New Reg mobile site - feedback here!

This topic was created by vgrig_us .

  1. vgrig_us

    New Reg mobile site sucks.

    Thank you Register for making m.theregister.co.uk completely unusable!

    What were you thinking!

    1. visited link don't change color - can't find last port i read easily;

    2. going back in the browser doen't takes you to the same place in the page you you ;eft it from;

    3. links are broken.

    All for what? So you can annoy me with few more ads?

    I've been Reg reader for over 10 years and one of the reasons why - you treated your readers right.

    Now - fire the marketing and design morons who f*(&^ked up the mobile site and maybe you won't lose your core readers.

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: New Reg mobile site sucks.

      Thanks for your feedback. Our dev team has ripped out a load of old cruft from the code and is now working through bug fixes and UI improvements. We will have a point release in the next few days, so please bear with us.

      Some readers have commented about Mobile in Ye Bug list thread - better if you log-in and read most recent view first.

      BTW we have about 20K readers of m.theregister.co.uk, a small fraction of the numbers who access the full fat site via their mobile. When we get this right we will switch to auto direct.

      1. Mint Sauce

        Re: New Reg mobile site sucks.

        I'm afraid I agree that the mobile site is currently unusable. It's even starting to make the el Reg Windows Phone app look good - which is an amazing achievement in itself ;-)

        Hopefully you'll get it sorted soon, though I'd prefer just a simple list of articles rather than trying to make it a mini version of the main site. I appreciate I'm part of an ever dwindling number of people who just like some actual text on the screen though!

        Your comment about auto detecting worries me - will I be able to choose which site to view or are you going all BBC we-know-best-so-screw-you on us!?

        Cheers!

      2. vgrig_us

        Re: New Reg mobile site sucks.

        These are not bugs - at least visited links one - that was a choice someone made, since it's not a default behevior. As far as i know you still have to specify a:link and a:visited colors - otherwise it's whatever browser considers default.

      3. Drewc Gold badge

        http://m.theregister.co.uk point release live on April 17

        We have updated site to squash most major bugs and the 'whizzy' features that have caused issues/friction.

        Some of the included changes are:

        - Updated navigation

        - Font sizes increased across all pages

        - Incorrect links pointing to desktop updated

        - Forum template tidied up

        - Alignment issues fixed

        Feedback welcome!

        1. vgrig_us

          Re: http://m.theregister.co.uk point release live on April 17

          Still same problem (more like idiotic design) - when are you gonna fire the mororn responsible for:

          - visited link don't change color - can't find last port i read easily;

          And i can't even begin to understand why you want to "switch to auto-detect for phones" - you audience is people who (mostly) know to TCP in TCP/IP stands for - we're perfectly capable of adding "m" to url.

          And if you scew up with mobile site design (which looks like your well on your waying doing) switch auto-detect on will mean i personally won't be reading Reg anymore - cause i ain't playing with god damn agent strings on mobile browaser!

          1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

            Re: Re: http://m.theregister.co.uk point release live on April 17

            so you don't like the lack of visited links state. Anything else?

            Our design / navigation has to work for occasional readers, for blow-ins, for visually impaired, for the lazy, for the people who come in using Twitter or Feedly links on their phones - as well as regular readers who are willing to type that m.

            1. vgrig_us

              Re: http://m.theregister.co.uk point release live on April 17

              If visited links are done properly and and you add "switch to desktop version" link at the top of mobile site, that would bring functionality on par with old mobile site - you can start from there with additional improvements.

              One more thing - back button should bring back the previous page even if internet access is lost for a moment - it seems like i'm pulling the page reload with new mobile site when i press "back". That means i'll get "no internet connection" error instead of cached listing of stories.

              1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

                Re: Re: http://m.theregister.co.uk point release live on April 17

                So visited links on desktop is sub-optimal - lighter grey - and we are currently discussing options here. It has not been a deliberate decision to not have mobile visited links - it is just that we parked it until we made decision.

                Incidentally the link to desktop version from mobile has always been at the bottom of the page.

            2. vgrig_us

              Re: http://m.theregister.co.uk point release live on April 17

              One more thing - date and time for stories.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: http://m.theregister.co.uk point release live on April 17

              "Our design / navigation has to work for occasional readers, for blow-ins, for visually impaired, for the lazy, for the people who come in using Twitter or Feedly links on their phone" - So make the site responsive and stop pissing about with outdated technologies.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Err, shouldn't you be using an adaptive layout on the main site and dumping the whole desktop / mobile split? Every time I get dumped onto a mobile version of a website I find myself rapidly looking for a way to switch back to the desktop one.

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      More expensive option

      Adaptive is more time consuming to implement (much bigger scope); any new features/changes would have to also work on mobile before going live and therefore more testing is required. This is not on our agenda any time soon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More expensive option

        I felt exactly the same when I started looking at putting mobile support into an ecommerce application.

        But if you use a framework like bootstrap or foundation (I prefer the latter), it's really a lot simpler than you think, at least if your CMS is already using some kind of page templates already. After doing it responsive, I reckon it took about a 5th of the time that creating a completely separate mobile site would take. Because all we really had to do was modify the templates; the content pages largely fell into place. All the features we considered non-essential and were planning to drop from the mobile version just fell into place, so we ended up with a fully-featured mobile support instead of a really cut-back second rate version.

        The work is predominantly just modifying the template. And if you're using a good framework, a lot of the cross platform support is handled for you anyway.

        Honestly, take a look at bootstrap or foundation. It will save you a ton of time, and the end result will be much, much better.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More expensive option

        Adaptive is more time consuming to implement

        Not in my experience. You take the existing desktop site, rejig the templates and CSS, then you're done. From then on you essentially maintain one website rather than two. This assumes you're using a framework that cleanly separates the presentation layer, which the systems I've worked on always do.

    2. Stacy

      Exactly what I was thinking of!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not keeping up with current fashion.

    You've missed out the banner, fixed at the top or side of the page that expands when you pinch zoom into the main text and thereby obliterates the stuff you were trying to zoom into. You also seem to have gone for a readable font, rather than the "Oh, lets use the smallest font the device will do" option that some sites go for. Another missed opportunity to keep up with fashion is that it loads and renders in a sensible time.

    However, you do seem to have come up with a compact, neat usable layout.

    Basically, it ignores current fashion and does the right things, and seems to do them well - I like it.

    Asus / Google Nexus 7, first gen. Stock Chrome browser.

  4. Goldmember

    Will it auto direct mobile users to the mobile site?

    Because I actually find the desktop site easy enough to use on a mobile device (HTC OneX+, Android 4.2.2, Chrome).

    With regard to the actual mobile site, I like the main header filters (Hardware etc.), but couldn't immediately see any sub header filters (Laptops, Tablets etc.), which I do use quite a lot. Although, I do like the auto formatting of the articles, so may give the mobile site a try for a few days.

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: Will it auto direct mobile users to the mobile site?

      It will work something like this: If you are on your mobile you will hit the mobile site you can then scroll down to the bottom and click desktop - at which point we can set a cookie to remember your preference.

      1. Stacy

        Re: Will it auto direct mobile users to the mobile site?

        Is it going to take notice of the 'Request Desktop Site' option in mobile browsers?

        1. Drewc Gold badge

          Re: Will it auto direct mobile users to the mobile site?

          Yes.

          1. monkeyfish

            Will it auto direct desktop users to the desktop site?

            That would be a pita. I use the mobile site on the desktop because it cuts the crap and just puts the articles on the page with proper re-flow of text.

            1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

              Re: Will it auto direct desktop users to the desktop site?

              Yes it will auto direct - but I think we will just do the reverse of what we will do on phone - put link to mobile at bottom of page and enable people to set cookie from there.

              1. monkeyfish

                Re: Will it auto direct desktop users to the desktop site?

                ok, that would be fine.

  5. Tom7

    RSS Feed Links

    One problem that hasn't been fixed is that the links in the RSS feed still land you at the desktop site (I'm using Feedly on Android). The procedure should be:

    * Default to mobile site for mobile devices/browsers

    * Give a link to the desktop site

    * And a cookie to make the selection permanent

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: RSS Feed Links

      A mobile friendly RSS feed is on our to do list.

      1. Tom7

        Re: RSS Feed Links

        Nice to see this fixed recently.

        1. Tom7

          Re: RSS Feed Links

          Though it seems to have reverted. Was I part of some A/B testing?

  6. csw.reeve

    I like everything except the new color scheme... Used to be able to tell if an article was visited or not, but cannot tell the difference in this version. Could it just be my color blindness?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wot no responsive

    It's 2014, I'd have thought anyone doing mobile support is going to be doing responsive now? It's surely better for so many reasons:

    - better support for tablets and other devices, not just two different fixed layouts

    - same URL for article on mobile/tablet/desktop - pretty much all browsers allow you to sync bookmarks between devices, and users posting links in forums and social media works much better if you don't have different mobile URLs

    - cuts down on duplicate code (as same code serves all devices), mobile site can be fully-featured instead of a second rate cut down neutered version that is often the case these days

    There is the issue that some old browsers (IE7/8) don't do so well with responsive, Foundation doesn't support IE8 or below. But we've found it simple to just put a server side detection on old devices and serve them back a non responsive template. It's not ideal, but then if you're on IE8, nothing is really and half the internet already won't work for you. So the reg looking a bit naff is going to be the least of your worries. And who on earth reading the reg is going to do so on IE8 or below?

  8. Red Bren

    Where is the content?

    I navigated to the mobile site on my SGS3 stock browser. Top half the screen taken up with an advert for Microsoft Cloud, bottom half filled with a picture attached to the main story.

    Now I don't object to adverts on El Reg, its a fair price for the service, but its not much of a service when you have to scroll a whole screen before you can see the headlines.

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: Where is the content?

      We never run pics above headlines. So I am not sure what you are seeing there - unless you have uncovered a bug.

      I have some sympathy with you over the size of the Microsoft ad. However, this size is standard and widely used on mobiles - although many sites down run ads midway down a story (sometimes as well as, sometimes instead of) and not the top, as we are currently doing.

      Also, the ad may be big - but surely everyone scrolls all the time when reading websites on their phone. Is this really so burdensome ( a genuine question, not rhetorical)?

      1. Tiny Iota
        Thumb Down

        Re: Where is the content?

        "We never run pics above headlines": I am seeing the same thing on an iPhone 5S in Safari.

        In order of what I see, top to bottom: Reg banner, massive microsoft ad, "Top Stories/Most Read" banner, big picture, then first headline (Then a few pictures alongside headlines, then normal headline/sub headline list).

        Also, there are no icons in the comments section (I know you said you have work to do on the comments, so I hope this is on the list)

        1. Drewc Gold badge

          Re: Where is the content?

          Gotcha! - my misunderstanding - I thought we were talking about a story page. My hunch is that position of big ad / hard against the top teaser pic is the issue here - and not the size of the top teaser pic. Does anyone here think different?

          On comment icons. We are having a mull about positioning

          1. Tiny Iota

            Re: Where is the content?

            It means due to the combined size of the ad and the top pic on the homepage, you have to scroll down an entire screen to even read the first headline. Bit of a pain to be honest (and I would have thought your advertisers would prefer users not to automatically have to scroll away from seeing their ad).

  9. The Man Himself Silver badge

    mobile vs desktop

    Personally I use the mobile site from my desktop, as I'm fed up with the flashy advert heavy content on the desktop site dragging my machine's performance down...is the move in the new mobile site towards more adverts? I hope not, as it could take me back to square one

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: mobile vs desktop

      You are one of very few people who do this - and I don't see why we would need to accommodate this in our thinking

      However, mobile phone ads tend not to be flash-tastic. Also we run no more than two per page, compared with three for desktop.

      1. vgrig_us

        Re: mobile vs desktop

        What? You "don't see why we would need to accommodate this in our thinking"?

        You have to - both sites should be usable on both mobile and desktop devices.

        Or, if you don't want to do all the work, you can subscirbe to very popular opinion that separate mobile sites are stupid - see the link below.

        http://www.artlebedev.com/mandership/177/

        1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: mobile vs desktop

          We have no intention of devoting time or resource to people who visit m.theregister.co.uk via their desktop. In the last month, fewer than 2000 people have visited the m.theregister.co.uk using a desktop. We will not stop people continuing to do this - and that surely is enough.

        2. NogginTheNog
          Flame

          Re: mobile vs desktop

          "subscirbe to very popular opinion that separate mobile sites are stupid - see the link below.

          http://www.artlebedev.com/mandership/177/"

          What a tosser! A mobile site is vital for those of us who can't afford, or heaven forbid don't wish to have the latest, flashiest, biggest wedges of mobile gadgetry in our pockets - or rather in our hands as they won't ever fit in any pocket!

  10. big_D Silver badge

    Images 2nd class citizens

    It looks fine on WP8.1 using IE 11 on a Lumia 1020.

    Only thing that got me was tapping away on the images next to the headline didn't take me to the story! They should be hyperlinked, like the headline, IMHO.

  11. Show Me the Money

    Auto detect opt-in?

    I like the new mobile site. Is there a way to opt-in to the auto-detect so that I start seeing the mobile version on my phone before the big switch is made for everyone?

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: Auto detect opt-in?

      You could always bookmark m.theregister.co.uk

  12. Fihart

    It works.

    On Blackberry (rather old) OS6 -- seems usable.

    Previously dumped the Reg from my mobile because the cookies reminder screen kept following me down the page, obscuring text, and I couldn't see to click to get rid of it.

    1. Fihart

      Re: It works. Update.

      Tried to sign in and couldn't. Can read stories and commentards, but not reply to the more ridiculous of the latter.

      1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: It works. Update.

        I have signed in via mobile - so where did you try to sign in and couldn't?

        1. Fihart

          Re: It works. Update. @Drewc

          I figured it out eventually. Probably something to do with the small screen but initially I tried clicking on the wrong area and wondered why no letters appeared when I typed.

          See if anyone else has the same issue.

  13. Raumkraut
    FAIL

    Top stories

    As a regular Reg reader, what I want to see are the latest stories since I last visited. Unfortunately, it seems I can't get to the chronological list, without first having to scroll past all the "top stories" which either I've inevitably already read, or didn't care about in the first place. Add another tab or something, so it goes: "latest", "top stories", "most read". Bonus points if it remembers which section you were last on.

    And since I'm here, where the FUCK is HTTPS support? Asking people to log in to your website over an insecure connection! You are everything that is wrong with security on the Internet.

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: Top stories

      Just for the record, The top five stories are editorially selected headlines - and they change frequently during UK working hours. Everything after that is in reverse chronological order. I think that for most people visited links would suffice.

      On website encryption. We are working on this.

  14. monkeyfish

    m.forums

    1) Is the mobile forum going to get the edit post feature of the desktop version (I'll edit this myself if does already...)?

    2) Is the mobile version finally going to get post icons to choose from?

    3) It appears that text re-flow stops at a certain maximum width in the current implementation (it didn't with the old version, and also not in the article). Is that a concious decision? Not a big deal, but I'm not sure why you'd need to.

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: m.forums

      We need to have a think about implementation, but yes we would like to make forums functionally identical on mobile and desktop.

  15. AdamK

    Whats your baseline?

    Before I waste any more fingertip, are you interested in how it looks on Opera Mini 8 on a Nokia Asha 311. So far, less usable than main site and zooming on clicked article. Cookie dialog is huge, images over indented.

    I know Indians are buying Androids and Lumias now, but I am fed up of losing expesnive phones so got a losers phone instead. It sticks to me like sthi. They sold millions of touch Ashas

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: Whats your baseline?

      We need to do something about cookies message everywhere even though it looms larger in some browsers than others. Opera Mini accounts for about 0.6 per cent of sessions - but Opera lovers of all ilk appear to be more vocal than users of other browsers.

      As for the Asha - no we are not interested in supporting this. Sorry!

      1. AdamK

        Re: Whats your baseline?

        And there was me thinking all the worst commentards didn't work for the Reg. As the only alternative for me right now is a building works spreadsheet I'll spend a bit of time...

        "Opera Mini accounts for about 0.6 per cent of sessions - but Opera lovers of all ilk appear to be more vocal than users of other browsers."

        You mean there are other browers? And users? When did you know this and why didn't you say? A quick word search reveals that you are snowed over by BEELIONS, reg billions that is, of Opera mini users vocalising about your m. site. I couldn't give a flying hoot about Opera. Don't use it on the desktop or the cutting slab. They happen to do the only alternative browser for feature phones which they update periodically for free and works well for what it is. Saves all those Kenyans exporting old phones to themselves in order to recover the coltan because they can't read the Reg with them.

        "As for the Asha - no we are not interested in supporting this. Sorry!"

        Please don't be. We feel each others pain. I can vocalise it for you if you want. Sounds a bit like a Yoko Ono record over Skype on a Nokia Asha.

  16. Frenchie Lad

    Nice to have

    It would be great if all that I read on my laptop was marked as read on my iPhone so that I could avoid looking at it twice.

  17. Javapapa
    Go

    Tested April 22 on Samsung Galaxy S3 Chrome Browser

    Big improvement over previous version where the articles did not auto size, forcing a pinch zoom.

    Agree that using a style to show links followed would help with navigation, like desktop version does.

    Also if selecting the "Most Read" option, it would be great if that choice persisted after reading an article. Currently it resets to the "Top stories" tab.

    Also works with Android browser on S3, same comments apply.

    Go sign to keep improving.

  18. PowerSurge

    Writing too big. Writing on desktop site is perhaps a bit small but not much. That's on nexus 4. You need to get more on each screen. Looks very similar to other reader websites. I don't use those either.

    1. Notion

      Too much white space (and a bloody large font)

      I think suffering the same issue on my SGS3 (android 4.3) with Opera browser. Basically the text on the front page is annoying big, bulky and overly spaced.

      This means having to scroll down many times to get through the information. The text in the articles themselves isn't so annoying (well the advert and headline fills the entire first page, but after scrolling past that, one can get on and read the text).

      The m.bbc.co.uk/news front page seems to have made a slightly better stage at this (no doubt after many trials and tribulations!). What I think the difference is, is that they have moved their subheadlines to fill the entire width of the screen, which might improve space usage?

      No other real annoyances on the redesign - you've got to include advertising to earn your keep!

  19. gizmo23

    I don't see the distinction between a "top" story and a "most read" story. I'd like the option to view in chronological order, or including the date/time in the heading would be good. Sometimes it's a few days between visits, so I'd like to know how old a story is straight away. Other than that the layout looks OK on both nexus 7 and moto G with stock chrome. IMHO.

  20. steveking1000

    Similar to Fihart

    I used to use the mobile site years ago, gave up because of the cookie banner problem.

    For me the key is being able to opt out of the mobile site easily, and ideally do it once for all the devices I use (various tablets and phones, mostly Android) - I can't see any need for a mobile site these days. YMMV

  21. philmck

    I'd prefer a "responsive" version of the main site rather than a separate site.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the stupid cookie text expands to fill the whole screen. opera with no cookies on android. posting this on chrome / android which is what I use if I want cookies enabled.

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      The cookie text is too big but...

      if you have cookies switched off, how do we know how to stop serving you the cookie message for each session. I would need to check but I think we remain legally obliged under UK law to serve this.

  23. Toastan Buttar

    The user experience is worse for me.

    I used m.theregister.co.uk for years on my crappy, underpowered Android phone. The user experience is now worse than it ever was for me.

    Congratulations on spending many man-hours of work making your product /worse/ than it was before.

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: The user experience is worse for me.

      But how is it worse?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Touch Icon

    Need to get rid of this eyesore.

    http://regmedia.co.uk/apple-touch-icon.png

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Apple Touch Icon

      Yep - on to do list.

  25. Anon 17

    I'm running BBOS 10.2.1 on my Z30, and accessing the site using Evolution Browser. (Love that built-in ad blocker!)

    The list of stories is straightforward and easy to navigate, and previously visited links within the stories are obvious. It would be nice to have a similar indication for the headlines in the list.

    I noticed th e option to switch to desktop mode at the bottom of the story, but it makes more sense to put that at the top. Those who want the option aren't going to want to scroll all the way down to make that switch. .

    I think the large size for the top story is overkill - the other four are sized about right, although I'm not convinced it's really necessary.

    Logging in to post this comment was a pain, since the fields are tiny. It was possible in landscape mode, but very awkward.

    I'm unlikely to use the mobile version. I can zoom the desktop version to fit my phone's screen. If auto-detect is eventually turned on, I'll just switch user agent strings in the browser.

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Switching to desktop mode top vs bottom

      Switching to desktop mode and accepting cookie for preference is something that individual readers are unlikely to do often. As such having this option at the top of the screen does not seem sensible to me.

  26. Jackson64

    Top item is a bit big but I'm not about to get in a twist over it. Not sure just why everyone is railing on you about having a separate mobile site - your house, your rules and all that.

    I like the new site, better than the old (that cookie warning issue was a real pita) but agree a colour change for visited links would be beneficial but not essential. All easy to read, easy to access.

    I only use the mobile site as its most convenient to me. All viewed on HTC One (M7) using dolphin browser and ad blocker

  27. Richard Lloyd

    At least it doesn't show the mobile version for tablets

    Well done for actually detecting phones only (and not tablets) for redirection to m.theregister.co.uk - it's one of the few sites I seen actually get this right. Having said that, I never Web browse on a phone (way too small) and use Firefox with the Phony extension on tablets to fake a desktop browser, but still at least you've got one thing right :-)

  28. Jonathan Richards 1
    Thumb Up

    Works for me

    I'm coming a bit late to the party, so some of the issues {mentioned | whinged about} above may have been fixed.

    I too would like an analogue of the desktop /week page, i.e. chronological presentation of posts, since I find the Top Stories/Most Read idea unappealing.

    Previously-visited stories appear in red for me, which is just as I like it, and both internal and external hypertext links work properly.

    I'm not a frequent user of the site using my phone, but the m. site as it stands now is eminently usable for my setup.

    Hardware: HTC One X

    OS: Android 4.1.1

    Browser: Dolphin Browser v 11.0.0 + Jetpack 6.1.2 + Text Sizer add-on

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing price on reviews

    Price information, etc is missing from reviews on your mobile site - as viewed with Opera for Mobile/ Android.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    down vote for the app

    While the comments don't have the number of up/down votes, the app is a none starter for me.

  31. TobyD

    Image aspect ratios get messed up on iPhone Safari

    Bugged me for a while with the LOHAN photos, now pushed over the edge by the Tesla review into finally commenting...

    The images accompanying articles are resized so that their _width_ is reduced to fit the screen width, but the _height_ is left as-is. So if an image is wider than <however many pixels my iPhone 4S fits> then the effect is to stretch the image vertically. It makes the SPB folks look like they're at the start of end of a Western shown on 4:3 in the 80's when the whole image would be squashed to fit the credits in...

    Otherwise I've got used to the mobile site and bookmark that instead of full-fat Reg.

  32. Rockvole

    Next Page Links on Mobile

    I applaud how you guys keep your site simple, but can you make the "Next Page" links on your articles a button ? Trying to hit that on my Galaxy Nexus is like threading a needle from the back seat of a Morris Marina.

    1. Drewc Gold badge

      Re: Next Page Links on Mobile

      Try m.theregister.co.uk - everything is on one page. BTW We are starting to roll out auto-detect - sending people to the mobile version.

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