Topic on Talk:Reading/Web/Projects/Mobile Page Issues

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Please forgive (and redirect) me if this is not the most appropriate place to bring this up. One of my long-standing annoyances is that if I am on mobile and am sent a "regular" (e.g.: URL, the responsive magic works and I am silently redirected to the mobile URL ( appropriately.

The problem is, this only works in one direction: Desktop -> Mobile. I'm often using a desktop browser and often find myself looking at the mobile experience because the person who shared the page was on a mobile device. Why does the responsiveness not work this way?

AHollender (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hey — thanks for your question. One thing that comes to mind here is: the desktop site is a poor experience on mobile (so re-directing to the mobile site is easy to justify), whereas the mobile site on desktop is a fine experience (so re-directing to the desktop site is less obvious/necessary). However I do see your point. Two ideas that come to mind, in terms of how to handle this:

  1. default them to the desktop site but include a easy-to-find-but-not-annoying popup that says “switch to mobile view”
  2. leave them on the mobile site but include a popup that says “switch to desktop view”

Of course currently it is possible to get from the mobile view to the desktop view (and vice versa), however it perhaps could be made much easier given a case where you're using a mobile URL on desktop.

Regarding whether or not this is the right place for this comment, not exactly. It seems like there's a relevant conversation here: (talkcontribs)

Thank you for the reply and especially for the link to the conversation which certainly speaks to my concern. The only thing I would take issue with is your assertion that "the mobile site on desktop is a fine experience." While it certainly does not present the same usability problems as a mobile user encounters with the desktop site, it's (and I realize this is subjective) far from "fine" - controls exist that don't make sense in a desktop context, media is arranged oddly or hidden entirely from view, etc. But that's really only a minor quibble. I'll follow T214998 going forward, with thanks.

AHollender (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Ah yes, good point. I suppose I meant for the purposes of simply reading an article it is a fine experience.