Discourse create new topic user experience on mobile

Seems pretty smooth @sam

I wonder how important it is to be able to see all fields at once. The composer field seems short compared to the reply window

What if as soon as you tapped into a larger compose window, it just scrolled the page down so the the post button could be visible?

Another note, on our community we sort all our categories alphabetically, but showing the hierarchy on the dropdown makes it difficult to use the selector. Perhaps if there was an easy wat to target the first category, we could hide them…

This is another argument in favor of typing to complete category rather than making people scroll through a list as I have suggested multiple times in this topic.

5 Likes

Sounds like a good option to let the community admin decide. Dropdown makes sense for less than 10 categories I imagine

2 Likes

Or as @mcwumbly suggested make category selection a full screen modal affair.

1 Like

I’'m not sure about type-to-complete category - if you’re newish, or not a daily user of the community, how would you know what to type? A two-step process or perhaps a simpler dropdown without the descriptive text for each category might be better.

4 Likes

I was under the impression that the select dropdown wasn’t going anywhere; but it would have the same kind of type-to-complete as the desktop experience does currently. Then selecting a topic could keep focus on the autocomplete element. This in turn would keep your keyboard, so as to not have the composer “jump” when the keyboard disappears.

2 Likes

Great to see discussion on improving the mobile experience. It is truly a mobile first world - in many countries the 50:50 in between mobile and desktop happened quite some time ago, and now mobile has globally surpassed desktop. It is also worth mentioning that in the developing countries the peoples’ first internet enabled device is very likely a mobile (of a lower price category). So they do not walk the desktop-laptop-smartphone path, but go straight to mobile.

That said, I don’t have a silver bullet how the mobile UX should be optimized. The screen estate remains to be a challenge. Proposed solutions may call for some A/B testing?

One thing that works particularly poorly in mobile is topic templates. They are not great on desktop and are close to unusable for mobile topic creation.

I just noticed that on desktop, there’s a auto-complete for category selection. Is this new in 1.7 or had I just never seen it before? Any reason why not to add it to mobile?

Keyboard pop is very disruptive and not to be done lightly. You immediately destroy half the screen.

4 Likes

This would fit any topic that concerns mobile, but I’ll use this one, as it is rather recent. Some statistics worth having a look:

3 Likes

Of that “smartphone users” we are only addressing people with a device from 2014 onward, realistically. Anything older will be brutal.

1 Like

one of our users has shared his hard experience in creating topic in a lumia 640 xl windows phone,

they have less space in mobile UI when they want to create topic:

does it have anything to do with our website or is it how it should be as a discourse platform?

the browser is edge.

We can’t really support Windows Phone effectively as it is too odd, and the market share is incredibly tiny.

4 Likes

I’ve had a user recently report that she can’t use our forum (besides for reading only) on her 8" Galaxy Tab 4, which is a 2014 device.

This is not only ‘Create Topic’ specific problem, but also applies to replies. Here is the screenshot she shared:

Shouldn’t the header of the page disappear up, as it does on my iPhone 5S (both in portrait and landscape) when the keyboard appears, so that you can see at least a little of the editor window?

Here is the editor appearance on my iPhone screen, which is well smaller than the Tab 4.

It’s not great. But it gives me a few lines to see what I’m typing, which is good.

She will need to rotate her device.

Or get a different keyboard - that thing’s taking a larger than normal fraction of the screen area!

Also the combination of:

  • Firefox Mobile with always show tabs (takes space)

  • Firefox Mobile showing location bar when user has scrolled past top (takes space)

  • Website with top-navigation bar that doesn’t hides on scroll (takes space)

is very bad.

The pseudo app on Chrome Add to Homescreen will give you a lot more space.

5 Likes

one of users with HTC desire 728, Google chrome sent us this screenshot:

then when she use the Request desktop site things goes to normal. :confused: is it ok?

is there an option for this or should we do this via css?

Hope to see more developments on mobile related features and optimizations. Where I am from, people mostly use mobile devices to surf the internet and many use low-end mobile devices. I really like Discourse but I find the mobile side of things are a bit lacking although I have only tried Discourse for just over a week and so I may be judging to early.

Just to compare with nodebb which is quite similar to Discouse and maybe the only alternative that one has of a modern forum software. It has some mobile specific features which I think would be good to be implemented with Discourse such as full screen text editor when writing topics or posts. In addition to that, the load times are better with mobile, at least that is what I experienced with my phone.

That being said, as far as I know no other open source forum software can be compared to Discourse when it comes to development activities which to me outweighs these concerns and one of the main reasons to choose Discourse over other softwares. Although, it would be nice to have better experience on mobile.

4 Likes