Introducing the New Mobile Hub

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I’m super excited to announce an all new mobile Hub architecture and design for smartphones.  We’ve all read and heard about the switch to mobile and our traffic numbers indicate it’s happening quickly.    Over the last 30 days we’ve had over 14 million visits from smartphones.  A year ago in the exact same time period, we had 9 million.  By this time next year, I estimate that 50% of our traffic will be to smartphones, 15% to tablets, and 35% to desktop.  This is a huge shift that demands we focus on our mobile experience.  We aim to bring to you a service where you don’t have to worry about what screen a reader is using, so you can concentrate on your Hubs.

I’m not going to go into the details of responsive design for mobile, but I will tell you the tangible benefits you will see on HubPages.

  • Hubbers are the center of HubPages.  The new design reflects an author-centric design where topically related content by that author is easily accessible.

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  • The smartphone readability is enhanced with all mobile Hubs being single column in portrait view (vertical).  Simply put, when capsules were placed side-by-side, the text lines would often only fit two words.  This made reading mobile Hubs difficult.  Now, the full-width line lengths are much easier to read.
  • In the HubTool, there is now a mobile preview button where you can see how your Hub looks before publishing.
  • Mobile Hubs should earn more.  There are still three ads on the new layout, but responsive design now lets us use standard ads and a permission to anchor an ad at the top of the Hub.  We will do more mobile ad optimization, but we are confident that this will be a significant lift to mobile revenues.

What about the rest of the site for smartphones?

While we focused on the Hub first, many of the pages have been redone, e.g.,  signing in to My Account pages are now designed for smartphones.    Our product development style is iterative.  That means we move fast.  With such a major change, there are bugs to find and fix.  We’ve fixed many in limited testing in the office, but we are hoping our world-class community will find and report them in the Report a Problem Tech Forum.

A couple of things we didn’t do:

  • The data shows that there are very few mobile searches, and we wanted to make the new Hub design available.  We still think mobile search is important, but we want to improve it for the entire site.  A new search function is in the planning stages that will work for mobile and desktop.
  • We want a desktop design that is closely related to the new mobile design.  We are focusing on smartphones first, but we will bring the desktop and tablets along as well.

This is a big effort and I want to thank the Team and the Community for the amazing teamwork and input.

 

7 thoughts on “Introducing the New Mobile Hub

  1. I am happy to see that all versions of Hubs (desktop, smartphone, tablet) will be generated from the existing Hub content source. This should make it almost effortless for Hubbers to benefit from improved display on mobile devices. It is good that Hubbers do not have to create separate versions of Hubs for mobile format.

    One thing about mobile versions of sites that bothers me- sometimes not all of the information is presented in the mobile version. Some examples from Hubpages: The Hubpages feed does not have the notifications and hub of the day presented in the mobile version. I have to request the desktop version to see if I have any comments or notifications. The Hubpages account page does not show all of the columns of data, so I request the desktop version of that one as well.

    Maybe with some creative vertical arrangement in a single column format, all of the information can be provided in the mobile site version. Otherwise old school types like me will request the desktop version…

  2. This is a good move and good news, we need those on the Smartphones having access to our content. I like that ads are being optimized for the phones. Got to keep moving with changes out there.

  3. Finally! I use Hubpages on my phone all the time… I’ve been seriously needing this. Also, just a heads up. On the Google PlayStore there is an app that is absolutely terrible. It is for mobile viewing of the website, but it’s just absolutely… Ew! You should try and get it removed!

  4. I vehemently disagree that mobile users don’t want search. I do tons of search on my phone!

    The hub categories aren’t robust enough to go without search. Also, since hubs can’t be aligned to multiple categories (right?), search is even more important.

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