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Mobile Improvements


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IP4 is a huge improvement on IP3 and the move to a responsive grid has a big part to do with that and I am a huge fan of this decision. It's been a massive rebuild and a lot of time and effort has clearly gone into it - thank you for all your hard work as you have done a fantastic job.

At the moment, I believe that IP4 it is the best software for desktop but not mobile.

It's a real challenge to successfully execute a responsive solution for a platform that by it's very nature is complicated and houses a lot of content. I'd love to see IPS take a 'mobile-first' approach to the UX and UI. It feels like it's too focused on desktop which results in a mobile experience that is unnecessarily complicated and at times really quite difficult to use. This is actual feedback from our community. I would imagine that there will be very few communities on IP4 that traffic is not massively weighted in favour of mobile and this will continue to grow. It's for this reason that the mobile interface should come first and then desktop second. 

The key is simplification. There is way too much clutter going on with all sorts of bits and pieces that are just not viable on the mobile platform. The days of giving the user every piece of functionality with every bell and whistle has long gone as mobile now dictates that the only way is to keep it SIMPLE and clutter free. I feel IPS have gone slightly in the other direction and delivered a UI that is good but has a lot of 'hot air' that doesn't really do much.

My 3 biggest changes for mobile would be:

Tabs and invisible content
Tabs (desktop) are currently switching to drop-downs on mobile which means that the content is invisible. I've given up explaining to our community that the content is hidden in the drop-downs. For example, albums is a really important piece of content yet it is completely hidden and I guarantee that no user will think to click the drop-down.

Please see screenshot below.

Mobile header
This section of the UI (and UX) is really weak. The brand sits below the navigation which is really strange and I am not sure why IPS would want to deviate away from the norm, especially on a white-label solution that needs to be flexible to any brand identity. Space is at a premium and 25% of the screen is taken up by nav and brand in the current format.

There is a huge reliance on icons. While they work well on desktop, they are almost impossible to know what is happening on mobile, especially for the first-time user. Again, if it was just one or 2 it would be ok, but given the complexity of the platform it becomes very confusing - this is also direct feedback from the community. An example is the 'View New Content' icon from 4.0. The most important page of the entire platform is triggered by a 'Star'. The new 'My Activity' icon is even less obvious in terms of what it actually does. This is not feedback on the icon style, it is simply saying that the interface needs to be simpler with less action points on the same screen. The most important icons must be labelled.

Would be great to hear about IPS's plans for the next release of an updated UI and in particular the companies strategy to make IP4 the best forum software for mobile.

Many thanks, Si


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