LibGuides v2 is designed to be mobile-first. This means that your LibGuides will display beautifully on tablets and smartphones, right out of the box.
But, there are things that you can do so that content within the box is maximized for mobile users.
Introducing our 5 tips for maximizing your LibGuides for mobile devices.
With these tips, you'll have mobile-users mobbing your Guides in no time!
Your LibGuides are mobile-friendly out of the box. However, images you upload might not be. These Do's and Don'ts will ensure that your LibGuides load quickly and beautifully on all devices.
According to Smashing Magazine, mobile users expect webpages to load within 4 seconds. Also, most Mobile Networks are considerably slower than their broadband counterparts, so an image loads much slower on your 4G/3G smartphone than on a wifi/wired connection.
The simplest and most effective tip to ensure fast load times is to resize your images before uploading them to your LibGuide, especially if you are only going to use the image in a guide.
Changing the image size after you upload it does not affect the file size download. This means that large image files will take a long time to download on a mobile device.
If you upload an image that is 3000px by 3000px (2.5MB file size) and resize it inside your LibGuides to be 100px by 100px...the user still downloads all 3000px and all 2.5MB.
Most 4G Mobile Networks average .76 MB/second download speeds.
3G/4G Performance Map, PC World
It could take 3.28 seconds to download one image.
How do I resize images?
Here are some of our favorite tools for resizing images before uploading them to LibGuides:
Do I have to resize all images before I upload them to my LibGuide?
Nope, that would be just cray-cray. We only suggest resizing images if the original image and your desired display are drastically different. If you want the image to be between 10-15% smaller on your LibGuide, use the built-in image sizing options.
Sometimes, a LibGuide needs a large image. Large images are visually compelling. But just because you have a large images doesn't mean you're dooming your mobile users to long download times.
Compressing an image before you upload it to your LibGuide removes extra kilobytes that you don't need. Shaving a few extra bytes off your large images can impact download speeds on mobile devices.
There are lots of image compression tools available, just Google it!
If you want to use a lot of images in one guide, but you're worried about Mobile download speeds, try Font Awesome instead! Font Awesome gives you the flexibility of images, but has the same file size as text. Win-win!
What's Font Awesome?
Font Awesome is a free suite of 479 scalable vector icons that are easily customizable using basic HTML. Change the size, color, add a border, anything at all – using some really basic inline HTML.
Why Should I Use It?
The Font Awesome library is fully incorporated into LibGuides v2! So you only need to call the icons using their CSS classes. Use Font Awesome icons to:
What's the HTML Structure?
Bookmark These Links:
In ye olden days of Internet-yore, webpages were designed using tables. That's right....tables. If you don't believe us, here's an example straight out of 1995.
If you're still using tables to layout content in LibGuides, you don't have to! Tables are best used for displaying tabular content, or content that naturally belongs in a grid.
Have you ever looked at your LibGuide on a mobile device? If not, you don't have to fire-up your smartphone... simply resize this browser window and you'll get a good idea of how your LibGuide looks on a mobile-sized screen.
LibGuides v2 is built on the Bootstrap framework, which is designed to be responsive and mobile-first. When you're building a LibGuide, think of adding each box to a row.
Having flexible, not fixed (i.e. pixel) widths for each LibGuides columns allows the columns to reorder and stack depending on the device size.
No matter the column layout, all boxes in the far-left column will reorder and display at the top of your mobile-LibGuide. Then center-column boxes will display, and then far right column boxes.
Front-load your most important content in the left column.
These boxes will display first on mobile-devices.
1. Side-Nav displays first,
2. Boxes under side-nav,
3. Center boxes last.
If mobile-responsiveness and design is your number one priority, then we suggest using the side-navigation style for all your LibGuides.
You can lock down your navigation style system-wide so authors can only use the template you selected.
Bonus: If you're using LibGuides CMS, lock-down specific layouts for each CMS group.
There's no limit to the number of guides you can build, so why not condense some of your larger, designed for Desktop-style LibGuides into Pocket Guides? Pocket guides are specifically designed for use on smart phones, so they'll contain just your best-best, mobile-optimized resources.