My colleague Bruce Washburn sent me a note prompted by the mention here of the NCSU provision for mobile access to the library website and catalog.
Bruce worked on mobile access to RedLightGreen some years ago. He also worked on the Worldcat Facebook app. He makes an interesting comparison:
We implemented something similar in RedLightGreen back in 2003, though it wasn’t promoted. … I felt like I was in similar territory while developing a Facebook platform interface to WorldCat. The real estate constraints are not unlike what you might find on an iPhone or similar device. Profiling gives the application a chance to know something about who I am, my interests, and my networks. Input continues to be a chore from a phone though there are some ways to ameliorate that in the application. The expectations for app behavior (do one or two things well and limit the number of interactions) are similar, I think, between mobile and facebook apps. [Bruce Washburn, email]
I wonder whether these expectations – limit the number of interactions – and the growth in use of mobile access and widgets of various types will lead to a new convention for what is important to include, or whether applications will continue to make different choices.