Jake Archibald

Joined over 5 years ago

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  • Posted to Offline Mode: Should we disable or hide inaccessible UI?, Oct 16, 2015

    What does it mean to be offline? It could mean no signal to a router or cell tower, it could mean the router/tower has no connection to the ISP, or a broken proxy, or the destination server is down, or returning errors.

    Or an item in the chain could just be really slow, like infinitely slow.

    The device only knows it's offline if it has no router/cell connection. Other than that, the only way it can know it can get a response from the server is to try, and see what happens.

    Disabling items when you're certain there's no connectivity is ok, as long as the state change isn't disruptive visually, as the user may be moving in and out of connectivity frequently.

    Some actions don't need disabling, but can instead be queued, such as sending an email or chat message. The native Twitter app is pretty good at this.

    Not a lot of apps do offline well, so there's not a lot of user trust here, especially on the web, so if the connection is down, or an action fails, doing something to reassure the user that their data won't be lost is a real win.

    2 points
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