Please grow mah favorite button! April 1, 2011 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Favorite (+) button pony: can it be bigger on the mobile site?

Inspired by how quickly this issue was addressed, I thought I'd request a fix to my own pet peeve: the little "+" button to favorite a comment is way too small for my fingers to hit when I'm browsing metafilter on my iPhone. More than 50% of the time, I end up clicking on the list of people who'd already favorited the comment. Is there a simple change to the css or whatnot that y'all could make which would save me from my clumsy fingers?
posted by wyzewoman to Feature Requests at 9:08 AM (68 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

How many geebees is your iPhone? Why didn't you get an Android phone?
posted by Mister_A at 9:10 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


We've played around with different layouts and we haven't settled on something we like. If we make the buttons bigger, it makes it seem like MeFi is all about favoriting. But we do know it's a hassle at their current size.

We're sort of resigned to living with the hassle at the moment, and chalking it up to a limitation of the small screen. But that doesn't mean we won't have a flash of insight at some point that changes that.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:11 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Isn't it possible to zoom in on web pages on an iPhone? My husband has an Android and he can zoom in really far. I am not being snarky, I promise.
posted by desjardins at 9:16 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


You could do what I did and chew one of your fingers into a point.

Seriously though, I thought the iPhone could zoom in and out easily.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:17 AM on April 1, 2011


What about keeping the brackets around the +, even if a comment/post has favorites?
posted by carsonb at 9:17 AM on April 1, 2011


More than 50 % of the time , I end up clicking on the list of people who 'd already favorited the comment.

This could be improved with spacing, it wouldn't even need to be bigger.
posted by londonmark at 9:18 AM on April 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


What about keeping the brackets around the +

...and including them in the link?
posted by staggernation at 9:19 AM on April 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Glad to hear you've been thinking about this (although a pity nothing seemed to work!) Perhaps just an increase in the horizontal space between the + and the list of previous favorites would be enough to do the trick?

Alternatively, making the word 'favorites' (in e.g. [3 favorites +]) not itself a link the list of previous favorites; somebody that wanted to see that list would have to click on the number itself.

Yes, the iPhone can zoom -- it's what I usually do in order to favorite successfully -- but the rest of the site is so nice and easy to read without zooming! And I'm lazy! And this is a pony request! :-)
posted by wyzewoman at 9:19 AM on April 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


The zoom is irritating for heavy favorite users. On preview, exactly what londonmark said.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:19 AM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Make the brackets around the + also favorite the comment?
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:20 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


[1 favorite [+]

That would probably instigate about a zillion conniption fits 'round here, but I kind of like it.
posted by carsonb at 9:25 AM on April 1, 2011


I've got the hang of it on my phone.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:28 AM on April 1, 2011


I use a Palm Pixy (shut up!) and while I can zoom in, it doesn't reformat the text so that it all fits on the screen. So if I stay zoomed in to read, I have to scroll back and forth to read each comment.

:"""(
posted by hermitosis at 9:30 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


posted by desjardins at 11:20 AM on April 1 | 2 favorites [+] [!]

would this be less conniption-fit inducing?
posted by desjardins at 9:32 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


hermitosis, try enabling the mobile stylesheet on your Palm by visiting mobile.metafilter.com and see if that helps. We don't have a Palm-specific stylesheet like we do for the iPhone and Android because there just aren't as many people visiting on them.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:33 AM on April 1, 2011


Yeah, I agree that moving to something like:

[2 favorites] [+] [!]

might help without changing things too much. We haven't tried that layout before.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:35 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


More than 50 % of the time , I end up clicking on the list of people who 'd already favorited the comment.

Yea, this. Mostly I don't bother trying to favorite when viewing via phone since I never seem to be able to hit the right tiny pixel.
posted by octothorpe at 9:40 AM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


My vote would be

[2 favorites] [+] [!]

Just a few added spaces in there...
posted by wyzewoman at 9:43 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Er. I erased my spaces. Make that

[2 favorites] [+] [!]
posted by wyzewoman at 9:44 AM on April 1, 2011


Even better:

posted by pb at 9:35 AM on April 1 [!] [2 favorites] [+]
or even
posted by pb at 9:35 AM on April 1 [!] [2 favorites] [ + ]

The primary problem on the mobile device is that you have the [!] on the right of the [+]. If the [+] were on the far right, I could try tapping the right-most part of the line that I thought would work, and iterate left until I actually hit the [+]. As is, I open the flag dropdown about half the time because I'm trying to thread the needle between the flag link and the favorites-list link.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:44 AM on April 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


OK, screw it, there's something in the posting software which is erasing my spaces! My intention was for there to be two spaces between the ] and the [, and then again between the ] and the [.
posted by wyzewoman at 9:45 AM on April 1, 2011


Oooh, very smart 0xFCAF!
posted by wyzewoman at 9:46 AM on April 1, 2011


wyzewoman, that's just HTML for ya. If you need more than one space in a row you can use the entity  .
posted by pb (staff) at 9:46 AM on April 1, 2011


Have you considered hand reduction surgery? If you're on a budget then there is the finger reduction option too (you can call it your favoriting finger).
posted by special-k at 10:07 AM on April 1, 2011


I'm quite partial to 0xFCAF's proposal, above.
posted by ChrisR at 10:07 AM on April 1, 2011


I would like to reduce the word "favorites" to "favs" to save screen space. Otherwise liking the 0xFCAF approach.
posted by fake at 10:16 AM on April 1, 2011


[2 favorites | +] [!]

Just sayin'.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:18 AM on April 1, 2011


wyzewoman, that's just HTML for ya. If you need more than one space in a row you can use the entity  .

After all these years spent learning LaTex, now you want me to remember this?!? Pshh.
posted by wyzewoman at 10:24 AM on April 1, 2011


I accidentally favorite/unfavorite/flag stuff all the time on the mobile site. I've learned to just zoom in to favorite/flag when necessary. Agreed, it's tiny.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 10:25 AM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


oooh fat finger problem. anyone having issues on bb torch with this?
you can also set your default font size larger.
posted by captaincrouton at 10:31 AM on April 1, 2011


favs? It'd have to be faves.

(Neither of which should ever be used, ever)
posted by hippybear at 10:44 AM on April 1, 2011


To obtain a special favouriting wand, please mash the screen with your palm now.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:54 AM on April 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


The problem on the iphone isn't the size of the button, it's the proximity of the button to other links. Align right the favorite button and problem solved, imo.
posted by empath at 11:13 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


        ██
        ██
        ██
        ██
██████████████████
        ██
        ██
        ██
        ██
(Actual Size)
posted by blue_beetle at 11:23 AM on April 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


So, a concrete and acknowledge UI hassle has to stay because making a UI change that everyone likes might nebulously imply something about the importance of favorites?
posted by DWRoelands at 11:37 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


"concrete and acknowledged".
posted by DWRoelands at 11:37 AM on April 1, 2011


So, a concrete and acknowledge UI hassle has to stay because making a UI change that everyone likes might nebulously imply something about the importance of favorites?

Welcome to metafilter.
posted by empath at 11:48 AM on April 1, 2011


So, a concrete and acknowledge UI hassle has to stay because making a UI change that everyone likes might nebulously imply something about the importance of favorites?

If you think of the + as actually being the phrase "place children on mefites' lawns" it becomes much easier to hit.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:56 AM on April 1, 2011


I do have to zoom in on an ipod to mark a favorite, otherwise I end up clicking the list of people. And I have very accurate thumbing on my ipod.
posted by jb at 12:03 PM on April 1, 2011


Adding a space between the favorite and flag buttons would also be helpful. I've lost count of how many times I hit the flag button, intending to favorite.

And this shouldn't be an iPhone vs Android thing. Everyone who uses the site is affected by decisions about UI, even the ones who hate Apple users.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:25 PM on April 1, 2011


BP, I'm hopeful that the Android comments were all jokey. In all seriousness, on the rare occasions when I favorite comments on my G1 I sometimes roll the trackball off the + as I'm clicking, so I prefer to zoom in and use the touchscreen.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:31 PM on April 1, 2011


I really wish, in general, we could get more padding around links on the mobile site, not just the favorites. Or bigger line height. I realize that might mean more scrolling but I mis-click All. The. Time. And I mark so many things favorite incorrectly, its not even funny. I've stopped unfavoriting mistakes because that too is a hassle.

Yes, I can zoom, but its extra time and extra work. I can hold my phone and scroll one handed, but zooming takes two.

Or metafilter could try something really out of the box - drag down to favorite, or drag down to reveal favorites and flags, etc . . .

Just something /else/. I read metafilter on my phone 80% of the time and I really do not like the UI. It is full of anger-making.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 1:00 PM on April 1, 2011




I know this won't solve your problems [insert clever name here], but have you tried making the font bigger? You can go into your preferences on the iPhone and bump the font up a few sizes, save. The setting is cookie-based, so it won't affect where you read the site the other 20% of the time.

You can even bump the favoriting font up on its own and leave the main text the same—that's the "Smaller Font Size" setting.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:42 PM on April 1, 2011


To show what I mean, here's what the mobile site looks like on my iPhone after bumping the "Smaller Font Size" from 9 to 17: before and after. Favorites would be easier to tap this way.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:56 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for pointing this out pb -- I did not know that capability existed!
posted by wyzewoman at 2:06 PM on April 1, 2011


Android totally invented making the font bigger.
posted by Mister_A at 2:08 PM on April 1, 2011


To show what I mean, here's what the mobile site looks like on my iPhone after bumping the "Smaller Font Size" from 9 to 17: before and after. Favorites would be easier to tap this way.

But the problem isn't the size, really, it's the proximity of all those links under the message to each other. I really think some better spacing there will fix 90% of the problems.
posted by empath at 2:09 PM on April 1, 2011


Zooming in circumvents that lizard-brain "MUST ACCURATELY ATTACK THE TINY THING OR I WILL STARVE" urge.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:54 PM on April 1, 2011


I mis-click All. The. Time. And I mark so many things favorite incorrectly, its not even funny. I've stopped unfavoriting mistakes because that too is a hassle.

The next time I'm feeling really emo I must remember to look through my profile, see if you've favorited anything of mine and wonder if it was all real.
posted by Diablevert at 2:58 PM on April 1, 2011


Is this something I'd need a mobile device to know about?
posted by Meatbomb at 3:54 PM on April 1, 2011


How about a gesture based favorite and flag action instead of a click on a pointy thing with some huge finger on a tiny screen.
posted by humanfont at 5:04 PM on April 1, 2011


Is there some easy way to view threads by recent comments on mobile that I am missing?
posted by Mid at 5:48 PM on April 1, 2011


Mid, scroll to the bottom (or click the link at the top that says [skip to menu] at the top, and then choose "Recent Activity".
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 6:13 PM on April 1, 2011


This isn't a problem for me on my phone, possibly because I don't have favorites displayed, and change makes me curl up in a ball and cry, so I am opposed to this pony.
posted by chinston at 6:16 PM on April 1, 2011


I actually have the (opposite?) problem. I frequently accidentally add favorites while scrolling on the mobile site. Oh well.
posted by charmcityblues at 7:26 PM on April 1, 2011


Is this something I'd need a mobile device to know about?

Yes, this something you'd want a mobile device to be interested in commenting about.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:35 PM on April 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Seriously though, I thought the iPhone could zoom in and out easily.

This argument makes no sense. It's not that there's some benefit to the + sign being tiny and directly adjacent to something else. If this were a map application in which seeing the entire landscape before zooming in was helpful, then yes, ease of zoom is relevant. But there's no benefit to the current arrangement.

This is like saying, "keyboard shortcuts make it easy to increase the font size on most browsers too." Yet nobody designs websites where you regularly have to toggle between different levels of zoom to be able to click the links. It's nice to do most basic operations on a website at the same zoom level.

0xFCAF's approach is great.
posted by salvia at 8:12 PM on April 1, 2011


Also, may I take this moment to ask for my mobile reader pony? I will name him Tags.
posted by salvia at 8:14 PM on April 1, 2011


I use an android and end up having to zoom a lot, and agree that I think a lot of my fat finger problems could be solved by spacing just as well - if not better - than a size increase.
posted by absalom at 10:00 PM on April 1, 2011


Yes, this something you'd want a mobile device to be interested in commenting about.

Ah, OK. So just to be sure I have this straight then: I don't have a mobile device, so I should not comment in this thread? That's my understanding of the situation.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:20 PM on April 1, 2011


I'd like to see favoriting and flagging on the mobile site combined into one selector like

posted by pb at 1:42 PM on April 1 [1 favorite] [ + / ! ]

that would trigger a dropdown menu with "Add to favorites" at the top and all the flagging reasons underneath.
posted by contraption at 12:07 AM on April 2, 2011


So just to be sure I have this straight then: I don't have a mobile device, so I should not comment in this thread?

That is not what I said, but if you want to interpret it that way, that would be fine with me.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:42 AM on April 2, 2011


Ah, now I think I have it, I would not be interested in commenting in this thread because it is about the mobile platform, which I don't use. It's not that I can't, just that it makes no sense.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:51 AM on April 2, 2011


Favorites Pony strikes again!
posted by Favorites Pony at 8:23 AM on April 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not bad, but the cutie mark should be closer to the flank.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:38 AM on April 2, 2011


I'm not quite happy with what I came up with specifically, but I dig the idea of something like this.
posted by floam at 12:41 PM on April 2, 2011


Could also make the entire thing, including the brackets the clickable target for favoring (and make sure only the + is yellow and stuff.)
posted by floam at 2:10 PM on April 2, 2011


« Older 60: Quakes and QWOP   |   Please explain mah favorite button! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments