Calypso on iOS: The big impact of little interaction bugs

During my last iOS web session, I thought about the little bugs and interaction problems that compromise our iOS web experience. Some of these have been with us for a long time, notably scroll bleed, editor zoom-and-pan, the traveling 2FA prompt, and notifications scroll jitter.

With the recent editor changes, we’re getting closer to a flowful mobile web experience. Scroll bleed and zoom-and-pan, however, baffle our emerging flow.

Ruminating on this and previous iOS web sessions, I arrive at these suggestions.

  • Eliminate scroll bleed, notably in the sidebar and notifications. Scroll bleed interferes with our primary nav.
  • Eliminate zoom-and-pan in the editor.
  • Improve image and embed interactions in the editor, particularly while scrolling.

These are little interaction problems with big impact. They get in the way of flowing through my Calypso publishing sessions.

From my last session:

Scroll bleed

I often experience #scroll-bleed in the sidebar. When a lower layer grabs the scroll, the sidebar doesn’t scroll. Offscreen menu items inaccessible. Usually, waiting a few seconds before initiang another scroll will clear the bleed and allow the sidebar to scroll. This is a little hitch in my flow that occurs often.

Scroll bleed in sidebar

Notifications does it too.

Zoom and pan when editor focuses

The view zooms and part of the toolbar goes offscreen when I tap into the editor.

Zoom and pan when switching tabs

Tap into HTML. View zooms and pans.

Tap into visual. View zooms and pans.

Cut, copy bar obscures inline image toolbar

Tap an image. The copy bar comes up along with the image bar.

Also, initiating a scroll drag on an image triggers the image bar when the finger lifts at the end of the drag.

Account prompt

The 2FA prompt follows you to the notifications and reader screens.

Notifications scrolling

The filter header in notifications jitters while scrolling and sometimes comes unpinned.

Sharing pop up

The sharing pop up doesn’t dismiss with an #outside-tap.

Sometimes it opens offscreen.

Editor toolbar does not pin

I need the toolbar, even when scrolled.

#editor, #ios, #notifications, #scroll-jitter, #session-notes, #zoom-and-pan

Editor and Media Flow Wishlist

These are the editor and media tickets that most affect my publishing routine. Fixing these would allow me to flow. These are roughly in order from the most to the least impactful on my personal flow. The first 6 are the ones I’d most like to see fixed.

#editor, #media

#duplicates, #hashtag, #hashtags, #longer-ones, #pesky

Flowsharing: Editing posts with embeds and block quotes

I compose posts in Ulysses and then pub them as drafts. I do the final edit and preview in Calypso. When editing these D&I recaps full of Twitter embeds and block quotes in Calypso, I experience:

  • #embed-reflow (#frustated)
  • #undo-reflow (#frustrated)
  • #embed-scroll-jump (clicking an embed jumps to the top of editor when another embed has focus, #frustrated)
  • #vscroll-loss (caused by all of the above, #frustrated x 3)
  • #scroll-scan-correlate cycles (when jumping between visual and html, a source of painful tedium and a cognitive stack smasher)
  • difficulty moving embeds and blockquotes (which drives me into the HTML editor and its hard-to-scan tag soup)
  • lack of embed link edit/visit (how about an inline toolbar and an edit details modal?)
  • a long wait for embeds to load and flow in every time I go back into the editor (makes #front-to-back-to-front-flow and iterative chain editing a slow process where I sit on my hands for 30 seconds at at time so I don’t start editing before everything loads)

#flowsharing #anecdote #journey

#editor

Session notes: Instagram widget auth flow, editor flow, embed reflow, list flow, vscroll

Notes from my past couple weeks-ish of sessions.

Instagram widget auth flow

So I tried Cmd+click to open auth in a new window. After completing instagram auth in the new window, I was redirected here.

The widget is not added in this new session.

I added it in this new session and hit the same auth blocker.

I went back to the original session. It is not authorized. I Save & Publish and then reload the customizer, still blocked at auth.

I couldn’t find a workaround.

Editor layout after AYS

After triggering AYS

Content area disappeared

I think this happened while typing.

The only thing in the console was

Cropped embed

Switching to HTML and back to visual fixed it.

Like, video overlap

Undo reflow

#undo-reflow after hitting Cmd+z.

Editor flow

The familiar frustrations of:

  • embed reflow
  • undo reflow
  • vscroll loss when an embed is selected and you click another embed
  • having to switch to the html editor to move embeds
  • waiting for embeds to load every time I re-enter a post
  • reflow, reflow, reflow

Idle editor wish: Outline of headers for easy jumping around. I use this a lot in Ulysses.

Lists of links

Today’s frustration: Links losing their href on paste, last mentioned here.

https://test.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/session-notes-back-buttons-hidden-sites-touch-image-flow-notifications-site-switching-flow-keyboard-flow-media-section-desktop-first/

Issue opened:

https://github.com/Automattic/wp-calypso/issues/10669

Also, the inline link toolbar gets in the way when rearranging lists of links. Whenever I work with lists of links, these two bugs/behaviors make for #frustrated.

Back button vscroll respect

Audit back buttons for vscroll respect. Losing vscroll kills browsing flows. For example, I prefer wp-admin themes flow to Calypso themes flow. Calypso loses your vscroll place when you return from the theme details page to /design. This makes for awkward theme browsing flow. wp-admin remembers your place in the /themes list as you navigate in and out of theme details.

wp-admin uses a modal for theme details, which flows much better for me. It respects vscroll.

Scrolling /posts/

I’ve had trouble with scrolling /posts/ several times today. Posts stop loading into infinite scroll. Sometimes the loading placeholder gets stuck showing. The screen becomes inured to clicks. Chrome gets CPU happy.

Embed reflow

I spent lots of time in the editor today, waiting for embed reflow. Embed reflow is the #frustrated. I work tweets into my posts, a not at all uncommon thing.

When I paste a tweet into a post with several embeds, reflow dances my vscroll. I lose my place and can’t remember what I was doing. Over and over.

Alt text flow

Wishing I could add alt text from an image modal. Make alt text available to drag-and-drop image flow. I encounter this lack all the time when writing about disability. Lamenting the lack of an image modal right now as I work on…

The Segregation of Special

#accessibility

https://github.com/Automattic/wp-calypso/issues/307

Blockquotes and embeds

Adding stuff after embeds is frustrating, particularly if there is a blockquote nearby. My attempts at creating a new line between embed and block quote get block quoted.

Editor flow

Today’s editor flow harshers:

  • Editor unsaved changes #ays
  • #undo-reflow
  • #embed-reflow
  • links losing href on paste
  • inline link toolbar getting in the way of list editing
  • can’t blockquote lists without using html editor

Wishing I could toggle embed expansion so I can edit my posts without all of this reflow grief. Reflow and vscroll loss every time I Cmd+z or paste in another embed makes me wish Ulysses would hurry up and release editing of published WP posts.

Posts at the top disappear when I scroll back up

If I don’t touch anything, they’ll wink back in after 30-ish seconds.

Moving embeds

To move an embed, I:

  • flip to HTML
  • scan tag soup
  • cut the embed link
  • flip to visual
  • paste the link (If I past while in HTML, the embed won’t unfurl.)

List Soup

The bug where links lose their href when cut and paste pushes me to the html editor, where this greets me.

Working with embeds

I want to get at the underlying link so I can visit it and copy it.

An inline embed toolbar? An embed modal?

Sometimes embeds don’t load

Embeds can be slow to load in. Sometimes they don’t load at all. The links for the embeds don’t show, giving the appearance of vanished content.

After reload.

Remember size of notifications comment box

Wishing the comment box remembered the size I set with the drag handle.

In the comment box, ping backs display with “Reply to” followed by a link that is partially offscreen. The link is followed by an ellipsis, which makes me think the link has been truncated, although that’s not the case here.

#auth-flow, #editor, #embeds, #session-notes

Editor Prime Directives

With the talk of editor AYS, I thought I would top post my editor prime directives.

 

 

#ays, #cursor-control, #editor, #keyboard-flyup, #undo, #vscroll

Editor: prompts to restore/discard changes when there are no changes

  1. Starting at URL: https://wordpress.com/post/
  2. Publish a post
  3. Click <- Back
  4. Notice dialog that says “You have unsaved changes. Are you sure you want to leave this page?”

Often (but not always), immediately after publishing or updating, I see this AYS (are you sure) dialog when I attempt to navigate away from the editor via the <- Back button. Having to dismiss an unnecessary dialog is annoying, but the much bigger problem is that I can’t trust an editor that makes the save state of my content so ambiguous. One of my editor prime directives is, “Don’t AYS for unsaved changes if there aren’t unsaved changes.”

This ambiguity follows when you edit an existing post. I haven’t visited the post below in 3 years. When I open it, I get a restore unsaved changes prompt. This happens for lots of my old posts.

What am I restoring? I just want to peek the post right now, not edit it, so I click “Don’t restore”. I’ll postpone dealing with it until next time I venture to this post. After reading, I click the editor’s back button to return to my posts search and receive an unsaved changes AYS (Are You Sure). That’s an interruption on the way into the post and one on the way out. Unless I restore unseen changes, I will be twice interrupted on every visit.

Untrustable editor AYS comes up in user testing, it comes up in internal testing, yet its misbehavior endures. Here’s an anecdote from a recent user testing session.

To save or not to save: in the customizer and editor, both Lori and Mike got alerts indicating they shouldn’t leave the page they were on. This seemed surprising and confusing. In the editor, it would sometimes happen just after updating. In Customizer, the adaptive site preview gives the facade that it’s been updated, and the Save/Publish button was overlooked. Lori and Mike didn’t think their sites were “live” – neither noted the “Save & Publish” button (they didn’t see it), but I wonder what that might have told them about their site.

Issues:

Also, this occasionally happens post pub and seems to correlate with triggering AYS.

#ays, #editor, #trust

Session notes: overflow, reflow, embeds, image selection, double notifications, tab titles, working with text

Overflow, zoomed – iOS web

This insisted on loading zoomed in a bit.

Dismissing follow – iOS web

Follow doesn’t dismiss with an outside tap. To dismiss, I tapped 3 dots and then tapped it again. Tapping follow to dismiss closes the popup but unfollows in the process.

Embed reflow – Macnchrome

Adding Twitter links causes vscroll stomping reflow, especially on posts with other embeds. This happens every time I paste an embed and every time I load a post with multiple embeds.

#embed-reflow and View Post #forked-flow are taking the joy out of this session.

Whenever I edit a post with embeds, I wait 30 seconds before touching the keyboard due to the embed reflow. There’s no embed caching? Hmm, will Chrome’s

scroll anchoring help in this context? It’s the new default in Canary. Looks like it can be turned on via a flag in production Chrome. I’ll try it out.

chrome://flags/#enable-scroll-anchoring

Telegram’s image picker

Wishing our image pickers had accessibly sized images like Telegram. This is media flow I can see and use.

Double notifications – iOS app

Double notifications in the Hockeyapp beta. These persisted for awhile but then stopped.

Meanwhile, the Testflight beta didn’t double.

Inconsistent media display

This is how the iOS share extension works. If you share an image from another app to the WordPress app, it’s added to the post as a gallery. A relatively recent enhancement added the ids parameter to the shortcode to specify the image being included there.

Yuck. Our history with media is marked by such inconsistencies. Recall when IO editor launched with single images posting as galleries. Users responded predictably.

https://test.wordpress.com/2016/11/10/session-notes-back-buttons-hidden-sites-touch-image-flow-notifications-site-switching-flow-keyboard-flow-media-section-desktop-first/#comment-403

Twitter embed doesn’t reflect updates

I updated a post and then tweeted it.

That shows the old text.

Post: https://ryan.boren.me/2016/08/14/rules-of-thumb-for-human-systems/

Browser tab titles – Macnchrome

Which post am I editing in each tab?

Non interactive notification – iOS app

Visual glossary

Aside, notion: A marked up set of screenshots naming the various ui elements would help these discussions. A new section in the dev docs for a visual glossary of terms.

Working with text – Macnchrome

Moving links and blockquotes around in the visual editor isn’t so friendly. I often switch to the html editor when reorganizing living documents. There, I…

  • scan through the tag soup
  • rearrange blocks and links
  • mess up tags in the process
  • look for revisions in Calypso so I can revert
  • fail to find revisions since Calypso doesn’t have revs yet
  • switch to wp-admin
  • find post
  • dig through revisions
  • restore old revision
  • back to Calypso editor
  • reload to get restored rev
  • #frustrated

#app, #desktop, #editor, #embeds, #ios, #macos, #mobile, #notifications, #session-notes, #web