Blogger’s frustrating mobile theme 3/14/12

By Chris Johnson

These days most of my blog reading takes place on an iPhone. But lately I’ve been hamstrung by a poorly devised navigation gesture in Blogger’s mobile theme.

Blogger currently has a feature where by swiping left and right you can navigate to the next or previous post within the blog you’re reading. Unfortunately, it’s easy to accidentally activate while you’re scrolling up or down a post. So, when you try to read that next paragraph off the bottom of the screen, you might suddenly be whisked off to a completely different post. This is frustrating when you’re trying to read a an entire post. It’s excruciating if the post is long and requires lots of scrolling.

What bothers me the most is that I rarely, if ever, want to visit the next or previous page on a blog when I’m in the middle of the current post. Navigation is something I’ll do before or after the post.

Unless Blogger figures out a way to make activating this feature a bit more deliberate, I suggest they return to the simple text links before and after a post that have served us well for years now. As it stands, this feature frustrates me as a reader, and the number one task of a blog theme should be facilitating reading.

It’s good thing that as an industry we’re optimizing websites for mobile users. Desktop website layouts are often too complex to be easily used on small touch screens. But we have to be careful that our mobile themes don’t impede the users we’re trying to help. Otherwise, we might as well just serve the desktop version to everybody.

If you’d like to disable the Blogger mobile theme on your blog, go into Settings > Email & Mobile and click the radio button labeled: “No. Show desktop template on mobile devices.”