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Thread: Mobile friendliness of (pen) websites

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    Default Mobile friendliness of (pen) websites

    I am not sure in which forum to post this, for the sake of full transparency, this post is about my website Redeempens.com. But it's not really a For Sale post either.

    This post is about the mobile-device -friendliness of a website and my experience in addressing this matter.

    It came to my attention for some time now, that when I look at the tracking of the visitors (a.k.a Google Analytics), more than 50% of visitors to my website use their phone instead of computer, and I'd be the first to admit that redeempens.com before this change I'm posting about, is not mobile friendly.

    The website was designed to be used on a comfortable and wide computer monitors, in which case the site works well by displaying the list of the pens on the left, and when one is clicked, the right side of the screen will show you the details of the pen.

    On a phone, due to small screen, when you click on a pen, you'd have to scroll down past the pen lists to see the details of the pen.
    I hated that, and even worse, I knew that some visitor would just exit the site because it made no sense when used on the phone screen;
    but I didn't have time to fix it last year.

    Until late last week, I changed the behavior so now, if you want to know the detail about a pen, just click on the list, and instead of having to scroll down, the detail of the selected pen would be displayed as a pop-up window. Exactly as it should be.

    This is a screenshot from my phone:



    It's not perfect, I still have to tweak the sizing so you don't have to swipe left and right to see the whole information, but it's a lot more usable on the phone now.

    What's the point I'm trying to make here?

    I think, those of us who has a website, must cater to the visitors using phones due to the convenience of it.

    I know this is not strictly about pens, and I apologize if anyone is bothered by it. But, I feel that this is something that more and more pen people would be affected with either as visitors or website owners.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    azkid (January 18th, 2020)

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    Senior Member silverlifter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mobile friendliness of (pen) websites

    It's not just mobiles. Websites really should be tested across a range of browsers and operating systems and, crucially, screen readers.

    I see far too many sites, including corporate and government sites that obviously cost a lot of money to build, that don't render correctly on certain browsers/platforms, or break as soon as you zoom.

    Despite, or perhaps because of, all the money being made on the web, huge swathes of it are the architectural equivalent of weatherboard shacks. And then, when you think about security and privacy, you realise that it is actually more like Chernobyl...
    Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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    Kaputnik (January 15th, 2020)

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    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mobile friendliness of (pen) websites

    I've been reluctant to download Tapatalk onto my iPhone so I no longer use it for FPG. I prefer to use my MacBook or iMac anyway.

    So far as the "right" forum is concerned that is a good question. It's not a pen so maybe Front Page Discussions is the "right" place? However, that forum seems to be the poor relation compared to all of the others. I'm not sure why that is the case though.
    Maybe "Site Feedback" could also be the "right" place. Not sure about that either.
    However, I'm not bothered by it at all. I always click on "New Posts" anyway.
    Last edited by Chrissy; January 15th, 2020 at 01:40 AM.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: Mobile friendliness of (pen) websites

    Quote Originally Posted by silverlifter View Post
    It's not just mobiles. Websites really should be tested across a range of browsers and operating systems and, crucially, screen readers.

    I see far too many sites, including corporate and government sites that obviously cost a lot of money to build, that don't render correctly on certain browsers/platforms, or break as soon as you zoom.

    Despite, or perhaps because of, all the money being made on the web, huge swathes of it are the architectural equivalent of weatherboard shacks. And then, when you think about security and privacy, you realise that it is actually more like Chernobyl...
    You are correct about the need for wider device coverage as far as functionality. But sometimes the limitation of resource is the hurdle -- as in my case. Measurement on what kind of device most visitors use should be part of a good website upkeep though, there is no excuse for not doing at least that.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Default Re: Mobile friendliness of (pen) websites

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrissy View Post
    I've been reluctant to download Tapatalk onto my iPhone so I no longer use it for FPG. I prefer to use my MacBook or iMac anyway.

    So far as the "right" forum is concerned that is a good question. It's not a pen so maybe Front Page Discussions is the "right" place? However, that forum seems to be the poor relation compared to all of the others. I'm not sure why that is the case though.
    Maybe "Site Feedback" could also be the "right" place. Not sure about that either.
    However, I'm not bothered by it at all. I always click on "New Posts" anyway.
    I am confused also as to what "Front Page Discussions" is supposed to contain.
    But, since there is no "captain" on this ship, we can't ask for an authoritative answer now can we?

    I should probably post this under The Lounge in hindsight.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mobile friendliness of (pen) websites

    Huge improvement. Thanks for doing this. I'm on Android 10, Chrome 79. I do still see some of the detail text appearing past the right margin (see pics below) but this is so much more intuitive. I bet your analytics and sales will grow as a result

    I agree that sites not catering to mobile are going to suffer nowadays. I think Google probably penalizes mobile unfriendly sites now.

    I'm not sure about WordPress but Blogger has a mobile version of their templates. It's not that great but at least my robot blog is readable.

    I would imagine the canned shopping cart software probably has some mobile versions too.

    It seems the current best practice is for adaptive rather than responsive design, where there's one version of the site that adapts itself to mobile or desktop.

    https://www.venturawebdesign.com/res...ebsite-design/


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    Default Re: Mobile friendliness of (pen) websites

    @azkid , thanks for the feedback.

    Yes, the detail pop up is still cropped, but you can swipe left and right with the thumb.

    Unless you're looking at the page in landscape orientation, which, no one really does on phones

    I'll keep improving the website, but at least now you can see the larger photo and as you said, hopefully this will get people to come back and visit.
    - Will
    Unique and restored vintage pens: Redeem Pens

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    azkid (January 19th, 2020)

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