Ning has just completed and implemented a new interface for the Ning Mobile App. The new interface is a great improvement from the older mobile app interface. If you dig around a little, you'll be pleasantly surprised. At first glance, it appears that all you can do is add modules, pages, move pages around (which I love!), and add a logo. However, if you click on each "Module" page, you'll discover you have several options for customization. Below are the highlights of the features, from Creators.ning.com:

  • Design details: The Ning Mobile site is standardized for design consistency, but there are a few branding options for Ning Creators to take advantage of. You can upload a logo to replace the name of a network in the header or change the background color of the header. A preview mode is also provided to see what it all looks like before committing to a change.
  • Choose your pages: Ning Creators can choose the pages they wish to display and how the data on the pages is sorted (e.g., by "Latest Activity"). Some pages include choices about whether to show or hide preview-style content. Don't like the order of pages? Ning Creators can drag and drop them and reorder them to their satisfaction. The first one listed will function as the "Main Page."
  • Opt-out option: Don't want a mobile version? We've got you covered. If a Ning Creator removes all of the pages from the Mobile section of the dashboard, visitors will instead be shown the desktop version of your Ning Network.
  • Back-out option: We've included a "Desktop View" for any member or visitor who wants to switch off the mobile version and rely on the standard desktop view.

 

I was particularly pleased to see the ability to change module headers, add RSS feeds, and add custom HTML to a new page. I experienced one thing that threw me a little: when I clicked on the SAVE button within the "Module" page, it didn't seem that anything happened. But, it did save my first change. When I tried to change the title again, it didn't save. Today, all seems to be working properly. It could be my browser, not sure. I felt it worth mentioning. There may be a few bugs, yet. That's nothing to sweat about when a brand new product has been rolled out - - report any bugs to Ning if you experience any.

 

From the Site Visitor and Member's vantage point, the interface is smoother, better swiping experience, works better on most smartphones, offers more content availability, and a more enjoyable mobile experience. I actually found it to be fun! With the old mobile app, I would run to the "Desktop View" if I wanted to add any content. It also taught me what I need to do to clean up stale content! Be sure to flip back/forth, to see what you are adding to your mobile app. If by chance you don't have access to a smartphone, you can at least view your mobile app via http://yourning.com/m

 

Smartphone Access:

Newbies to mobile apps: When you access your Ning Network from a smartphone, in the past you could enter http://yourning.com/m, and most smartphones depending on your OS (Operating System) would automatically direct you to the mobile app. Now, Ning automatically directs you to the mobile app. To change your view to "Desktop View" or to select a different available module, click on Settings button in upper right of screen. See screenshot below.

 

 

Ning Network Creators: To access the Mobile App Interface on your Ning Network, go to your dashboard - My Network/Settings/Mobile

The interface is very well written and self-explanatory. As with any interface, it takes experimenting with the features, and checking your mobile app to view your success. =)

Ning Network Creators, like mentioned above, this interface offers much more customization than the old Mobile App, which was close to none. And the best part? It couldn't be easier to customize! It took me 10 minutes to upload a simple logo, move a few pages around, and basically learn the interface. I popped back/forth between my Mobile Customization Page and my Smartphone. The next day I spent another 30-45 minutes perfecting my mobile app content.

 

Bottom line: The app is beautiful on the smartphone, and light years ahead of the old app. This is a great move forward for the Ning platform, and a much needed improvement. Ning also makes promises to add more features in the future.

 

For more details and FAQ, go to discussion on Creators.

 

Be sure to spend at least 10-15 minutes checking out your settings, and access your site via a smartphone to see your Site Visitor's mobile experience.

 

~ Jen

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Jen, some of the pages has an optional box "Display excerpts", do you know what is the word "excerpts" means? Ben

Excerpts means "A passage or text that is part of a longer body of text..." In other words, if you click on "excerpts", your Mobile App will display the first few characters of the content, like a blog, discussion, etc...

Thank you again Jen!

My pleasure, Ben.

OH SO COOL!!!!  Thanks for explaining what an HTML page was.  I hadn't read the help article about mobile. I just played around with it until I figured it out! LOL  I was scared to fool with the HTML part.  Not anymore...

I've created an HTML page for our Featured Fics that appear on our main page!  I'm sooooooooo happy!

One small glitch I noticed was that in Firefox I couldn't paste your generic HTML code in that little box.  It would disappear on me every single time.  Stupid browsers! I had to switch to Chrome to copy and paste the code.

Glad this helped. On losing your code in Firefox, shouldn't happen. You may want to submit a support ticket.

Congratulations on your accomplishment!

Jen

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