Articles Tagged with User Experience

The Share Button on Facebook is Broken on Mobile

Facebook Share issue banner image
This post is 50% rant, 50% a heads-up to the Facebook devs, and 50% mathematical enigma…

For a while now I’ve shared other people’s Facebook posts on my personal profile and noticed that some of them would show up as expected, while others would show up… differently. And by “differently” I mean incorrectly and therefore badly. I’ve just discovered why and how it happens: the issue is with sharing via mobile in particular.

Sharing on Facebook desktop vs Facebook mobile

When you share someone’s post, if they have written some text while sharing a link and you hit the ‘Share Now (Friends)’ option, you expect the whole lot to be shared: the text, the link, and it should say “Steve Morgan shared [original poster]’s post.” Like this:

Facebook Share issue image 1
This is how it works – on desktop. On mobile, Facebook strips the text and the “Steve Morgan shared…” bit, and only shares the link. Completely devoid of context. Here I am tapping ‘Share Now (Friends)’ on mobile…

Facebook Share issue image 2
…and here’s the end result:

Facebook Share issue image 3
Bleugh.

I’m using an iPhone 7, currently on iOS 10.3.2, and the version of the Facebook iOS app is 132.0. Not that I think any of that matters, given that it’s been happening for a while (so I don’t think it’s iOS or app version specific).

It’s not just bog-standard posts that’s affected

At first I thought it was only normal post-sharing functionality that was affected. But I discovered the issue when I tried sharing an ‘On this Day’ post.

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Deconstructing the Worst Article I’ve Ever Seen

"Dear lord..."Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached peak BuzzFeedification.

By “BuzzFeedification” I refer to the recent onslaught of articles that fit BuzzFeed’s style (i.e. full of GIFs and memes) and/or follow the get-as-many-ad-impressions-as-possible model, which has been adopted by many publishers at the moment – more and more by the day, it seems – in an attempt to get that elusive click.

I came across one article that ticked all the usual boxes…

  • Unnecessary multi-page image listicle? Check.
  • Memes? UGH. Check.
  • Goes on for much longer than it needs to in order to try and accrue more ad impressions? Oh god yes check.

…and is simply one of the most frustrating and pointless articles I’ve ever read. The things publishers will do to get you to click and get you to view ads is becoming laughable.

The article and site in question (which I’ve nofollowed because I sure as sh*t don’t want to give them any SEO love)? “A Woman Makes A Shrine Of Her Used Condom Collection” on Rebel Circus.

Let’s take the time to dissect what’s wrong with this absolute sh*tshow:

They’ve turned a simple one-page story into an unnecessary multi-pager

Below the heading and opening summary, there’s a small paragraph about the ‘collection’ and an image of said collection. Below that, there’s a ‘Next Photo’ link:

RC Fail - page 1
Ok, fair enough. So far so good – no harm done.

The inclusion of the ‘Next Photo’ link led me to believe two things:

  1. It’s a multi-page image slideshow article (or whatever the technical term is), but more importantly,
  2. That there’d be more photos of the collection – and more information.

Click onto page 2 and you get this:

RC Fail - page 2
…An image of a record collection? Alrighty then.

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Beware: Asterisks & Other Symbols Can Ruin Your Tap-To-Call Phone Number Link

Smartphone in the dark imageWhen someone gets to your website, it’s important that your contact form works, your email address and phone number are written correctly and your checkout process is working correctly (if you’re running an Ecommerce website). After all, you’ve worked hard to drive traffic to your website – you don’t want them bouncing at the final hurdle, affecting your conversion rate.

Clients/customers are one thing. Imagine if your visitors were contemplating suicide…

The other day, I noticed that the Samaritans’ phone number on their Contact page wasn’t working properly if you were on a mobile device and you were trying to use the tap-to-call function.

Their phone number is 08457 90 90 90. However, due to the asterisk immediately after the third “90” (which references a bit of small print talking about the cost of the call per minute), my iPhone wasn’t processing the number fully when using tap-to-call. Instead of the full number, it was picking 08457 90 90 – an incomplete and incorrect version of the phone number.

As you can see above, I tweeted @samaritans to let them know, as I was worried it might stop people needing help getting through, and – to my delight and relief – they let me know the following day that they had fixed it.

So I urge you all to check that your website’s phone numbers are working correctly from mobile devices. It might be worth checking from multiple devices – it might be the case that it’s fine on an iPhone but not working on an Android, so don’t just check one and assume that it’s fine across the board. Check them all if you can.

[Smartphone image credit – Japanexperterna.se]

Are Other Rich Snippets Overriding the ‘Mobile-friendly’ Tag?

Just a quick post today based on a random discovery that I made over the weekend…

I was checking a SERP on behalf of my parents’ company (IT recruitment sector) from my phone simply because I didn’t have my laptop or tablet to hand. A search for "web developer job cardiff" showed the following:

Mobile SERP - Indeed.co.uk screenshot
(Click to enlarge)

Two things struck me as odd about the first result, which is first on both mobile and desktop searches. Firstly, the top result isn’t labelled ‘Mobile-friendly’ (any SEO who’s not been living under a rock will know that this is big news at the moment), yet it’s ranking above two results that are. Secondly, having been on Indeed.co.uk’s website before, I was convinced that it was mobile friendly – so I clicked (or tapped) on it, and – as a matter of fact – it is:

Indeed.co.uk's mobile site screenshot
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test even confirms this – here’s the results page for that page:

Mobile-Friendly Test results for Indeed.co.uk screenshot

So… what’s going on here?

Let’s take a closer look at the SERP:

Mobile SERP - Indeed.co.uk (highlighted) screenshot
Notice how the label next to Indeed.co.uk’s result shows ‘Jobs 1 – 10 of 370’ instead? I have a feeling that this rich snippet is overriding the ‘Mobile-friendly’ tag for this result – i.e. that Google is choosing to show the former instead of the latter (even though both are true)… which isn’t good for Indeed.co.uk (more on that below).

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