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Expression Desktop/Mobile Compatiblity RRS feed

  • Question

  • Visitors to our web site use many devices, browsers and OS's.  This is the current OS break down:

    69.21% Windows
    16.97% Mobile Devices(iphone, android, ipad, blackberry, ipod touch)
    13.05% MAC
    0.44% Linux
    0.25% Unknown
    0.08% Windows Phone

    I am very seriously considering using Expression Web over Dreamweaver as we are currently an exclusive MS shop.  My concern comes from the fact that when I visit http://www.microsoft.com/expression/ with one of our Apple test devices (mobile and desktop) some of the menus at the top of the page do not work.  We cannot lose customers because the web site does not work on their devices.  Does Expression Web make web sites that do not work well with Apple devices (both mobile and desktop)?

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 4:18 PM

All replies

  • You shouldn't expect the Expression pages on the MS site to be mobile friendly, they weren't designed to be so.

    Expression Web doesn't have any specific tools for creating mobile friendly sites but it is perfectly capable of doing so. You will need to understand how such pages are created however.

    Dreamweaver does have some built in support for mobile design but you can achive the same with EW.

    I've added some mobile snippets for EW that help with the basics, and have some notes on mobile design at the link below.

    http://gallery.expression.microsoft.com/MobileSnippets


    Ian Haynes

    EW - V4 Add-Ins
    EW - Resources, hints and tips
    EW - Design for the Mobile Web

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 4:56 PM
  • Ian,

    Thank you.  That is all good information.  I totally understand your comments about mobile design as I have been doing it for a number of years now with simple editors.  I still find it a little hard to understand why the Product selection on the Home page does not work from on my iPad when all the other selections on that menu do.  Seems like a bug in the development tools used.

    Other than this minor concern, I think EW seems like a great choice...

    Thanks again...


    ShipNerd

    • Edited by ShipNerd Wednesday, February 8, 2012 5:30 PM
    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 5:15 PM
  • Hmm, I've  never noticed a problem with any links on this site when I've visited it on my iPhone, iPad or Macbook Pro (using either Safari or Firefox). Next time I have my iPad out I'll try and remember to check all the links, something I rarely do. :)

    I do know this forum doesn't play nice with Safari on the iPad but that's a posting related issue that is well, let's call it unreliable where sometimes I can post and sometimes I can't. When I can has to be by opening a thread in its own window.

    Don't judge Expression Web by this forum. It is a custom application forked off a well known CMS/Portal system that frankly is badly implemented. You won't have to be on this group long before you'll see complaints. It was not created by nor is it managed by Expression Web.

    Many of us here are regular users of Dreamweaver as well as Expression well since they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. I frequently use both on the same website.

    Expression Web is a professional quality web tool and the only one I know of that is a challenger to Dreamweaver unless you prefer coding oriented IDEs like CODA or Visual Studio. What this means is that the mobile friendly or cross-browser/device output is completely under the control of the user. FWIW, there have been quite a few ex-Macromedia and ex-Adobe people on the Expressio Web team which you might find reassuring as to the output.

    It sounds like you have enough experience to use Expression Web effectively so why not get the trial version and try it out for yourself?


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 7:29 PM
  • Cheryl,

    Sounds like the next step, thanks!


    ShipNerd

    • Edited by ShipNerd Wednesday, February 8, 2012 7:42 PM
    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 7:42 PM
  • Ship,

    I'll look forward to reports of what you think of it.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 7:49 PM
  • Cheryl, I can confirm the issue Ship describes, when viewing the page with my iPod Touch. All the other links work, but the "Products" one does nothing.

    Ship, this got me curious, so I looked into it some more. I'll explain what I found, hopefully in an accurate and clear manner. I'm sure someone here will correct my explanation if I misspeak, or clarify what I mean if it isn't obvious.

    That menu is a simple unordered list that uses sub-lists (ul li ul) for the drop-downs. "Products", "Downloads", "Buy", and "Resources" have drop-downs, while "Home" and "Community" are basic links. The "Products" drop-down is the only one in the unordered list that does not have a link for the top-level list item. For instance, in a desktop browser, if you click on the word "Downloads" or "Buy" instead of a link in their sub-menus, you will be taken to another page. However, this doesn't happen with the word "Products", as it isn't a link. Hovering over the word does make the drop-down appear, as you would expect.

    Now, taking it to a mobile device, you run into a fundamental problem. The touch screen doesn't recognize hover, instead requiring a tap to make the drop-downs appear. Without "Products" being a link though, tapping on it does nothing. I think the simple solution would be just to make the word a link with href="#". That would make it capable of being tapped, which would make the drop-down appear, thereby fixing the problem.

    This points out the fact that it isn't a problem with EW, but with the web designer. MS should know better, but there you go... Don't be too quick to assume the tool (EW) is responsible for messing up the project.

    Jim


    'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. Thomas Paine

    Thursday, February 9, 2012 1:10 AM
  • " My concern comes from the fact that when I visit http://www.microsoft.com/expression/ with one of our Apple test devices (mobile and desktop) some of the menus at the top of the page do not work.  We cannot lose customers because the web site does not work on their devices.  Does Expression Web make web sites that do not work well with Apple devices (both mobile and desktop)?"

    Just adding: you seem to be assuming that http://www.microsoft.com/expression/ was created with Expression Web.  There is no reason to assume that at all.  It's an asp.net application.  If an MS tool was used to design it, Visual Studio would be a more likely candidate, but even that doesn't have to be the case.  Nor does a link not working for mobile devices indicate a bug in the software used to develop the site.  It indicates that the site wasn't targeted for that mobile device so not tested to discover whatever wasn't coded in a way that would work on it, or if it was targeted, not tested well enough.  The details of making a site mobile friendly are in the designer's hands, not in the site development software.  Neither Expression Web nor Visual Studio auto-create sites.  :)


    • Edited by KathyW2 Thursday, February 9, 2012 2:35 AM
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 2:34 AM
  • Good catch, Jim. This is actually not an uncommon occurrence. Pretty much any Web UI designed with the assumption of :hover functionality faces the same issues with touch screens. I googled "problem with :hover and touch screens," and there is quite a bit of discussion of the matter, including at least two manufacturers, Cypress and Apple, who have either patented or produced, or both, a touch screen which can detect hovering fingertips.

    Back when this forum opened, the iPad wasn't released, and the iPhone wasn't much of a factor for the Web. I doubt seriously if the site developers ever even thought of the matter of a touch screen user visiting the site. I'll admit that I probably wouldn't have at the time.  ;-)

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012 3:00 AM
  • Good catch, Jim. This is actually not an uncommon occurrence. Pretty much any Web UI designed with the assumption of :hover functionality faces the same issues with touch screens. I googled "problem with :hover and touch screens," and there is quite a bit of discussion of the matter, including at least two manufacturers, Cypress and Apple, who have either patented or produced, or both, a touch screen which can detect hovering fingertips.

    Back when this forum opened, the iPad wasn't released, and the iPhone wasn't much of a factor for the Web. I doubt seriously if the site developers ever even thought of the matter of a touch screen user visiting the site. I'll admit that I probably wouldn't have at the time.  ;-)

    FWIW, the "Products" link does work with my Win 7 tablet and touch which was out when the last three versions of this forum were shipped. MS does tend to be MS centric and they know about the issues wtih mobile Safari because I've raised them on more than one occasion when it comes to reading and posting on this forum.

    I also finally rememberd which dotnet portal this forumis a custom version of - Community Server by Telligent http://telligent.com/ Something I know for a fact uses Visual Studio to do any modifications to from previous (and somewhat painful previous experience since there was a time period when I used it for by-expression.com but got tired of trying to make it do what I wanted since I am not a very good Visual Studio user or heavy dotnet developer.)


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com

    Thursday, February 9, 2012 3:21 AM
  • Cheryl, are you talking about the Product link on this page, or the one on the link the OP was talking about, when you say it works on yur Win 7 tablet?  (Two different menu structures.  Products on this page is a link in the source.)
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 3:25 AM
  • Kathy,

    Both, I get the dropdown on the OP's post and the hyperlink on the one on this page. My touch screen recognizes :hover with the finger and also when I'm using the pen - aka Wacom digitizer.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com

    Thursday, February 9, 2012 3:20 PM
  • Cool.  Makes the Win 7 tablet look appealing.  There are a lot of :hover effects on the web that go missing if the touch screen can't detect it.
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 4:07 PM
  • Well you know I've always been a fan of Windows tablets over their more feature limited relatives running iOS or Android. I've got a small 10" Windows 7 tablet that is ruggedized I use on bike trips that I'm planning on putting the Feb 29th CTP of Win 8 on for testing, including website testing. Once I do that I'll probably put a review up on by-expression.com since Metro is supposed to be extremely touch friendly with improvements in IE 10 too.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com

    Thursday, February 9, 2012 6:25 PM
  • Wow!  I never thought this would create so much good discussion!

    Let me make an outside-the-box observation here.  I really did not figure EW was necessarily the tool used to create this web site.  It would be nice if it was, but this is a complex world.  The real issue is if I was selling a product to create web sites, shouldn’t my web site where I present the products I sell be putting its best foot forward in that area?  Doesn’t a bug like this say “We do not care about all the ways a web site will be viewed, just with our browsers…”?  That is why I was seeking clarity.

    This issue reminds me of something years ago when I purchased font files from a company that hand wrote their invoices.  I ask them why and they told me they were not automated!  Things like this raises doubt in the company you are purchasing from as to the quality of their product for your needs.

    Just some food for thought…

    Thank you all for the input!  This forum seems like a great resource for EW. 

    Oh and by the way, thanks to comments here in, I am trying the product today…


    ShipNerd

    • Edited by ShipNerd Thursday, February 9, 2012 7:53 PM
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 7:52 PM
  • "The real issue is if I was selling a product to create web sites, shouldn’t my web site where I present the products I sell be putting its best foot forward in that area? Doesn’t a bug like this say “We do not care about all the ways a web site will be viewed, just with our browsers…”? 

    No. Your question assumes that one "flaw" overrides everything else on the site. It's the old "Perfection is the enemy of the good.", or the Nirvana fallacy. 

    The explosion of smartphones and tablets is only a year or two old. The web is riddled with millions of sites that don't display well on small screens and don't have navigation that works well. Have you any idea how much work is involved in checking every menu in the entirety of the Microsoft online presence for this or that possible problem?

    These things get fixed over time, as sites are revised. And I would think that checking for menu operation on a piece of hardware that can't run Expression Web that's using an operating system that also can't run Expression Web has to be a pretty low priority.

    Does every typo that you make say "I do not care about this..."? No. People make mistakes. You code to best practices at the time, and if you don't think of something, so be it. You can't be an absolutist, making grandiose claims about perfection like that, and live in the real world.


    Comic Sans walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Get out! We don't serve your type."

    Thursday, February 9, 2012 9:06 PM
  • I raised a request on UserVoice (a place where users can vote for features in future versions of EW) for specifc support for mobile web design/development. You may like to add your vote!

    http://expressionweb.uservoice.com/forums/90075-general/suggestions/2363670-design-tools-for-mobile-sites 


    Ian Haynes

    EW - V4 Add-Ins
    EW - Resources, hints and tips
    EW - Design for the Mobile Web

    Thursday, February 9, 2012 10:04 PM
  • Bill,

    Must have hit a hot button with you!  I apologize!  I know all too well that many great products have failed on the Web and elsewhere because of a simple mistake like this and is why I made this point.  After all, this is the Product menu selection that does not work for many viewers of this site.  One would hope the main menu would have been tested a little better or people like me could question quality of the product sold at the site!  I am sure I am not the first to notice.

    I do see your point that mistakes happen, especially in a evolving ever changing industry, the stories I could tell you from my last 37 years in this industry!  I guess it is not so much the mistake but if one fixes it when it is found that is important.  But you cannot down play beta testing your web site on the platforms used by viewers.  Formatting issues on phones I can understand for this site.  But not working on a iPad, I see that is a bigger issue.  Recently, I saw an article saying a very large and growing volume of web browsing is now taking place on pad type computers.  I think that is a very important thing to be aware of for any web designer and the tools they use and what they beta test against.  My own company web analytics backs up this claim.

    Ian,

    My vote is in...


    ShipNerd

    "Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."




    • Edited by ShipNerd Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:00 PM
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 10:57 PM
  • ShipNerd,

    No hot button here (although I agree with Bill's sentiment), but your other example has me quite puzzled.  Why would you have a concern about the product (fonts) sold by a company who has not found it worth while to automate invoicing?  The two are unrelated.   And, depending on staffing, invoice volume,  cost to automate it, and other higher priorities,  it may not even be a good business decision to spend money doing it.  All I'm saying is that the way to judge the quality and value of their product is to: judge the quality and value of their product.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:19 PM
  • Hot button? Meh. But we get a lot of people in here who make similar comments, and they most often comes from two tribes:

    A. Those who have never used the product and haven't learned it or the underlying HTML/CSS technology, but blame MS because they can't do something.
    B. People who have never actually accomplished anything of note (and apparently never made a mistake), yet insist that they know better than MS/Adobe/Apple, etc., and could do a better job, because, after all, how hard could it be?

    Cheryl made the point earlier that MS has used other applications from other sources to create this forum (and who knows what else). But the bigger issue is this--and you probably wouldn't know this--both this forum and the Expression website pre-date the iPad. They couldn't beta test against it. It didn't exist! Do they test on them now? Probably. Will they fix this on the next update? Probably. Should it be a priority? Nah.

    Everybody's read the article you read (or one of hundreds like it, including MS). Hell, MS may have been the source for some of those articles. You don't know anything that they don't know and you don't have any data that they don't have. They know all about the importance of pads and smartphones. Windows 8--all versions--will have the mobile "Metro" interface as an option. But they have a lot of work to do, and any time a new technology comes around it takes time for everyone to iron out the little bumps. You found one link--just one link--that didn't work and you singled that out as a sign that they don't care. That's just ludicrous.

    Epilogue:

    Three other things occur to me:

    A. When an Apple iPad doesn't display a standards-compliant website built by MS, you blame MS, not Apple. Strange. You didn't say what browser you were using, or if an Android tablet can handle that menu. But the fault is clearly Apple's if the iPad is the only touch device that stumbles on it--after all, it's a standard mark-up. (I don't have either kind of tablet, but that's immaterial if Apple could have programmed it better to handle the hover state). Why can't the Apple handle standard HTML code?
    2.  You may be putting too heavy an emphasis on tablet browsing when , which is still largely a personal/recreational usage item. The Expression site is more focussed on business-to-business. So at the moment, tablets may represent a very, very small share, since the type of visitor is very different from site to site. There's a similar distinction that people often forget when they read the stats on browser versions. IE6 may have a very small share of the market, but a business-to-business site (or one that targets foreign markets) cannot ignore it because they may have an IE6 share of visitors that is many times the average. Use statistics with a big dose of salt.
    III. You asked if Expression Web makes web sites that do not work well with Apple devices? That's like asking if a certain word prosecutor will keep you from typing the wrong word in a sentence. EW (and Dreamweaver) are professional website design tools, but code is code. HTML and CSS are not OS-specific. I don't know how you got the idea that web sites have to be made to "work well with Apple devices (both mobile and desktop)". The web as we know it would not exist if everybody had to make a special site for Apple, Linux, Android, WebOS, Blackberry OS, Symbian, Bada, etc. It is the responsibility of all those OS manufacturers to make their products work with the existing standards, not the other way around.


    Comic Sans walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Get out! We don't serve your type."



    Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:24 PM