Many of you ask when we’ll launch an MSE app. Actually, we have a number already, for example the eBay Deals Mapper, the Amazon Discount Finder, and TicketySplit – though we don’t have a main site app. However, we’re starting to plan the enormous process of making the main MSE site and forum more mobile-compatible. In other words, our aim is if you come to browse it from your mobile, then it should be specially formatted.
This may sound like it should be easy, but the way MSE works presents some tricky problems. Most internet articles are perhaps 800 words or less. A typical MSE guide can be over 10,000 words. Each guide needs to ensure we give you the answer and detail that is what makes this site stand out.
How to display that on a mobile without losing content is a challenge – but at least we think we know where to start.
You may be surprised to read how long some of our articles are. They don’t look it when you open them. That’s because we place information in drop-downs that you need to click to see the extra information. This helps make it easier for people to only read the bits relevant to them.
In our planned new mobile format (and we’re still trying multiple designs to optimise it) – we’ll likely operate an even more exaggerated version of that. Each section of a guide will have a chapter heading that will then open up to give the sub-sections of that guide.
You can see an early version of this if you look at the weekly email page, which is our prototype for allowing you to see something slightly different from your mobile.
Turning this supertanker around (we’ve millions of words worth of MSE guides on all the subjects under the sun) isn’t a quick and easy process, but we’re working on it.
It’s going to take the best part of a year to reformat all the articles so they work for mobiles and desktops (and tablets) – while keeping them up-to-date. Only after that’s done will we contemplate cross-site apps.
I’ll keep you updated.