Naked Capitalism – A First Look at Our New Mobile Site

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 826 donors have already invested in our efforts to shed light on the dark and seamy corners of finance. Please join us and participate via our Tip Jar, which shows how to give via credit card, debit card, PayPal, or check. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year, and our current target.

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bringing this mobile project to fruition is one of the reasons we asked for your help with tech funding (and why help with tech was the our first goal). So here are the first fruits of the project, in the form of screen shots (since the site is really pre-alpha, so far as interaction with real users is concerned). This being Naked Capitalism fundraising week, the tip jar is to your right.

Spoiler alert: We’re going to ask for testers at the end of the post; neither Yves nor I have smartphones!

Caveat: We’re not asking for design help; “This typeface is twee”, or “Could you change orange and grey to teal and pink?” are issues we can probably work out for ourselves, later, and are much lower on our list than user experience (“UX”); your experience.

We want UX feedback like: “This button doesn’t work for primates with normal sized thumbs,” or “When I press submit, the screen goes Wahooni-shaped,” or even “Company X handles the search box like this, and I think you should copy that approach.” Raising and resolving issues like these will be very helpful, both to us, and to all Naked Capitalism readers.

So, all that said, the screens that follow are proof of work, and proof that we listened to you when we got rid of the hated rather unloved OnSwipe, and worked to come up with a substitute. We’ve concentrated on the front page, comments, and begun to work on search. Full articles are yet to come, as is a mobile approach to material that lives on the sidebar for PCs and laptops. A big hat tip to our tech guy Tony for fighting his way through this on a tight deadline. Herewith:


1) The familiar Naked Capitalism logo and colors.


2) Recent posts appear when you tap on the recent posts button. (If you don’t like that extra tap, that’s a UX issue, and we want to hear about it.)


3) Here’s the antidote, which is really going to pop on a retina display (with one comment treatment).


4) Swiping through the front page, showing several article (with a second comment treatment).


5) Comments nest. (Lambert: But how far?)


6) The comment entry screen, which adapts the improvements we rolled out for this fundraiser.


7) How the fields for commment entry will work: Tap to enter your name, and so forth.

I have to say, I’m an old-school blogger and I do a ton of reading, and Yves does way more; you can have no concept of how much material we process per day; we are like Baleen whales for data instead of krill. So the idea of reading material, especially long form material, on a tiny screen just seems incomprehensible. But I hang out a lot at the university union, and I see kidz these days reading text books on their cellphones all the time, and you can’t get more long form than a text book. So we must move with the times, and follow readers where they are going.

* * *

I said we’d ask for User Experience (UX) testing, so now I’m asking. We need a good range of current phones, and that’s it. (Resources being limited, we don’t want to be doing the mobile equivalent of supporting IE6, shudder, or Lynx on Ubuntu.) Our thought was to test for these platforms:

Operating System Manufacturer Model
iOS 8 Apple iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6
iPhone 5s/5c
Android Samsung Galaxy S5
Android Nokia Lumia 635
Android Amazon Fire Phone, 32GB
Android LG G3
Android HTC One M8

Basically, these are Apple and Amazon top sellers. I think that “Android is Android” — that is, Tony won’t be in the insane position of coding for three browsers that all work differently, as in the broweser wars on the desktop — so I think that basically any Android phone is OK… And I deliberately did not add a screen size column, because it seemed like I was already asking for a lot; readers will correct me on both points.

Bottom line is that this table is more a set of suggestions than a checklist. We need to cover a good range of the current models of iOS and Android phones. (I suppose a case could be made for Windows and Blackberry; if so, please make it comments.)

So, readers, if you want to volunteer for Naked Capitalism’s Mobile Testing Unit, please say so in comments, and give the OS, brand, model name, and dimensions of the phone you’ll be using — Android or iOS. And check out the Caveat above: We’re looking for User Experience testers, not designers!


NOTE Pads and phablets are another project. The scope of this project is phones. The tip jar is to your right.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. JL Furtif

    I know from experience – but rather related to video stuff – that Android on e.g. a Samsung S4 in Europe is not the same as on the US version of the same phone. Moving to other Samsung devices, or other manufacturers will add to the difference.
    So you should not expect that Android is Android.

  2. hunkerdown

    I think that “Android is Android” — that is, Tony won’t be in the insane position of coding for three browsers that all work differently, as in the broweser wars on the desktop

    Older versions of Android ship with browsers that are not much more than wrappers around the system WebView widget, which tends to be a bit on the buggy/dated side. I think if you code to the quirks of a mid-2012 WebKit browser and test on Ice Cream Sandwich, you’ll serve just under 90% of the Android+Google devices out there.

    KitKat and later use Google Chrome as their browser component, which is typically less quirky than the device browser as far as layout goes.

  3. visitor

    The Nokia Lumia 635 runs Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1, not Android. But it is a good idea to test on that platform.

  4. Washunate

    Cool. My iPhone is pre-5s, so I happily volunteer other people for this project. Hope it goes well.

    “Kidz these days”

    It is pretty awesome/terrifying how quickly PDAs became ubiquitous once they were able to merge with your cell phone. There are kids in elementary school now for whom touch screens are their natural interface. For textbooks I don’t care about, I would absolutely trade the smaller screen for not ever worrying about carrying the right books to the right building. Or remember when you would have to go to the campus copier store to get your packet of non-book reading materials? In fact, thinking about it, I haven’t bought an alarm clock, a watch, or a calculator since I got my first iPhone. It’s now my camera as well.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t want an iPhone; who wants to be accessible, synchronously, all the time?!

      So I have an iPad, which is useless for content creation; I’m not going to be writing a 4000 word post on it. However, I use it for all kinds of new purposes; it added on to my computing life, as opposed to replacing my laptop. I do a ton of reading on it, I photograph with it, I sketch with it. (Of course, I’m one of the people who loved the Newton — I bought both models! — so I would like the iPad.)

      1. John Zelnicker

        :-) To avoid being continuously accessible, just turn the thing off. I have a smartphone (not sure why as I think using the old flip phones have A LOT of advantages), but I turn it off whenever I don’t want to be tethered to the outside world. Peace and quiet is a rare and valuable thing these days. I have land lines for my family and good friends in an emergency, with voice mail. I refuse to allow any technology to control me, dammit.

  5. BobW

    I work part-time at Field Agent. We have had an iPhone app for years, rolled out one for Android a little less than a year ago – with many problems. Most, but not all, have been resolved, and most seem to be trouble uploading, which will likely not affect you.

  6. Tim

    count me in

    i’d prefer to respond in email

    funny – i was just going to email youse guys about a mobile app

    can’t believe you & Yves don’t have “smart” phones considering what rock stars you are!

    1. Yves Smith

      When I leave my desk, I want to leave the Internet. Being jacked in all the time is bad for your psyche. And I spend ginormous amounts of time at my computer.

      Plus I don’t like the NSA surveillance possibilities of a smartphone. Yes, they can geolocate you with a stupid phone, but my stupid phone is not quite as tightly tied in to the rest of my personal identity (not that they can’t find it but it would take one step more work).

  7. theadr

    I use my phone almost exclusively when on the internet. I can test a iPhone 5, with iOS 7.1.2. Will not move to iOS 8 anytime soon as it uses too much space.
    iOS 7.1.2 was the last 7.

  8. Jonathan Dlouhy

    I have a Nexus 5 with a 5 inch screen running Android 4.4.4. I would be happy to test out your new mobile website.


  9. Caal

    Hello, would be happy to be a tester. I regularly read Naked Capitalism on my phone. My phone isn’t one of the ones listed though; it’s a Motorola Moto X, 2013 model. Android 4.4.4. Let me know if that’s any use.

  10. barutanseijin

    If you’re curious about how the site works with a small, cheap Android phone, let me know.

  11. SJB

    If it is not too old to be of use, I have a Galaxy S3, android version 4.4.2. If that is too old, I may be able to use my husband’s Galaxy 4, if that would work for you.

  12. Peter Handley

    I’m a UK resident using a Galaxy S4 (see JL Furtif’s comment above European vs US phones) with Android 4.4.2 and a screen size of approx 4.5″x2.5″. I’d be happy to check out the mobile app.

Comments are closed.