Quick Modern Theme Updates March 27, 2015 9:38 AM   Subscribe

We made a few changes to the modern theme today. At mobile widths, the Skip button is now no longer the Skip button—it's an arrow pointing down. At tablet/iPad widths there's a new similar down arrow button in the fixed header that appears as you scroll. And behind the scenes we enabled Grunticon as a fallback for older phones that don't have SVG support.

We heard that quite a few people didn't like the Skip button on mobile devices in the modern theme. People are so used to "Skip Intro" and "Skip Ad" that they weren't sure what the button would actually do. So we took away the word "Skip" and changed the arrow so it's pointing down. That should help give people a better sense of what the button actually does: jump down on the page. Here's what the mobile (formerly) skip button looks like.

Folks using the modern theme on iPads have let us know they miss the Skip ↓ link from the Classic theme. So we added a down arrow in the fixed floating header that appears as you scroll. Here's where that arrow is located. Tapping that will take you to the bottom of the page.

The last change is a small structural change to how we handle images. The modern theme uses SVG icons and modern browsers have support for those baked in. Some older browsers don't support SVGs and we had a few server-side hacks in place to help out in some instances. Today we switched away from those hacks to a more fully baked option called Grunticon. This should help us catch a few more browsers that don't support SVG icons and serve up something they can use instead.

If you run into problems with these, please let us know here.
posted by pb to Feature Requests at 9:38 AM (27 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Can I just say how much I love the modern theme? I like to go split screen on my monitor so I can watch tv while doing internet things, which means sometimes I shrink my window width teeeny tiny. Modern theme works so great because it just changes seamlessly from desktop to mobile width. ❤❤❤ And with the new buttons for bold and such it's just really nice. You guys have done a great job.

I think the only thing is that on my phone I still lose my place when the screen orientation changes but that's pretty minor.
posted by phunniemee at 10:46 AM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks for all of the work on the site!
Some older browsers don't support ...
To Hell With Bad Browsers! :)

EDIT: That came out 14 years ago? I'm old.
posted by Brian Puccio at 10:57 AM on March 27, 2015


FWIW, the skip button doesn't appear in landscape view on tablets (which I suspect is because of the width kicking it into "desktop" mode).
posted by Rhaomi at 12:10 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Much appreciated! Thank you.
posted by spitbull at 12:14 PM on March 27, 2015


People are so used to "Skip Intro" and "Skip Ad" that they weren't sure what the button would actually do. So we took away the word "Skip" and changed the arrow so it's pointing down.

Yes! My personal site nav bugaboo is slain!

As a bonus, it now looks like a pourover coffee brewer. Mmmmmm.
posted by dorque at 12:25 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can I just say how much I love that the mods listen thoughtfully to feedback about site design. Great iteration, pb!
posted by arcticseal at 7:14 PM on March 27, 2015


Wanted to add my kudos for the modern theme. In the beginning I was all "Oh no! My eyes! I can't read the font! It's all ruined!" and then after getting tired of switching back and forth to post questions I just sucked it up and now it is great!
posted by kanata at 8:05 PM on March 27, 2015


Yeah, no skip button for me in landscape view on my iPad.
posted by cooker girl at 7:25 AM on March 28, 2015


Yeah, tricky wrinkle, that. We'll think about whether there's a good tablet-specific workaround for that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:35 AM on March 28, 2015


Phew, this thread saved me from making a new one.

Has the user experience on the mobile screen changed?

I can't tell, I use an old Symbian.

But I've noted comments regarding post titles and squabbles over its relevance to the post made me wonder if the mobile first folks see ONLY the title.

In which case, a headsup would be nice so that those of us who hated visible titles in the first place and use size 0 font, start using them more seriously than we do right now.

A clear case of ostrich, imho.
posted by infini at 10:55 AM on March 28, 2015


No, mobile folks see the same thing as desktop folks.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:04 AM on March 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, I was all excited, but I'm still not seeing the skip down arrow in either portrait or landscape view on my iPad Air, mobile safari, latest ios8.
posted by spitbull at 12:45 PM on March 28, 2015


Thanks pb!

This now makes me wonder whether site culture has changed so fast that my old timey half serious titles are now a case for the gramma police.
posted by infini at 12:48 PM on March 28, 2015


So...I get the skip button when I switch to portrait (iPad Air, most recent iOS) but when I touch it, nothing happens. A double-tap gets me back to the top of the page, not the bottom.
posted by cooker girl at 12:54 PM on March 28, 2015


Any progress on being able to select text within a comment on iOS?
posted by Rock Steady at 2:45 PM on March 28, 2015


...but when I touch it, nothing happens.

I'm seeing that too. We'll get that fixed soon.

Any progress on being able to select text within a comment on iOS?

No, this is something we don't have control over. The best I can tell, mobile safari uses some "helpful" algorithm to decide which pieces of text are a complete block that should be copied all at once, and which should get a cursor so you can make a selection. Some comments are a complete block and some aren't according to Safari and I don't know why.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:30 PM on March 28, 2015


Thanks for the iPad arrow! And I add this with the upmost respect for pb, et. al. and only with fact-finding intentions, is the font-size option for the modern theme still on the horizon? Now that we have the arrow, that's my last quibble with the theme.
posted by bluefly at 8:33 AM on March 29, 2015


This thread has reminded me of an issue on the IRL preview pate that I've been seeing the whole time the Modern Theme has been available (and a newer issue relating to the same page).
  1. A significant portion of the page is improperly aligned.
  2. It still has the old "B I link" buttons.
Screenshot for reference.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:16 PM on March 29, 2015


IRL preview pate

IRL preview page, of course.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:46 PM on March 29, 2015


is the font-size option for the modern theme still on the horizon?

It's not on the immediate horizon, but it is something we'd like to do. A further horizon?

Thanks for the heads up on the IRL preview page. We'll get that updated soon.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:24 PM on March 29, 2015


I am more than happy about the change to the skip button. It seems to make more sense now. Yay!
posted by Literaryhero at 2:40 AM on March 30, 2015


The jump-down button should be showing up at desktop widths now so it should be there in landscape orientation on iPads.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:03 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


IRL preview pate

Serve with crackers and a plate of beans.
posted by phunniemee at 3:37 PM on March 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


The arrow is there, yes, but the only thing that happens when I tap it is it lights up. No movement of the page.
posted by cooker girl at 7:07 AM on April 7, 2015


It's testing fine for me on an iPad running OS 8.2 in Safari. Which browser and operating system are you using?
posted by pb (staff) at 8:11 AM on April 7, 2015


iPad Air, same OS and browser.
posted by cooker girl at 6:02 PM on April 8, 2015


Sorry about the trouble. Unfortunately I can't find a reason it's not working for you from this side. Everything is checking out ok.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:55 AM on April 9, 2015


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