Goodreads good on mobile

I use the Goodreads website irregularly. Mostly I use it to look up book reviews and quotes from things I’ve read, or I use it like IMDB to look up author names, date of publication or plot synopses. When I use it to do the latter I’m almost always on mobile. When I’m trying to figure out why that book my coworker is talking about sounds so familiar, I want results fast and I use my phone to get them.

I think this site is interesting because the full desktop version isn’t super visually appealing, but I actually find the mobile site aesthetically quite nice.

The mobile site looks simple and clean and uses a grid to keep posts looking uniform. This also makes scrolling to the content you want faster and easier. Instead of reading an entire post to get to the next one you see a preview, decide if you are interested, and if not you can continue scrolling until you find something that you do want to read more about.

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The navigation bar is also nicely done on the Goodreads mobile site. It works similarly to the Facebook mobile design: a navigation bar along the top, but also a more full range of options for navigation on the pull away screen. There is value in designing based on what users already know and understand, and Facebook is one of the most popular mobile sites/apps. This means the navigation is intuitive to viewers because they’ve already used a similar design.

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I would argue that the mobile site is actually more effective than the full site in many ways. The pale color scheme works well for mobile but makes the full site look washed out. Also, scrolling through the main page of the full site looks more like scrolling through a comments section than a social media site. The full site also has a dropdown menu for more options to “explore” the site. However, it is less intuitive than the mobile version as it uses an arrow to show more options. Most full sites will incorporate dropdown menus into their main navigation bar through a hover feature instead.Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.08.11 AMNeither version of the site is terrible or amazing, but in my opinion the mobile design is actually stronger than the full version.

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2 thoughts on “Goodreads good on mobile

  1. I think the mobile version actually looks like a Twitter feed, which I instinctively like because it makes me think I can get information quickly. I’ve never actually used Goodreads on my phone before, but I’ve looked at it several times on my desktop and become quickly overwhelmed because there’s so much text. This is weird because the original version actually feels a lot emptier than the mobile version. I like the fact that the mobile version pares everything down and allows you to work with a few simple icons and a pull-out menu in order to navigate. I agree that the menu is reminiscent of Facebook, and it’s pretty intuitive for people who have used social networking sites to get around. The only thing that I probably would like less about the mobile site is the tiny screen and the need for endless scrolling, but that’s a problem inherent to all mobile sites, not just Goodreads.

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  2. I think this is so interesting, because I use the Goodreads App! The mobile site looks incredibly similar to the app, and I imagine most regular users of Goodreads on mobile (like me) just end up downloading the app. It is reassuring that Goodreads provides a consistent user experience for visitors throughout, regardless if it is via the app or on the mobile site. I am curious though when you visit the site on mobile is there not some sort of pop up or push to get visitors to download the app?

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