Writing in Markdown is not always easy. If you are providing an interface, an editor of any form, you shouldn’t force your users to write in markdown. Especially if you are expecting them to use your application on a mobile device. It’s a complete mess on the smaller mobile screens.

Every time I’ve to write in Markdown on my smartphone, I shudder. Especially if I’ve to insert a link. Do not make me type all the markups. It is just not easy.

It is a lot simpler to select some text and tap a button, either to make it bold or insert a link. Sure, insert the markup in the background or in the editor, I don’t mind that. Just don’t make me type the whole damn stars and brackets sequence.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Markdown. It is the simplest markup format, a lot better than writing the posts as HTML. However, it’s not too intuitive to write on the smaller screens, without a physical keyboard.

So please don’t force me use that. Provide me an option of a toolbar.

Comments

@amit A much as I love markdown, I’m definitely feeling this on phones.

amit says:

@frostedechoes Yeah, the screens are just too small for Markdown. I feel it most while typing a reply with a link on micro.blog.

simonwoods says:

@amit @frostedechoes testing a reply with a link via @gluon

… IDK it was pretty easy 🤷🏻‍♂️ Certainly had much worse experiences, on a desktop even.

amit says:

@simonwoods Gluon has a toolbar. On desktop, typically keyboard shortcuts work — for example, iA Writer does it best. My problem is with the interfaces that support neither. For example, the web reply interface for micro.blog where we have neither.

simonwoods says:

@amit Ah, I meant desktop experiences in general, specifcally at a desktop computer no matter what the interface. So you use the web app on a phone?

Yeah, I have heard a lot about the Bear app. I hope it was cross-platform. Without that, doesn’t fit well with my uses of platforms (Android, Windows and iPadOS).

Daitya says:

Yeah, they don’t seem to plan to make it cross platform. I am at least waiting for a web version, which itself is taking forever. @BearNotesApp

simonwoods says:

@amit I’m convinced that full support for keyboard shortcuts will make Micro.blog even more attractive to people would be otherwised inclined to join.

If the same buttons for Markdown from the native apps can also be added to the web, then all the better. Aside from anything else, a lot of people on Windows seem to already be comfortable with web-app culture; I know for sure that I am not as sensitive to the downsides of web apps, having used only Windows on PC.

amit says:

@simonwoods Yes, was absolutely my point. It’s easy to get carried away with the simplicity of the markdown. But it’s important to not make it a hassle for your users.

odd says:

@amit A toggle markup/markdown view, (with markup as the default), would be nice. Also, there is a way to make dedicated keyboards on iOS. @simonwoods

amit says:

@odd Yeah, agreed. It’s absolutely necessary in my opinion.

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