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Please help us improve

12 Apr 2012 by Jancis Robinson

We are very aware of the trend to access websites on much smaller screens than used to be the case. The proportion of visits to via mobile phones continues to rise and is already approaching 20%. Yet we have so far done nothing to make the experience particularly easy for users of handheld devices.

We would welcome any specific suggestions from you as to how to improve the experience of accessing this website via a handheld device. Please feel free to add any suggestions via the Comments box below.

You might be interested to know that we are constantly reviewing possibilities for developing a really worthwhile app, but so far the development costs seem to be too high a five-digit sum to make economic sense.

We hope very much to hear from you.


Thanks for all the comments. All your thoughts, ideas and feedback are being taken into account.

1 May 2012 12:54 by Tamlyn Currin

One quick comment ... Im not sure just how "aware" the "site" would be as to the device being used - can it distinguish between 'tablets' (eg iPad; ie > 8" say screen size) vs smartphones (< 8")...  to give a good experience in both formats may require different approaches. If one had to compromise Id focus on the "tablet" but make sure that the basic wine search at least works well on a phone too (one might be looking something up at a restaurant or in a store say). Some clear goals at the outset , in terms of the target reader / situation, would obviously help keep focus. Oh - NO FLASH Please!!   (Or the wrath of Jobs will descend... I am not taking sides regarding the schism and its merits or otherwise, simply asking that the App work on iPad / iPhone).  

26 Apr 2012 18:55 by Richard Flack

Webapp for mobile devices would be great, provided it solves the login issue. On eRP it seems to work well, I've logged in months ago on my tablet and the login sticks. As for the content, articles and tasting notes are a must, as are the forums. Webapp or not, I enjoy the Purple Pages a lot, thx!

14 Apr 2012 16:33 by Jiri Placek

Point taken about improving the way people can add comments!

Incidentally, I think you have to leave a couple of lines for it to show as one line space. Damned fiddly. 

13 Apr 2012 13:20 by Jancis Robinson

Oh dear, all the formatting of my comments was lost - I'm using chrome, if that helps troubleshoot. I rest my case about modernising the forum! (Thought the content is excellent) I included some links but they too have been lost - here they are again  

13 Apr 2012 13:13 by Jason McFall

I strongly agree with the previous comments about making login easier, that would be great. I tend to read things on my phone when I have five spare minutes, and a fiddly login process is a real barrier to that.I (try to) access from my phone to read the latest articles/latest forum posts, so I'd appreciate having them easily available and formatted so they are easy to read on a small screen. Typically this means a single column, with no sidebars - it is easy to scroll vertically on a smartphone, but very tedious to scroll horizontally. The BBC mobile website is a good illustration - I'd appreciate it if the recent articles were arranged as the news stories are, and formatted similarlyThe forum is particularly painful to read on a phone. Even for large screens, it feels overdue an overhaul - forums these days have much more pleasing layout and navigation. Overhauling this would be great, but as a first step, easy links to, and formatting of, the most recent posts would be a good step. Perhaps you could take inspiration from the news feed in the Facebook mobile app here.Finally, if you're overhauling the site I'd urge you to implement web analytics, if you don't have it already (I didn't see any tags from a quick look at the site). Google analytics is still free (I think) and would make it very easy for you to track access of various areas of the site, and from which devices. It would also give you very informative feedback on which articles/features/sections (and older content) are most often read. Apologies for stating the obvious if you already have or are planning to implement this.Finally, to any Purple Pagers who like to read the web on their phone when not necessarily on the network (eg on the tube) I wholeheartedly recommend Instapaper  which allows you to save cleanly formatted content for offline reading. 

13 Apr 2012 13:10 by Jason McFall

I seldom access on my iPhone because it's fiddly to log on and resize all the text so it is legible, although the 'Reader' function helps with the latter. A version of the site configured for mobile devices would be great, given an app is not feasible, but it would still be useful to a) not have to log on each time I visit the site on my iPhone and b) make it easier to browse at least the tasting notes whilst on the go.

13 Apr 2012 12:16 by Helen Barratt

I read on my mobile regularly. Ironically enough I can't read the comments section on my phone for this article! With Iphone the "reader" tab for normal articles works really well, however for the forum its doesn't work. I recently downloaded an APP called Tapatalk which presents other fora very nicely, perhaps that is worth exploring and perhaps that might provoke more forum use? If there is a way to get into mobile friendly formats that would be much more useful than an APP i think.

13 Apr 2012 08:53 by Marcus Ford

I just discovered that single carriage returns in what I type do not show up in my comments. I apologize form the wall of text below.

13 Apr 2012 00:11 by Jeff G

I disagree strongly with Roeland Verbist. I access the site often from mobile devices (iPhone and iPad), and both read the articles and participate in the forums from such. I have a 45 minute/direction train commute, and use that to do my reading for fun. It would be such a pity to have to strike JR from my day because it stopped supporting mobile devices.Also, every month, when my account renews, I get logged out. Not a big deal on the website, but quite a nuisance on mobile devices. Perhaps this could be done differently somehow?  Robin's suggestion about width is a good one. Web sites that keep side bars on mobile versions make no sense to me. More than any other layout change, getting rid of the sidebars on the mobile site, and making it effectively tabbed at the top, with full-width articles/tasting-notes/whatever below that would be quite nice.  Finally, I apologize if this already exists, but if tapatalk isn't installed, it should be! It's free to hosts too.

12 Apr 2012 23:58 by Jeff G

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