When a Website Isn’t Enough
Demco Software today shares a story that explores how users responded when The Ferguson Library, CT, cancelled their mobile app with plans to replace it with a mobile-friendly library website.
The library initially decided to launch a mobile app in 2012 with a goal to connect users to the library’s services and resources on the go. Four years later, they decided to cancel the app and offer a new streamlined website optimized for mobile phones and tablets.
“It renders beautifully,” shared Susan LaPerla, Acting Director at The Ferguson Library about the mobile-friendly website, a website that the library still offers in addition to their relaunched mobile app. “But we realized that the user account interface on an external website provided a less than ideal user experience. Users demanded that we bring our app back. People missed the app and we did too – it accounts for half of our virtual visits!”
“We knew that users used the app and enjoyed it, but we didn’t realize how much of an uproar there would be when it disappeared!” added Elizabeth Joseph, Coordinator of Information and Adult Services. “Now it’s an essential and core part of our service and communication delivery models.”
With a user base that relies heavily upon phones and tablets, the app both raises awareness of the library’s resources and makes them more accessible when and where users need them. Usage reports prove its value as virtual visits have doubled since they brought back the app. The number of monthly unique users quickly increased the month after the app’s relaunch – indicating the app was clearly missed during its short hiatus.
“With 64% of American adults owning a smartphone—a 29% increase since just five years ago—libraries really need to focus on making their services and resources accessible via mobile devices. Providing both a mobile-optimized website and a customized app like The Ferguson Library does is the best approach,” says Mary Casey, Marketing Manager at Demco Software. “Our custom-branded native mobile apps for libraries make it easy to offer the best possible experience for mobile users. We’re excited to help Ferguson Library go where their users go.”
In the time since this article was first published, Demco Software has taken over product development and ownership of the mobile apps and customers formerly owned by Boopsie, Inc. Subscribe to our email list to receive updates as we continue to evolve the suite of engagement tools we offer libraries.
About The Ferguson Library
The Ferguson Library’s vision is to inspire, promote and foster lifelong learning and personal growth. The library provides free and equal access to information, ideas, books and technology to educate and enrich the Stamford community and operates with core values that include nurturing and encouraging literacy, celebrating life-long learning and creating a safe, inviting and comfortable environment that is conducive to reading, studying, learning and engagement.