Marketing Discourse - Your Landing Page - Mobile Friendly Needs Priority

Not sure what category this statement should go - but since I’m asking for a change to the landing page, I’ll put it under “feature requests” :-).

Guys - the number one reason I’ve moved from Jive Forums to Discourse (and not one of the other many PHP-based, old, forum opensource apps is that it is mobile friendly.

A simple look at my Google Analytics told me that about 35% of my users were visiting from mobile devices. I just couldn’t go with any of the traditional PHP apps - (you know the list).

When you’re marketing your forum services - I think this should be the number one feature you should be promoting on your landing page. You don’t even mention it - this is a major oversight!

Instead you market “conversations not pages” as your leading feature. To me, that is a minor feature compared to mobile friendly design. And I think this is true for most forum managers.

Guys - I want you to be successful - you’re too mired in the engineering details. As you know - since I know you’re in the bay area also. Mobile is THE TOPIC of the year. You’ve heard of “Mobile FIRST” - there is a reason - its on everybody’s minds now. The tipping point has happened - mobile is the key platform you need to design for. You really need to be marketing (and truthfully - designing and developing) - primarily with this in mind.

This is the key differentiator in most people’s minds right now. Run with it while you can. There is no other open source forum software that is nearly as mobile friendly as you guys are. Ignore this at your own risk.


Well, it’s pretty near the top here in images

And here, with images

… which are worth a thousand words, right?

And there is a mobile feature panel on the homepage, too. I guess we could move the mobile panel up on the homepage, I don’t mind that.

OK done!

Notice the mobile bit is much higher up now (row 4). I think we put it at the bottom in the initial design because we didn’t have a mobile layout.

There are still severe Android perf problems, which I desperately hope get resolved with the switch to HTMLbars in the next 2 months.

I still think it should be at the very top. Generally in marketing you put the biggest benefit that has the broadest appeal as first in any list - so that you avoid the TLDR problem, and the most number of people perceive the highest benefit. If you know that 35% of people (in my case - who visit my web site by mobile) are going to be head over heals over this feature - then I’d put it way ahead of “conversations not pages” which really just sounds like marketing BS (and this is coming from a marketing person).

And, I think the benefit isn’t just “no app required” - but “Mobile Friendly” - or - “Read on your Smartphone or Tablet” or “Smartphone and Tablet Friendly”. Its semantics - but would put the emphasis on the inherent ability, rather than the lack of a requirement (to download an app).

Sure - android performance isn’t perfect - but its too easy in startups to focus on the negatives, rather than what you have accomplished. Its still light years ahead of PHPBB, or other such forum software.

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If I were you I’d have a landing page like these (and mention and show in the background support for desktop browsers):

I agree with this, so I changed the title of the section per your suggestion.

One thing to keep in mind: conversations on the Internet are typed text. Guess what really, really sucks on a smartphone?

Typing lots of text.

You can post images, sure, and we support that (although we need an explicit image upload button for mobile), but the majority of content here is people typing text. There’s no getting around it.

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Sure - but as you no doubt know - about 95% of forum usage is “reading”/ lurking - and not typing. So mobile / tablet friendly design is still a huge deal.

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I love this type of comment. Here you were using Jive, a product backed by a company with a $600M valuation (and was valued higher previously). You switch to Discourse because it is basically a better product for your purpose.

I was just using Lithium today, another big honking company. They have a mobile interface that is web-based and is just “OK”. I see a big opportunity for Discourse to get in there with open source and mix up the whole market over time.