Mobile-friendly website (responsive)

Hi,

I know that this is a big endeavour but I think it would be nice if the website would use a responsive design for mobile devices.

I guess this isn’t a very “sexy” feature request, but I’m still surprised at how few votes there are as far as how important this would be for improving user experience for a really large number of people.

By the way @iPhil after you create a feature request, you have to separately vote on it, if you want to (just in case you weren’t yet aware).

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I think I thought it was about the app, which I don’t use. So this is just referring to a design that would work better on a mobile device, and is not referring to the app?

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Right! Making the website easier to see/use from a mobile device.

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yeah i feel like i am reasonably tech savvy but have no idea what ‘responsive design for mobile devices’ even means so i didn’t vote for it

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fundamentally, it seems like you would want to be able to use your phone to, say, take photos, and i think that sort of thing would be most easily accomplished in a dedicated app. so if you’re going to do an app anyway, i think there’s less incentive to make sure the website will also work well on that mobile device. i’m not against the principle of a mobile-friendly website, but i just think there are probably higher priority things to do with limited manpower. maybe if they are going to overhaul a page anyway, it wouldn’t hurt to also work in mobile friendly features, but I don’t think it would necessarily make sense to overhaul a page just to work that in.

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I wonder how many of the users who would benefit most from this (and I’m sure there are many) – those who browse mainly from their smartphones – even see or get on this forum?

That may be something staff should take into account besides just “counting votes.”

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the app works great for adding observations, in my opinion anyhow, but not very well for perusing other people’s data, editing one’s own observations (especially if you have lots) or doing ID help. It would be neat if it worked better for those, though not crucial

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I don’t use the app at all for making observations since I use a regular camera and download pics onto my computer. I do use it on a tablet for checking for updates on my content and to see what other people are seeing in the area. Occasionally for identifications for others also. Sometimes if I want to look up some species info through the app it opens up the full website in the tablet’s browser and I agree that it’s difficult to use, because it doesn’t adapt the layout for the small screen size.

I wish the app could have all the functionality of the full website, but realize that would make it far too large and complicated of an app. One idea would be to have more than one app for different purposes that are linked. One with a focus on making observations and another one that focuses on doing identifications. A button in one app could open the other so it would appear seamless. If there was an app to do ids that works as well as the website I would do a lot more ids, because I wouldn’t have to be sitting at my computer to do them.

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A mobile-friendly Identify page would be at the top of my list. :heart_eyes:

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me too but my request only got three votes!
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/expanded-id-help-functionality-in-app/395/2

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yeah, app requires separate development for Android and iOS tho, so seems more pie in the sky to me, but I could be wrong!

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I have changed the title to make it more clear.

I agree that the focus probably doesn’t lie on the on a mobile-friendly website if there’s an app available.
Many features aren’t available in the app though and I find it cumbersome to use the website on the phone.

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Would it not be easier to expand the app so that the missing features were present there? Developing a mobile version of a website not intended for mobile view is quite time-consuming.

My main request is being able to see my message inbox and reply to/send messages on the app.

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Remember too that there are two apps, with separate development pathways.

See https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/messages-in-the-android-app/537

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I was asked to split off a particular issue with the Identify page from another request, so here is that one and a few other potential interim steps that could be taken toward mobile/small browser friendlier design.

On Identify:

  • Collapse Top Identifiers/Progress bar into a side tab (or remove/shift design so that it isn’t on the side)
  • Shift Reviewed button so that it is visible
    image

On all pages:

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As cool as an mobile-friendly Identify page would be, I have a feeling a dedicated ID app would probably be the best solution since the current Identify page is pretty heavy, resource-wise.

I believe the two types of pages commonly linked to from the app are taxon pages (from the basic taxon info screens in the app) and observation detail pages (if you use the share button) so I would personally want to prioritize those, especially the taxon page since is has a lot of good info and is less interactive than the observation detail page.

(Observation detail is our term for an observatiton’s page, eg https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/25424950)

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First post ever, but just wanted to add my 2 cents on why I think this is important. The app is great for a quick upload when out and about, but it is quite limited compared to the site. The site is great when on an actual computer, but it is definitely not mobile friendly; it lags and doesn’t load properly. However, there’s a rather large number of people who simply may not have a computer, but can afford a cell phone. This is often the case here in South Africa where a large number of population is of a lower income. Perhaps there’s an opportunity there that is being missed out on by not having a mobile friendly site (or a more capable app).

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Could this be your connection? I use the website on a browser on my phone, and not withstanding the limitations of a small screen, it works fine.