Toward a Visual Design for the Archive on Mobile Devices



  • Here is how the home page looks on a simulated "smart watch" or smartwatch. At first, it looks like this:
    top.png
    Then on scrolling to the bottom:
    bot.png

    @Marylander, are you here? Maybe you are tied up with studying.



  • Looks decent. I took a screenshot of how it looks on my phone. I can post that.



  • If you are satisfied with it, I don't need to see it.



  • @Marylander, @SaraWolk, any other visual designers, what do you think about how the archive content should look on small screens and how the reader would navigate down and up through it?

    For large screens, I'm thinking to offer a control with each category to make the category expand in place to show the topics under it, and similarly, each topic would be able to expand in place to show the posts under it. Expanding a topic would contract any other other topic that happens to be expanded already. Thoughts?

    I have in mind the following color scheme for the archive:

    Post text navy on white ("normal").
    Post header white on navy ("inverted").
    (Avoid white on orange, or any orange background, because that should be reserved for the buttons at the top, so they continue to stand out. As for orange on blue, reserve it to the site header, so the header does not seem to blend in with the list.)
    Topic normal.
    Category inverted.
    "Archive" title normal.



  • Sorry it took me a while to respond, I was moving, which was a complicated process given the circumstances.

    @Jack-Waugh said in Toward a Visual Design for the Archive on Mobile Devices:

    For large screens, I'm thinking to offer a control with each category to make the category expand in place to show the topics under it, and similarly, each topic would be able to expand in place to show the posts under it. Expanding a topic would contract any other other topic that happens to be expanded already. Thoughts?

    I think that this could also be workable on mobile devices, in a manner similar in appearance to threaded comments on forum apps, but in this case the threading is between the categories and topics. However, in any presentation of the archive, the topics probably deserve their own page if this is possible, since some categories had a lot of topics and some topics had a lot of replies, so trying to fit it all on a page seems like it could lead to cluttering.

    @Jack-Waugh said in Toward a Visual Design for the Archive on Mobile Devices:

    Post text navy on white ("normal").
    Post header white on navy ("inverted").
    (Avoid white on orange, or any orange background, because that should be reserved for the buttons at the top, so they continue to stand out. As for orange on blue, reserve it to the site header, so the header does not seem to blend in with the list.)
    Topic normal.
    Category inverted.
    "Archive" title normal.

    It would probably be helpful to have a demonstration of how this would look.



  • @Marylander, so you're saying you would like an option to see a list of all topics irrespective of what categories they belong to? I guess it should be possible to order them by date, author, title, or category.



  • @Jack-Waugh I meant that the directory of categories and topics should be on one page, and then for each topic the posts in that topic should have their own page separate from the directory.

    Being able to order all topics by date irrespective of category (or grouped by category) would probably be a useful feature, though it's less useful in an archive than a live forum. It would also probably be useful to be able to order by number of replies, since topics that turned out to be important tended to also generate a lot of discussion.

    Being able to search/filter posts by author, title, category, or some combination of each would be useful, but sorting by them might be of limited use. For the title, I might remember what the thread was about and could think of a few words likely in the title, but not the first word. Navigating a list of posts sorted by author feels unwieldy, since chances are that the person I want is somewhere in the middle, not among the first few or last few people listed.

    Another filter might be whether a user participated in a topic, i.e. including not only the author but anyone who replied. Specifying multiple users to return only topics in which all of these users participated would be a more niche but potentially still useful.

    I can think of some very niche sorts as well which might be useful for finding specific discussions, but those have more to do with what I personally think might have been useful for finding past discussions that I wanted to refer back to. Those would be by number of replies by a specific user, number of replies by a specific user to a specific user (if you still have the data for what each reply was to; possibly the initial post, but which could also be another reply), or number of replies from one user to another and vice versa.


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