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Author Topic: Website Design & Mobile-Friendly Design  (Read 524 times)
Nightdrift
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« on: December 21, 2021, 10:39:24 pm »

It goes without saying that mobile device usage is a commonality in this day and age. As someone who still predominantly uses computers over a mobile device, it is a little startling for me to imagine that a lot more people are using their phones to connect to and browse the web. It makes sense, but I also imagine most of this surfing is often used to browse bigger platforms or social media sites with actual web development teams, who do often optimize for a mobile experience.

Designing one's personal website to be friendly or optimized for mobile (from my experience browsing sites on Neocities) seems to be a fairly whimsical and unpredictable topic for a lot of users. Homepage descriptors along the lines of "SITE IS NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY", "SITE DESIGNED ON A ____x____ MONITOR", "BEST VIEWED ON [BROWSER OF CHOICE]", or "I'VE TRIED TO MAKE THIS MOBILE FRIENDLY" are common sights -- sights I'm not at all adverse to seeing, but these sorts of disclaimers did pique my own curiosity about others' experiences with designing their sites.

Speaking personally, I don't worry too much about cleaning my site up for a mobile experience. For a personal site, it is quite nice to have that power of having things be viewed as the webmaster intended, even if that does mean the mobile version might be a bit of a mess. It might be a bit of a selfish act, but I also think it is a nice reminder that one's personal site is one's own, and that one will have the most authentic experience possible. That said, while I have not really considered going all-out with mobile-friendliness, there are definitely a few visual bugs that annoy me sometimes when I do look at my pages on a mobile device. There is also the realization that some people may only own a mobile device to browse the web, and do not have access to a desktop/laptop -- though I think that is an entire discussion in of itself.

What are your thoughts on optimizing for mobile? Is this something that you consider while working on your site? To what degree? Or do you prefer to design specifically for desktop, or for your personal browsing experience? Maybe it is not something you expect on the retro web? Or something else?
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Obspogon
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2021, 11:03:46 pm »

I used this tutorial and it's been fine since then. Getting the tables to shrink can be a pain.
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Melooon
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2021, 11:15:47 pm »

Its a good question and always worth a debate, thanks for asking! ;D

So I have metrics on a few of my sites that says what device people use; and what Id say is IT DEPENDS. My personal rule of thumb is that if it works for 80% of users, that's good enough. My main site gets 12% mobile traffic, so that means it works for 88% of users on desktops with no mobile support at all (that said I do try and have SOME mobile support just so its not totally broken).

search.melonking.net gets about 30% mobile traffic, so its more important in my mind to support mobile for that site. I think that's because its a service or utility and people use those more on phones, although that said this forum only get 11% mobile traffic.

I think the biggest question is always, does this info neeeed to be on a phone? A moody music exploration site does not need to be on a phone, and recipe site prob does because people might want to use the phone to read in the kitchen.
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Cy83rPr1mm13
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2021, 03:14:18 am »

I think the biggest question is always, does this info neeeed to be on a phone? A moody music exploration site does not need to be on a phone, and recipe site prob does because people might want to use the phone to read in the kitchen.

This is how I feel about it as well, I don't think any of my sites contents would be of interest "on the go" so I don't bother with mobile support; and I think my site looks fine enough on landscape that a mobile user could navigate it anyways.

If I did standard web browsing on my phone I would probably feel differently, but I never really 'got' the point of phone browsing, since I've always had some kind of laptop or desktop available.
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Nightdrift
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2021, 04:45:15 am »

As always, thanks for the great responses : D It is always great hearing people's points of view & rationales behind their preferences.

My personal rule of thumb is that if it works for 80% of users, that's good enough. My main site gets 12% mobile traffic, so that means it works for 88% of users on desktops with no mobile support at all (that said I do try and have SOME mobile support just so its not totally broken).

search.melonking.net gets about 30% mobile traffic, so its more important in my mind to support mobile for that site. I think that's because its a service or utility and people use those more on phones, although that said this forum only get 11% mobile traffic.

Basing design off of service/utility makes a lot of sense. I do also like the thought that...it doesn't have to be all or nothing, necessarily, when it comes to said metrics. On the note of forum traffic, I would probably die trying to use a forum on mobile haha...that said, I do use it to keep up with people's responses, but the risk of fat-fingering the post/preview button on a reply...is a risk I personally cannot take!

I don't think any of my sites contents would be of interest "on the go" so I don't bother with mobile support; and I think my site looks fine enough on landscape that a mobile user could navigate it anyways.
I resonate a lot with this thought, Cy83r -- when it comes to "surfing the web" in the context of personal sites, browsing in front of a monitor vs a phone just currently feels more natural. Of course, this could entirely be the opposite for those who prefer to predominantly browse on mobile, and I'd be curious to hear from folks who prefer that camp. But I usually find the desktop experience more immersive.

I used this tutorial and it's been fine since then. Getting the tables to shrink can be a pain.
The results from that tutorial look great -- it's nice that it does not look like it takes much work to get things running better, too.

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After sleeping on it a bit, I do think I have the bias of wanting a larger "canvas" to play with, which kind of goes back to hoping visitors can "view as it was meant to be viewed". That said, the tinkerer in me does values some degree of mobile navigation...though if it can be done with minimal effort, the better -- I think there is some amount of personal pride, in seeing and knowing your code, with minimal effort, can work on multiple devices & screen sizes. (It is definitely not laziness...no way...)
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2021, 07:25:05 pm »

It's always incredible to think about the amount of device sizes our websites will be seen on. What's also crazy is to think about all the type of browsers. Sometimes, users will visit from low connectivity places, sometimes, they will have javascript off. At times, they won't enable CSS. It's so unpredictable. I think it's more than okay not to have a homepage look good on mobile. In a way, I'd almost expect it. It's part of the charm of a homepage.

On my end, I usually go with mostly text-only content with single or double column that tend to flow naturally on mobile. It's more of a self-imposed constraint than anything. It happens to work on mobile too.
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Melooon
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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2021, 07:31:27 pm »

It's always incredible to think about the amount of device sizes our websites will be seen on.

On that note there is a flip side; Iv heard that some parts of my site (particularly the games) have big issues on ultra wide monitors when people have their browser in full-screen. Apparently when you make some bits very wide, links move up under text and you cant click them anymore. So supporting different widths is an issue whether you go up and down!
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