into libraries and synced with iTunes or other devices.  So while not all the interactive features of a custom app are available, it’s worth reminding your users of this capability for viewing your PDF’s. 

If you need assistance making changes to your website to accommodate mobile devices or decide to create a mobile-specific site, please be sure to contact us.

Tags: mobile | tips

Are you a long time Inmagic user? Test your knowledge with our DB/TextWorks Quiz!

by Kathy Bryce Monday, December 19, 2011 2:14 PM

From now until January 6th, 2012 the names of all those who complete the quiz will be entered in a draw to win a $50 Chapters gift card (or gift card from an equivalent online book store).  We will be contacting the winner by email so you must enter your name and a valid email address to win. Contest closes at at 5:00 pm Pacific Time on January 6th, 2012.

Visit www.andornot.com/quiz for your chance to win!

The quiz asks you very specific questions about using DB/TextWorks, with answers provided after each, along with some usage tips.  You can also review the correct answers when you complete the quiz. 

Feedback so far has been very positive:

  • “I enjoyed it very much!!! A good refresher and you should do it more often!”
  • “It was fun and nicely designed.  I would like to see more in the future.”
  • “Tricky, but good”

We plan to offer more quizzes next year on different topics.  We’ll also incorporate some of the findings into blog posts or newsletter articles as we’ve already noticed that many people get one particular question about date searching wrong. 

Please also check out our DB/TextWorks training schedule or contact us for an upgrade quote if you discover that your version does not have all the features covered in the quiz.

Version 13 of Inmagic DB/Text for SQL released

by Kathy Bryce Friday, December 09, 2011 1:43 PM

All clients with a current Inmagic maintenance subscription for the SQL Server or SQL Express version of DB/Text or the Library Suite should have received an email from Inmagic with the download information for this new version. (This was formerly known as Content Server.) Version 13 for the non SQL version was released earlier this year, and the feature list is the same - see our earlier posts for DB/Text and WebPublisher PRO.

If you have a current maintenance subscription but have not received a notification email in the next week or so, please email advantage@inmagic.com with your serial number and email address so it can be resent.  Please also remember to let us know if your contact information has changed so we can update our records and pass this on to Inmagic.

Please contact us if you would like assistance upgrading or would like to renew an expired maintenance subscription. We can also help you update your current web interface to include the latest features available in the software itself, or with our add-on products.

Heritage Burnaby adds digitized oral histories.

by Kathy Bryce Monday, November 21, 2011 4:49 PM

Andornot has recently completed several exciting upgrades to the Heritage Burnaby website. The Archives received funding to digitize and create a web search interface to audio interviews on cassettes or reel to reel tapes from the last fifty years.  These interviews give an intimate glimpse into the lives of the Burnaby pioneers, and cover a wide range of subjects.  One of the common themes is the struggles that the Municipality and Burnaby families faced during the 1930s when the City went into receivership and unemployment was widespread.

As an interview could be more than an hour long, each was split into 5-10 minute tracks.  Behind the scenes Inmagic TextWorks databases HeritageBurnabyOralHistoryScreenshotwere established to capture information on the Master recording with metadata including the interviewee, date interviewed, interviewer and detailed biographical notes.  An image file showing either the interviewee or a relevant image such as the location or house discussed in the interview was also added.  Each track was then described individually and associated with the master record. Information includes the scope and content of each track, the date range, the subjects discussed and the historical neighbourhood. 

The new web interface allows users to search for any word or phrase across the descriptive fields, or by interviewee, subject or neighbourhood.  There is also an option to browse a listing of all the interviews.

Just adding a link for a user to click and then download an audio file was not an option.  Most users do not want to wait for a track to download, and they may not have an installed media player that supports the audio format.   Playback therefore relies on jPlayer, an open source HTML5 audio/video library which intelligently falls back to Adobe Flash when necessary to provide a consistent interface in all browsers.

“We are thrilled with the flexible and user-friendly interface that has allowed us to make these records publicly accessible for the first time.  By also adding the oral history database to the OneSearch feature on our site, researchers have the ability to find all related records, regardless of medium or format.  This will be an extremely useful tool for our users.”   [Arilea Sill, City Archivist]

Check out last week’s article in the Burnaby NewsLeader - Oral histories online provide fascinating look at Burnaby history or contact us for further information.

Archives Association of BC launches new website

by Kathy Bryce Friday, November 18, 2011 9:38 AM

The AABC website has re-launched with a new design in honour of Archives Week 2011 and the second anniversary of Memorybc.ca.  This project was made possible through NADP funding from Heritage Canada, Library & Archives Canada, and the Canadian Council of Archives. Through an RFP process, the AABC executive selected Andornot to design the new site and migrate the current content.

As part of the mandate of the project, the design incorporates elements of the Memory BC look and feel, with the use of the same header image and colors.  The AABC logo was also updated to a more modern style.   The structure of the site was re-organized to group pages under 5 main headings and all the content was migrated and reformatted.   Older newsletters were converted into PDF’s rather than trying to retain over 900 HTML pages and images.
 
PreviousAABCWebsite
Old site
  AABC.CA_website
New Site

Behind the scenes the site uses the open source Umbraco content management system and is hosted by Andornot.  Individual members of the executive and volunteers now have rights to edit specific sections or pages, and to upload documents into a Media Library.  The WYSIWYG content editor allows them to easily type in content, or to copy and paste from other programs. No knowledge of HTML is required as stylesheets control the formatting. 

The home page is now automatically populated by recent entries from a news blog with an RSS feed.  The same approach has been used for positions listed on the Job Board. Umbraco offers a Publish /Unpublish date feature so jobs can automatically be set to disappear after the closing date. 

Redesigning and migrating a site with so much content created over many years presented some challenges, and we are very grateful for the responsiveness of the AABC executive to our suggestions and recommendations.

“Our site needed updating for many years. The new site is much more user-friendly and is very easy to edit. Information is easier to find for our members and users, and will allow more control and diverse functionality for the AABC executive and contractors. We really like our new logo and how much the overall look and feel matches MemoryBC.ca.  Andornot’s knowledge of the BC archival community helped to make this project run smoothly.”  Jane Morrison, AABC President.

Please contact Andornot for more information.

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