ForumSite Announcements ► Mobile layout
This week I'm going through and making more things mobile-friendly. I've already updated the forum main page.

Because all mobile devices are different, please let me know if you see something that seems broken.

I'll update this thread as I change more pages.

Additionally if you feel any particular page is in critical need of updates, please let me know as well. Holy crap, everything is bad. Please hold off making prioritization requests for a few days.

Fixed pages:

  • Forum main page
  • Messages inbox
  • Messages view thread
  • Ask page (still a work in progress)
  • Login page elements are disproportionately sized (text was tiny and button was giant)
  • Make forum thread preview text easier to read
  • Forum new post notification is cluttery
  • Forum reply to thread link is tiny
  • Forum New post notification teal color is too close to blue. It's green now. Please give it 2 days before you complain. The teal was equally weird.
  • Forum post UI has padding around textarea
  • Title field is tiny in New thread UI
  • Forum new post buttons are tiny on mobile
  • Bottom page stats are small
  • Made text in new post textbox easier to read (both post body and new thread title)
  • Registration page sizes
  • Forum search page is cleaned up. I got rid of the confusing options and will bring them back in the form of flags you can add to the search query itself. If this was important or actually used by anyone, let me know.
  • Replying to an answer
  • Writing a reply to a message
  
Messages improved. Not perfect, but I'm going to try to just do a quick first-pass on everything to make it a little more usable that mostly involves just increasing the font size.

Moving on to the QA.
  
The Ask page has been changed. I still want to make a few more changes before I leave it, though.
  
I use an LG K10 running Marshmallow. I haven't run into any seriously egregious issues regarding the thematic layout, but there's something I'd like to recommend: The Ask section, as I am sure you are aware, is populated as a single contiguous page. I saved mine to a PDF - it's over 8MB. I don't ask an obscene amount of questions or anything - my answer:ask ratio is around 22:1 - so I am assuming that for some users who have been here for a while without archiving their posts elsewhere, the ask section may take an obscenely long time to load. I'm guessing for most desktop users this isn't much of an issue, but could plague mobile users in 3G only locations.

I think you should use cookies on the client to save a copy of a user's asks, and then only send changes, but I'm not even remotely savvy enough to tell you whether or not that will be worth the effort, or if the act of doing so will inevitably lead to bigger problems down the road. Figured it was worth saying something about at the very least.
  
I'll be working on collapsing and paging as well. My plan is to get to collapsing answers today, but I won't get to paging until later this month or even next month.

Collapsing answers make moderately long pages much easier to navigate and will purely be implemented as a collection of CSS hacks. It will have very little difference on the page load time but my only goal this week is doing long needed usability fixes.

Paging will need to be implemented as a fundamental change to the API and will take a little longer to implement possibly taking an entire weekend, hence doing it later after all the UX fires are put out. But I'll definitely be doing it. This is where the speed benefit will occur since it'll prevent old information from being transferred on the initial payload.

Cookies transfer data on each request and are intended as a means of communicating old information across to the server rather than storage/caching. As such they're generally only intended for high level metadata such as login information. I think you're thinking of JS localStorage but that also has the problem of still populating the information on the page and is limited to 5MB per domain.
  
I just pushed out another batch of fixes:

  • Login page elements are disproportionately sized (text was tiny and button was giant)
  • Make forum thread preview text easier to read
  • Forum new post notification is cluttery
  • Forum reply to thread link is tiny
  • Forum New post notification teal color is too close to blue. It's green now. Please give it 2 days before you complain. The teal was equally weird.
  • Forum post UI has padding around textarea
  • Title field is tiny in New thread UI
  • Forum new post buttons are tiny on mobile
  • Bottom page stats are small
  • Made text in new post textbox easier to read (both post body and new thread title)
  
Forum search page is cleaned up. I got rid of the confusing options and will bring them back in the form of flags you can add to the search query itself. If this was important or actually used by anyone, let me know.

Also it seems the timestamps were still O'Harean time instead of Gregorian. I fixed that as well.
  
Blake said:
Holy crap, everything is bad. Please hold off making prioritization requests for a few days.
Go nuts.

I've done a lot of fixes but there's still work to do. Please list any annoyance you have with the mobile layout and no complaint is too small.
  
If I want to see stats about a user on mobile, I have to either leave the page or turn my phone sideways. I kind of like being able to see the post count, but I like the vertical scroll format.
  
Oh my god, I had no idea you could disable mobile layout that way...

I'll go ahead and leave it that way for now since you (and I'm sure others) are using it as a workaround.

Is there anything else you turn your phone sideways for?
  
So far, no. Of course, the Motorola Droid Mini is a wonky phone in general. I can't speak for others.
  
More fixes:
  • Replying to an answer
  • Writing a reply to a message

At this point, if there are any places where you click in any text field and your phone automatically zooms in because the font is tiny, please let me know.

If you manually zoom in to read anything, also please let me know.
  
Forum > Site Announcements > Mobile layout