Difference between revisions of "1174: App"

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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(Explanation)
Line 8: Line 8:
  
 
==Explanation==
 
==Explanation==
This comic is about how web sites design special versions of their pages
+
This comic is about how web sites design an "app" to front their website pages.  Site typically justify the app existance with that it is
optimized for viewing from mobile devices — by developing an app and prompting mobile views to install it.
+
optimized for viewing from mobile devices, while in fact this is false since you cannot zoom or change the text size in most of these apps.  Regardless of that the sizes still try to prompt you install their app on every vists to their site from a mobile device.
  
 
Usually, the mobile version of the web page is made separately
 
Usually, the mobile version of the web page is made separately

Revision as of 11:34, 15 February 2013

App
If I click 'no', I've probably given up on everything, so don't bother taking me to the page I was trying to go to. Just drop me on the homepage. Thanks.
Title text: If I click 'no', I've probably given up on everything, so don't bother taking me to the page I was trying to go to. Just drop me on the homepage. Thanks.

Explanation

This comic is about how web sites design an "app" to front their website pages. Site typically justify the app existance with that it is optimized for viewing from mobile devices, while in fact this is false since you cannot zoom or change the text size in most of these apps. Regardless of that the sizes still try to prompt you install their app on every vists to their site from a mobile device.

Usually, the mobile version of the web page is made separately from the regular version, so it's often incomplete. The app used to view it has also some other serious usability problems (e.g. it can't be zoomed), so it's usually better to just view the regular version of the web site with a regular browser even when accessing the web from a mobile device.

In the comic, a mobile device user is trying to do just that: visit the regular version of web page through a regular browser. However, the site keeps on insisting that the user really should "download our app to visit an incomplete version of our website where you can't zoom". If the user chooses "no", it isn't really a "no", but rather a "no, but ask me again every time"; so this pop-up is going to get really annoying very soon.

In the title text, there's a reference to yet another very serious usability problem of the mobile version of web pages: the only page one can really see is the home page, and whenever the user tries to get anywhere else in the site, the server loses track of the navigation and sends the user back to the home page to start over again. This is the same effect described in comic 869.

Transcript

[a popup window on top of a webpage displayed in a smartphone browser]
Want to visit an incomplete version of our website where you can’t zoom?
Download our app!
[OK] [No, but ask me again every time]


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Discussion

Interestingly, Scott Hanselman just made a blog post about this very issue. Note how the page in its entirety was downloaded using his mobile data plan, but it's still in no way viewable. --Buggz (talk) 08:27, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

By "in no way viewable" you mean mobile browsers don't support editing page's DOM like Chrome does out of the box and Firefox do with FireBug extension? (Try pressing F12). Not to speaking about the javascript-in-location-bar tricks someone already started posting on the blog post you mentioned. -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:29, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I was talking about how the website is done by design. Since the whole page is downloaded you can of course start "hacking" your way through to the content, but that's besides the point. --Buggz (talk) 11:00, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
It may be seen as hacking now. But removing ads from websites was also seen as hacking until ad blockers becamed fully automated and popular. If those overlays becomes anoying enough, someone will code extension to get rid of them. -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:35, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Most mobile browsers don't support extensions, but you COULD disable JavaScript before viewing the page then re enabling it after.

141.101.98.240 07:57, 4 November 2013 (UTC)


prompting mobile views = prompting people viewing the website from a mobile browser ("mobile views" is web designer terminology, not mainstream speech) -- 195.130.121.48 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Right, let's reword that (which you can do yourself, by the way, but I'll admit that from the main page it's not obvious for a newcomer). - Cos (talk) 11:45, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Seems like Spongebog did actually. - Cos (talk) 11:49, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Chainsaw Suit also made almost the same joke: http://chainsawsuit.com/2013/01/23/view-the-desktop-version-of-this-site/

It reminds me very much of the way tapatalk-enabled forums act. They keep prompting you to use the app, which - if you have the app - will not open the page you were on.

What can we learn from this?

I've learned that there are a billion things in the world that still need to be improved and sometimes if you seeking inspirations for new inventions they sometimes stare you right in the face (Thank you Mr. XKCD). Software engineers among us, lets help them improve their designs and avoid their mistakes ok? - e-inspired 24.51.197.187 19:17, 27 February 2013 (UTC)