It’s been over a month since we released a major update to our new mobile experience. During that time, we’ve been hard at work making a lot of exciting changes to the application that we just released today. Read on to learn how the mobile experience now includes updated designs and interactions, a new flat design aesthetic, and lots of additional data to support transparency and drive discovery.
Updated Design and Interactions
We made several layout and design changes to the application to improve on the importance and ordering of content, to help users better focus on the task at hand, and to improve the reply and comment interactions.
- Modified Layout: The layout of many pages has been changed to reflect the relative importance of content. For instance, on the conversation page, we made the title of the conversation the first and most prominent element. We also made navigation elements much more prominent and used a consistent style for them.
- Sticky Header: To keep users in context, you’ll now see a sticky header that appears on conversations, when users are searching, and when users are previewing a new conversation.
- Reply and Comment Interactions: Users are no longer taken to a separate page to view comments. We’re planning to display some comments by default as well in an upcoming release. You’ll also notice a new interaction approach for starring a reply. Users now “Like” a reply.
New Flat Design
We updated the visual design of the app to use a flat design aesthetic and a simpler color palette and font set. There’s a general trend with modern applications to using a flatter visual style that doesn’t include gradients, shadows, and other embellishments in the UI. This is often referred to as “flat design”. It embraces and tries to leverage the constraints of the physical devices we use rather than trying to work around them. The result is a design that feels crisper and allows users to focus on the task at hand rather than being distracted by unnecessary decoration. We’ve fully embraced this trend and you’ll see the new design reflects that.
As part of the re-design, we also simplified the color palette and font set. There are now only a handful of primary colors (eight) and font styles (four sizes) used throughout the entire design. Having fewer colors and fonts dramatically reduces the visual noise of the page, keeping users from getting distracted. We also wanted the attention and “color” of the community to come from user-generated content rather than the application itself. So you’ll see that trend reflected in much of the design.
Additional Data to Support Transparency and Discovery
We added additional data to help provide transparency into who’s participating in the community as well as to encourage discovery of new content.
- Mini-Profile: Your users can now tap on any avatar image or username in the application and see a mini-profile highlighting that contributors reputation and stats in the community, including how many conversations and replies they’ve posted as well as the number of stars they’ve received. Over time, we’ll be adding a link to the user’s full profile page as well.
- Employee and Champion List: Your users can now see which employees and champions are participating in the community by viewing a list of them on the About the Community page. We also include some stats to highlight how active those users are.
- Federated Search: If you have federated search enabled for your community, users will now see those results surfaced when they search for conversations. Federated search is a great way for you to surface content from your existing systems (e.g. knowledge base, help site, etc.). These results appear behind the “More” tab in search results.
- Recent Conversations in Category Lists: We now display the three most recently active conversations for a category when listing categories on the community homepage or on the full category list. This gives users a preview of the types of discussions happening in a given category and aids in discovery of new content.
What Do You Think?
We’re excited with this new look of the app. We hope you like it too! As always, let us know what you think in our community.