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A non-millennial's experience of SCN (beta) from mobile

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Probably I am not the typical mobile user, who will access the new SCN from a phone, but sometimes it is good to see things from a different perspective.

When and how I use a phone for browsing?

I have two phones: Galaxy S3 Mini (mobile data is paid on demand with a cap on data usage, after exceeding the limit the speed is greatly reduced) and Galaxy S5 Neo (generous mobile data cap when not in roaming, still I use it mostly for work-related activities). On both phones I keep the bare minimum of installed apps and I am very picky when choosing a browser and add-ons.

All this means that I would access SCN mainly from WiFi from a browser and only when there is a real emergency.

I am less skilled than Millennials in mobile browsing, so probably some of the difficulties which I faced, could be overcome easily by experienced people.


Galaxy S5 Neo, connected to my home WiFi, latest version of Firefox for Android (with and without content blocking).

1. I never navigate to the site from - it is a waste of time to wait for that page to load and then click several times to get to the new site. Less page loads means less traffic, and more time on WiFi drains the battery faster, so I use bookmarks or type the url directly.

Not using leads to a problem, which I realized a couple of days later - you do not get the number of new notifications in your profile as a number, so if you don't go directly to search for them, you will not see the moderator's messages.

2. Logon is easy, very comfortable to get to the logon screen and type user/password (I never save logon data in any of my browsers). You have to remember to click your profile when you navigate between blogs and questions, because you are not logged on automatically to both. This is not a big issue, only a small annoyance.

3. Navigation to create a new blog post is also easy, using the formatting toolbar needs some practice to get used to. It could be just me using a new phone, but italic regular bold several words buttons state shows what was last pressed, not the current state.

I prefer to write in portrait mode, unfortunately by mistake I mis-clicked somewhere and there was a popup with size larger than my screen width. Rotating to landscape does the trick and I was able to close it. What did I do to get the popup - no idea, the message mentioned something about pasting text, I had no intention to paste anything, so I just got rid of it. Yes, I am that horrible when using a touch screen.

There is no way to write comfortably in landscape mode with that phone, because the virtual keyboard takes half of the space, on top there is the menu SAP blogs, which leaves very little space (especially if you need to use the toolbar for formatting).

4. You know the Title tips when creating a question? You cannot see them by default (only a small part of it will be visible).

You could get them to appear if you set Request desktop site in Firefox (no idea if there is an equivalent to that setting in other popular browsers), but then you have to zoom in and out, because you get the desktop experience.

5. Get to edit blog post in not very straightforward - there is no actions button visible as in desktop mode, so I used create a new blog post function to get to the menu and after several clicks I was able to find the blog, which I wanted to edit. If there is another blog of yours on the blogs page, you can simply click edit on it and then navigate to the page with all blogs that you have. In my case the blog was in moderation and there were no blogs of mine on that page (I hate scrolling multiple pages to find what I need). Navigation between edit blog and other parts of the site - I guess will I need more practice to get used to that.

6. Tags - initially I considered that the performance is OK, until I tried to search a tag by typing SAP Sal - huge mistake. Two problems:  1 ) it is slow, because the search checks every character you type one by one and 2) you get a long list of tags without a visual scroll as in desktop, so there can be 3 or 30 items - no way for me to tell, so I just kept on typing.

7. Search from the landing page - I experienced atrocious performance when typing the search criteria and by that I mean more than 5 seconds delay per character to appear in the search bar.

I tested the same with the current and I got exactly the same bad results. This is probably because of this auto-fetching suggestions from the site. Strangely enough, at the same time I typed the same criteria from my laptop and there were no significant delays. My phone was with almost full battery, no battery saving mode, no matter if I enable or disable content blocking, no problems with RAM or CPU usage.

No performance issues when searching other websites, like wolframalpha, but they switch off search suggestions at typing when they detect a mobile browser and redirect you to their mobile site version.

I am glad that I have a workaround - I know how to create custom search engines and with it I can bypass the search suggestions, so using a custom search engine is several times faster and you got the same result list.

Galaxy S3 Mini, connected to my home WiFi, latest version of Firefox for Android (with and without content blocking).

S3 Mini is smaller and older and is designed to be underpowered compared to its regular variant, so all difficulties with S5 are valid, but you get more challenges due to smaller screen size.

1. Typing in landscape mode without the toolbars is fine. Forget about formatting in landscape- just plain text is also a good option.

2. Portrait- it turned out it is still possible to use the toolbar - it takes 4 lines here, so I will use advanced formatting in very rare cases (you can switch off the bottom two lines with a single click). The most common options are in the simplified version, anyway.

3. Text tab is way better - bold italic bold italic are much easier to see and use. It will not suit everybody, but for an old-fashioned person like me html tags are a good option.

4. Adding user tags with this not so powerful phone is a bad idea- the keyboard freezes on each typed character for 3-5 seconds until the search list for user tags is displayed.

For the sake of comparison - Asus N65VB, connected to my home WiFi, latest version of Firefox ESR (with and without content blocking) - no performance issues when searching from the landing page and adding tags.

With a laptop you can use keyboard combinations to format text, so you don't even need the toolbar to format text most of the time.

If you get to a place, where you cannot find your way back easily, you can just right-click on the back arrow and go directly to a page several clicks back (this is not so easy for me to do with a phone).

I cannot test with a tablet, I expect that the navigation will be easier with a bigger screen.

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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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Hello Veselina

Thanks for the excellent feedback. It will be very useful for us in improving the User Experience of the Community Blogs.  We are updating the blogs edit and creation page to improve the UX for mobile devices in the next couple of weeks.  This should address a number of your comments  regarding the edit functionality, including ensuring that popups on mobile devices fit within the screen.

There seems to be an issue in particular with how the text edit box works on different mobile platforms and browsers. From what I understand you are saying that the text tab is not showing up in S3 Mini. If this is correct then it is a bug we will look into as it  should be present.  I will go through the points you raised and once an updated version has been released will notify you.

Regards Colin