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iOS PWA needs reload and back buttons on every page

KT Walrus

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I’m testing the Invision Community PWA on iOS today. 

I ran into several usability UX issues including no reload/refresh button on the pages here. I think there are at least one page here that is being cached in the PWA. And I have no ability to refresh the cached page. If I visit the same page in Safari, I get the updated page since reload button is always available in Safari. In Safari I can swipe down to reload but not in PWA. 

Second theme issue is missing back button in PWA. I can swipe right for back in PWA, but swiping right is often hard to get interpreted as “back” in both Safari and the PWA. I think it might be a theme issue since on other sites I use, swiping right works every time. This may have something to do with the page margins or the wrapper. 

So, placing a back button on every page would be better UX. Note you could only show the back/reload buttons if in PWA or maybe only if full screen. 

Edited by KT Walrus
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2 hours ago, Randy Calvert said:
Regardless of what mode you use, there is a button that will take the user up a level from where they are at. 
Could contain: Text, File

That button isn’t the same as a back button. I’ve been trying to use the PWA full time, and the missing back button is a major usability problem. 

Push notifications don’t work with minimal api. Only fullscreen and standalone. 

Apple wants to encourage PWAs to work more like native apps than Safari websites. Therefore, back/forward/refresh are actions that the PWA has to address in the PWA UI. 

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Just noticed the Twitter PWA has the browser controls (back/forward/refresh/share) and still manages to support push notifications. The notifications even turn on a badge on the Twitter PWA home screen icon. 

Maybe you can do something similar?

The Twitter PWA seems to be much more useful than your PWA as far as navigation is concerned. 

Note the Twitter PWA prompted me to turn on push notifications while I think I had to visit Notification Settings on my own in your PWA. 

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Maybe the solution to the navigation issues I’m having is to treat all topic links as external links. 

Try an external link in the PWA:


If links to content were treated like the link above, it would be natural to return to the list of topics. Problem now is you can view a topic from a number of different lists, e.g. forum, search, activity, profile, etc. Having to use the Forum button to navigate back to the referer link only goes to the enclosing forum. 

Anyway, there is much that could be done to make navigation within the PWA better. 

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