My middle finger is lazy November 17, 2011 9:25 AM   Subscribe

I use the mobile site on my phone fairly often. There's a convenient little jump to menu button, but the lovely links start with Mefi and Ask and Meta and have Recent Activity 12th, after things like My Preferences and Profile which I have never used on the mobile site. On the other hand, I use Recent Activity all the time. Can it get moved towards the top of the menu (or to the very top, like all the subparts if you are already in recent activity)?

(It is my middle finger because I injured my right index finger and can't use it properly, and it hurts to try to scroll with it.)
posted by jeather to Feature Requests at 9:25 AM (26 comments total)

Can you bookmark it? I get where you're coming from, but we don't want to reorganize things this way. We have to make the menu for a wide audience.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:27 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everything goes in the order of the menus on the full site, so it'd be weird to move that one link around.

Also, just as a data point, but on my iPhone, I set up a direct bookmark on the home page to my Recent Activity and I use it often there.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:30 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry to tack on something separate, but it seems that Recent Activity is buggered on Android 3.x. The comments are displayed way on the right, requiring side scrolling. Also, not that there are more than a handful of users, but RA is also jacked up in WebOS, with everything compressed to ultra tiny on the left part of the screen.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:34 AM on November 17, 2011


Thanks Burhanistan, we'll look into that.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:37 AM on November 17, 2011


We have to make the menu for a wide audience.

Yeah, but doesn't the audience hit Recent Activity a lot? I remember seeing a post from one of the mods a little while ago saying Recent Activity was the #1 page on the entire site aside from the main MeFi/AskMe/MeTa frontpages.
posted by zsazsa at 9:37 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should add that on Android 3.x the mobile site looks ok, it's just the full site that has that issue.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:38 AM on November 17, 2011


Jessamyn's recent comment covers your suggestion.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:40 AM on November 17, 2011


I should add that on Android 3.x the mobile site looks ok, it's just the full site that has that issue.

Sorry about that, but that's why we made a special mobile version for Androids.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:44 AM on November 17, 2011


I never use recent activity. I'm a wide audience (trying to lose a few pounds, tho).
posted by Melismata at 9:47 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but doesn't the audience hit Recent Activity a lot?

They do, but not as much as going to the main page of MetaFilter or Ask MetaFilter. And it doesn't make sense to split things up into different groups. We have all of the front page subsites listed together and I think that makes sense. To list Metafilter, Ask MetaFilter, then Recent Activity would make things harder to find.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:47 AM on November 17, 2011


Yeah, but doesn't the audience hit Recent Activity a lot?

I've been on MeFi for--wow--seven years next week, and I have never used it once. I think it makes sense to have the main site pages at the top.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:49 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everything goes in the order of the menus on the full site, so it'd be weird to move that one link around.

That doesn't seem to be the case. Like the mobile lists MetaTalk third, while all the menus list it last. And IRL is before Jobs, and there is no Podcast. Unless you mean some other menu?

Personally, I would like Recent Activity moved up above Mail, so that if you are on AskMe (with the My Ask entry), it won't be off the screen and require scrolling.
posted by smackfu at 10:06 AM on November 17, 2011


Oh, and while I'm at it, a way to get to the Sidebar on the mobile site would be neat.
posted by smackfu at 10:39 AM on November 17, 2011


Here are direct links to the sideblog and to your Friend Activity. That should get you the sidebar info.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:41 AM on November 17, 2011


My middle finger is lazy

This is not a site issue.
posted by hermitosis at 10:53 AM on November 17, 2011


This is not a site issue.

It's a non-serious title to a minor pony request that I thought might be wanted by more than just me. It's not something they want to do, which is fine. But "I think an alternate order to the menu on the mobile site might make more sense" is a site issue.
posted by jeather at 11:07 AM on November 17, 2011


DEAR METAFILTER,
I PREFER TO READ EVERYTHING IN ALL CAPS. CAN YOU PLEASE CONVERT THE ENTIRE SITE TO ALL CAPS? IT WOULD BE MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE TO ME, AS MY INTERIOR VOICE READS ALL CAPS IN THE VOICE OF OFFICER BARBRADY.
THANK YOU,
SLOGGER
posted by slogger at 12:25 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've had this thought many times myself.

I understand the theory behind the rationale, but it seems to me that people have different behaviors and needs on desktop-web sites and mobile sites and so the design should be different. This is certainly true on most of the other major sites I frequent which have a fullscreen site and a mobile site - organization is slightly different in recognition of the differences in navigation, the limitations of the small screen, and the different habits and behaviors you have when on the fly vs. comfortably situated somewhere sitting in front of a screen.

Ordering by frequency of use would be logical to me. I understand the need for some organizational principles that relate to the way we think about the site structure, but I could see a system where the three mains came first (blue, green, gray) because they are theoretically where one would begin browsing, followed by Recent Activity where theoretically you would continue your involvement in threads you're already in, and then all the others.

Is there somewhere to look at how frequently each page is accessed?
posted by Miko at 12:37 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there somewhere to look at how frequently each page is accessed?

No, we don't have any public stats about which pages are viewed the most. If we were putting the current menu items in order by most views it would go something like: MetaFilter, Ask MetaFilter, MetaTalk, Recent Activity, MeFi Mail, IRL, Music, Search, Jobs, Popular Favorites, Preferences, My Profile. There's less structure ordered this way, I think. If you're looking for a specific subsite you have to look at every item in the list. The way the list is organized now you know that subsites come first and deeper links follow.
posted by pb (staff) at 1:54 PM on November 17, 2011


There's less structure ordered this way, I think.

I get that, but it just doesn't seem intuitive or based on user habits. And in fact, if we went with the "most commonly used first,"according to the list you just gave, you'd still see that "subsites come first and deeper links follow." In other words, you don't lose anything from the present organization, and you gain something by not having users have to scroll down and past several less commonly-used pages to find more commonly-used pages.
posted by Miko at 4:18 PM on November 17, 2011


...according to the list you just gave, you'd still see that "subsites come first and deeper links follow."

Well, Music, Jobs, and IRL are all subsites. I think if you're looking for IRL or Music you'd expect it to be grouped with the other subsites, not listed further down with MeFi Mail or Popular Favorites.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:25 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm not sure everyone understands them with that degree of sophistication - I sure don't. I think of them all as just different pages with diffierent functions, some more frequently visited than others, and I really don't think of them in categories of type, though I certainly understand why those of you who build and run the site do.

I'd like to hear some other opinions, though - I wonder if this is my own take or more widely shared.
posted by Miko at 6:29 PM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well since Miko asked nicely, I also find it frustrating that Recent Activity is all the way at the bottom on the mobile version. While I understand your rationale for ordering the menus by category; interface design shouldn't be about logic, but useability.

If you want to keep things categorized though, how about sticking RA first, followed by all the subsites, followed by all the deeper links? For example Recent Activity, MetaFilter, Ask MetaFilter, MetaTalk, IRL, Music, Jobs, MeFi Mail, Search, Popular Favorites, Preferences, My Profile. I'm suggesting Recent Activity at the top because I assume that people bookmark their subsite of choice, and then go to the menu to visit their second-favourite part of MeFi.
posted by Joh at 9:07 AM on November 18, 2011


DEAR METAFILTER,
I PREFER TO READ EVERYTHING IN ALL CAPS. CAN YOU PLEASE CONVERT THE ENTIRE SITE TO ALL CAPS?


MATT
MATT
MATT
CAPS LOCK IS HOW I FEEL INSIDE MATT
ALL THE TIME
posted by jeather at 6:21 PM on November 18, 2011


Is it me, or did I notice last night that the Recents are now all at the top on the Mobile site?
posted by Miko at 6:46 AM on November 29, 2011


If you're viewing Recent Activity on the mobile site, you'll see the various options at the top of the menu. (They're the same options you see as tabs at the top of the page in the standard site.) If you're viewing the front page or a comment page, those Recent Activity options aren't there.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:53 AM on November 29, 2011


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