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Outpost 10F Forums / OTF News / The Outpost on a Tablet
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quark
Member
# Posted: 24 Apr 2011 20:19
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Webpages with frames such on touch-based tablet devices. Has there been any thought to developing a nice touch/tablet-friendly interface for the outpost? I would love a Blackberry Playbook App to enable me to outpost from my device.

iain
Moderator
# Posted: 24 Apr 2011 20:52
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I don't have a tablet myself, but I'd be extremely interested to have a chat with folks with tablets, and/or who have experience with designing for tablets.

quark
Member
# Posted: 24 Apr 2011 20:57
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I have a tablet, the 7.3" Playbook 16GB model, but I do not have experience designing for tablets.

The Playbook's browser both understands and correctly renders the outpost's current interface - it is simply cumbersome to navigate a page with two frames. I have to try and tap in the frame to give the frame priority, and then very carefully place and drag my fingers to try and scroll just the bit I want - not practical!

iain
Moderator
# Posted: 24 Apr 2011 21:56
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Thanks, Quark! I understand the problem, and obviously this isn't at all ideal.

Do you have any suggestions for how we might be able to display the chatroom content in a tablet-friendly way? (Perhaps inspired by your use of the tablet, and seeing other sites that do work on the tablet very well?)

(I'm very interested in making the chatrooms work well with devices like the tablet, and am trying to scope out how to go about it.)

quark
Member
# Posted: 24 Apr 2011 22:28 · Edited by: quark
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Less buttons on the tablet interface - get rid of bar and dossier and etc, just keep the basics needed to speak and/or clear the input box.

Possibly move the input area to the bottom of the device, as tablet soft keyboards often appear from the bottom of the screen and then sit directly under the input box as you type along. With the top-side input area, the browser tries to scroll to the top of the page to get the input box right over the keyboard, and then I have to confusingly tap on frames again to scroll back to where I'm trying to get.

I think it would work best optimized for portrait-style (as opposed to landscape) viewing, as the chat posts are not very wide, and it would allow me to see more without having to scroll on a small tablet screen. Browsing now in landscape mode shows me the top chat input, and maybe 1-2 posts at a time.

All the javascript works 100% as currently implemented. I haven't come across any buttons which just "dont work" in the Playbook environment.

quincyw
Member
# Posted: 24 Apr 2011 23:44
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Graphics would need to be much shrunk, for one.

I've recently been looking up Wikipedia entries on my iPhone 4 and I can tell you it's still the same old text content, but the tiny space has left almost all pictures out. It becomes a chore scrolling through information (good), but buttons and link navigation becomes awful... Not to mention download costs eventually!

So, there should be two versions of Mobile10F.

1: A text only version for phones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry etc). I can only describe as "Twitter feed" where everyone's posts comes as a brief name and post, much as in Twitter.

2: A slightly larger, graphical versions for tablets such as iPad, Samsung Galaxy etc, which would resemble "normal" 10F, but probably with the input/output sections in the same page.

quark
Member
# Posted: 25 Apr 2011 00:09
Reply 


Graphics don't need to be shrunk on my tablet, just the un-necessary clutter reduced.

I also disagree with Quincy's request for a text-only version - I know a lot of people who hate the bare-bones mobile websites now that their iPhone/iPad/Blackberry/Playbook browsers can support more.

quincyw
Member
# Posted: 25 Apr 2011 04:28
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The problem with graphics is that they would get squashed. They take a long time to load up.

You weren't around for 10F during the dialup era. It was rather painful. It got even worse when we had animated gifs. Although download speeds have gotten much better, people on these smart phones sometimes have to pay a fair bit for internet usage fees.

Hell, even the free WiFi in my center takes forever to download pictures on.

But the reason I advocate a simpler solution is that we remember who we're catering to. Outpost10F is currently a mix and compromise of features to give everyone here a finished end result.

We need a simpler solution because we will have one, possibly two Mobile10F sites (one text only and another a cut down, possibly graphical) and we have to remember that ultimately, it's the people who will use it that will ultimately want this.

I have absolutely no objection to having a graphics heavy site. But we should also take into consideration if we're going to do this, otherwise the target market isn't going to use it.

After all, we could create the cutdown 10F and cut it down even further for a text only, if that's what people ask for.

quark
Member
# Posted: 25 Apr 2011 11:56 · Edited by: quark
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My first 5 years of OTF were on dial-up.

And frankly - I do not experience your problem. My Wifi is speedy - and the internet's future is only one of greater bandwidth and more "enriched" content. Hell, even my tablet supports Flash! The graphics do get scaled, yes, but that is only because the frame is so large that it requires the entire page be scaled. A frame designed with smaller pixel-width monitors in mind would not have this technical problem.

Going to text-only is like going back to the beginning of the mobile internet, when smartphone browsers didn't know what to do with graphical markup. In the era of 2GB and 3GB per month standard data plans, I think the amount of work invested in making two mobile versions is overkill.

(Not to mention it would be hard enough to find interest in making one more version, let alone two.)

a_cooper
Member
# Posted: 25 Apr 2011 12:37
Reply 


Well majority of people have mobiles that can support graphics quite easily and achieve quite fast download rates. And people that can't afford graphical content on thier phone usually don't use the internet on it anyway and will stick to the desktop version.

You would strip a few things from the mobile site though just to make it that bit quicker for browsers. Things like flash are more than likely a no-go for a mobile based website as some mobiles may not support it and it can put a bit of load on some systems. All I say is reduce the graphical content, compress pictures etc. All the little things can develop a faster loading website just by optimising it for the mobile.

quark
Member
# Posted: 25 Apr 2011 12:41
Reply 


I think cooper and I are on the same page! Huzzah!

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