Discourse Mobile App UI feedback


(Chris Beach) #1

I like seeing topic list previews on the new mobile app. IMO the app could be further improved by removing the header entirely and moving buttons as follows to avoid wasted vertical space:

The header is unnecessary IMO. There is an “edit” button at the footer, and the “+” button could be moved down next to it.

Also would be good for the app to pre-load the forum web views in the background to avoid a lag when clicking through.


(Chris Beach) #2

One other thing:

This notification screen may serve a purpose for other interactions with the API, but in the mobile app, it seems like needless friction:

I cannot think of a case where I would add a forum to the app but not click on the above button.


(Joffrey Jaffeux) #3

Good ideas, I definitely don’t like the expand as it is now. Not sure I want to get rid of the title, but could reduce the title and maybe remove the button, not sure though, some people won’t find the « edit sites » button, but could try somethingof this kind.

I don’t hink we want to change the second screen though, and it’s one time per site thing so not terribly annoying…


(Joffrey Jaffeux) #4

Thanks :ok_hand:

Also you mean I would kind of prefetch each sites homepage? Not sure I can do this but can investigate.


(Chris Beach) #5

Yes, a pre-fetch in the background.

The user is likely to click on a forum, so the app could optimise by loading the forum in the background before they click.


(Rosemary Orchard) #6

I’ve been struggling with the list of topics below each forum. I have no unread or new threads, but the summary doesn’t change - pull to refresh to update would be appreciated, that doesn’t always work right now for me.

What might be nice for those of us with many forums is the ability to hide this summary and just show the notifications below/next to each forum.


(Joffrey Jaffeux) #7

It’s an experiment atm and kind of complicated to get right as it requires many queries and hit rate limit quite fast. This is why sometimes pull to refesh is not refreshing. If people enjoy this kind of view we might have a more performant dedicated query.

I wouldnt be against having some visibility options on the edit screen to customize what you show on each site.


#8

Is it just me, or does opening a notification in iOS no longer open the topic? Seems like I always land on the main launch screen.


#9

Is this in reference to the API permission screen? If so, I agree that it’s not terribly annoying, but unfortunately I do think it is terribly confusing. Especially with the new login process, which requires logging in twice,(And I understand that’s an irritating limitation of iOS, not your fault), I think it will really inhibit user onboarding. Especially when people are used to one-click login.


(Matt Sephton) #10

News that things are experimental is not what I wanted to hear.

I’m just trying to get a handle on whether I can go back to the old version of the app or beach myself for frequent change.

How frequently will new versions be released?


(Stephen) #11

The new app is a significant departure from what we previously had, Joffrey is proving to be incredibly responsive to feedback.

I’m pretty confident if we all engage in that process the period of change will be shorter and more productive.

How would you go back to the old version of the app? The app store version is already updated to the new UI.


(Chris Beach) #12

It’s good to see some investment in the mobile app again, even if it starts off a little “experimental” - I have found pull-to-refresh a bit unreliable and I think the UI could be tweaked here and there but @joffreyjaffeux is responding to feedback and I’m confident we’ll get an app that’s better than the old one. We can all play our part in the process.


#13

Actually, it turns out it’s not always the launch screen. If the app is still in memory, it opens up to whatever page I was already viewing.

What I don’t see, though, is ever being pushed to the correct page (the notification I opened.)


(Matt Sephton) #14

Having given this some thought I do think it’s worth sticking with, and improving, the new app.

As an iOS user I’m finding it extra difficult because the new app eschews so much tried-and-tested iOS UX for its own, arguably with limited success.

My suggestions, which are mostly “make it more iOS-like”:

  • remove/reduce the header (I know I’m in the app)
  • hide threads that I’ve already read (just show me unread content)
  • show that the “edit sites” list is sortable (I had no idea!)
  • move “edit sites” somewhere more static/accessible (currently each additional forum makes it more difficult to reach)
  • open notifications as expected
  • make keyboard work reliably

What is surprising is how much the design of a single screen has impacted UX. On the plus side, it’s one screen so it should be fairly straightforward to improve it.


(Rosemary Orchard) #15

I agree, I would love to see the Edit Sites area use this standard list editing format:


(Chris Beach) #16

Good ideas, @gingerbeardman - totally agree with all.


(Jeff Atwood) #17

The problem is that we’ve gotten into app development @joffreyjaffeux rather than webapp development. That’s … a bad trend.

The essential core functionality should always be in the webapp – far easier to change and iterate on there.


(Stephen) #18

That’s how it feels at the moment yes.

Previously the app served to notify and get us quickly into those sites. The new stuff including the list of posts isn’t hugely useful, particularly when said list is hard to identify.

I assume there’s some logic behind the list, it’s definitely not /latest nor is it quite /new - but do we need a third view? The one benefit of relying on the web view is that you can clearly see labeled what it is, and when new posts arrive the notification sits at the top.

I don’t doubt that there are meaningful enhancements to the app, but the level of change and the way it has been approached currently outweighs any perceived benefits at present.


(Matt Sephton) #19

Absolutely @Stephen

I mean, the app icon just had a notification badge on it, and I opened it up, but I’m at a loss with what exactly the notification signified. It’s difficult (I’ve not managed so far) to discern what to tap once in the app to read the item I’ve been notified about.


(Rosemary Orchard) #20

I think this could be alleviated by dropping the list of topics for each forum and just showing the list of forums and notifications - plus new and unread. At least then you can see quickly which forums you would be likely to check.