Comparing flow experience in using digital libraries: Web and mobile context

Xianjin Zha (Center for Studies of Information Resources, Wuhan University, Wuhan,, China)
Jinchao Zhang (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan,, China)
Yalan Yan (School of Management, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Wentao Wang (School of Information Management, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

Flow experience is conceptualized as an optimal experience about an activity, characterized by a match between perceived challenges and perceived skills. The purpose of this paper is to explore mobile libraries by comparing users’ perceptions of web digital libraries and mobile libraries in terms of flow experience so as to obtain insights regarding the healthy development of mobile libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collected from university digital library users were used for analysis. One figure was used to present the exact nature of users’ perceptions of flow experience in terms of data distribution. The paired samples t-test was used to present the exact mean difference between flow experience in using web digital libraries and mobile libraries.

Findings

Fewer users can experience flow and more users cannot experience flow in using mobile libraries than in using web digital libraries. The mean of flow experience in using mobile libraries is significantly smaller than that in using web digital libraries.

Practical implications

Digital libraries have faced severe competition in the modern information society. In China university libraries as a whole are undergoing the transition from web digital libraries to mobile libraries. It is critical to examine user experience in the initial or early stage of mobile library development. The authors believe the findings of this study regarding flow experience provide useful insights for facilitating the healthy development of mobile libraries.

Originality/value

This study explores and compares users’ perceptions of web digital libraries and mobile libraries in terms of flow experience, which the authors think provides a new view for university digital library research and practice alike.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (Grant Number 71373193).

Citation

Zha, X., Zhang, J., Yan, Y. and Wang, W. (2015), "Comparing flow experience in using digital libraries: Web and mobile context", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 41-53. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-12-2014-0111

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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