Can we get a bigger text box on Mobile Modern? September 12, 2018 3:45 AM   Subscribe

The text box for posting comments on mobile (I'm talking about Modern theme here; Classic has similar but slightly different issues) is really small. It makes it hard for me to write more than a couple sentences without losing track of what I was talking about. Sometimes I just give up. Can it be bigger?

On my iPhone 6s+, it looks like this. Four lines, 26 lowercase "m"s long, for a total of about 104 characters. That's less than a tweet, even the old-school ones.

Metafilter is a place that I think tends to value longer, more substantive comments. Those are the types of comments that I like to make and to read, and more than anything else they're the reason why I come to this site rather than somewhere else on the web. However, making them from my phone (where I do most of my Metafiltering) is an absolute bear. One can only see a small chunk of text, which makes it hard to remember what one has already said. This is only compounded by the usability nightmare that is trying to scroll, select text, or move the cursor from within a mobile text box. Honestly, I frequently just give up in frustration halfway through writing a comment.

There's plenty of room to make it bigger, as you can see from the posted screenshot. Move the older/newer posts down below the text box and then push them off the bottom of the screen along with Related Posts. Fill all the whitespace. Probably leave the "x new comments" indicator, as that is a fairly important thing to see when one is writing a comment. It could easily be about 2.5x as tall as it currently is, which would be a major improvement.

I think that this change would significantly improve Metafilter's mobile experience and increase both comment quality and user engagement. The other text fields on Metafilter's mobile site (or mobile rendering; I know that Modern is just one single reactive theme) could also use some improvement but I think this one is the most important and would be the most straightforward to fix.

What does the community think? Am I the only person with this problem, or is it a common complaint? Do people have suggestions for how to do it better than what I suggest above? And do the mods think that this is something that might be able to happen, if the community wants it to?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The to Feature Requests at 3:45 AM (16 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I've made it approximately twice as tall now – that was what let me see my entire comment as well as the keyboard at the same time.

I'm definitely interested in feedback from people, ideally with screenshots, as to whether the comment form in modern works for you.
posted by frimble (staff) at 3:49 AM on September 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also, Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The, I'm sorry that it took me so long to get this posted and say "yes" to it: I was at the WFTDA (roller derby) playoffs when it came in, made the change when I got back, then wanted to get a proper workflow together for updating CSS and Javascript on the site so that I can, in future, address changes/fixes that have been brought up faster, but the latter bit derailed my answering your MetaTalk in a timely way.

Sorry again, and I should be able to make these changes with less hassle in the future.
posted by frimble (staff) at 3:56 AM on September 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Would it help if we just wrote smaller? People like making small talk, right?
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:55 AM on September 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Here's what my preview looks like in Firefox mobile browser. I'm running on Android 8.0.0 on an S8 (not sure if that matters).
posted by Fizz at 6:13 AM on September 12, 2018

Oooh if it's not too much trouble, can we get that comment box styling for Professional White Background users?
posted by like_neon at 7:05 AM on September 12, 2018

I can basically see the comment box and my keyboard (not much unused space). So I'd say yes, this is an improvement. I will note that for anything more than a paragraph, I will preview it to see the whole thing at once.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:06 AM on September 12, 2018

Oh wow, this is so much better on my iPhone SE screen. I need the tiny phone for my tiny hands but my comments are much bigger. Thanks for the request and the change!
posted by donnagirl at 8:14 AM on September 12, 2018

Yay, bigger window, whatever.

posted by Etrigan at 8:26 AM on September 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Because we've been watching this a lot in our house, my response to the question was "We're gonna need a bigger ... shark bag. (8 year old SNL clip reference).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Awwwwww yeah, that is so much better! Totally worth the wait, thank you so much!

While we're here though, do you think there's any chance we could do something about this?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 11:42 AM on September 12, 2018

Ooh thank you frimble!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:06 PM on September 12, 2018

I dunno if it's possible but I would love for the text input box to dynamically resize according to browser size. The box hanging into the right side of the screen that is cut off by the browser width makes commenting a pain.
posted by bleep at 8:08 PM on September 12, 2018

Bleep, can you send me a screenshot of what you mean? Also, what phone, browser and Metafilter theme (classic vs. Modern) are you using?

I’ll definitely try to fix that, I just need more information.
posted by frimble (staff) at 10:35 PM on September 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ok, edit window also fixed to take up the full width of the phone rather than being half a screen wide.
posted by frimble (staff) at 3:21 AM on September 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Gold star hereby requested for the fastest and bestest pony-herder in the west (namely, frimble)!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:39 AM on September 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh boy oh boy, thank you so much frimble! You're the best!
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 8:57 AM on September 13, 2018

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