Does Medium iOS App Have Usability Issues?

Medium is a pretty popular blogging platform founded by Twitter co-founders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone.

Launched in 2012, Medium has become extremely popular among bloggers looking for a decent blogging platform. Although there are many other popular blogging platforms out there, Medium has carved a niche for itself by offering a clean user interface aimed at improving user experience.

Even if you’re not into blogging, you’re likely to fall in love with this platform for the minimalistic layout and great stories shared by a variety of writers from different walks of life.

Like any other blogging platform, Medium too has apps tailored for iOS devices. However, they have limited features – you can’t write a story using their apps, for example.

Although I don’t use Medium as much for writing as for reading stories, the fact that they don’t mention it clearly in their app surprises me.

While using Medium on my iPhone recently, I tried to locate the option to write and search stories of my liking. After struggling for nearly 15 minutes, I shared my frustrations on Twitter.

Is Medium suffering from usability issues on handheld devices or just me?

The next day, I got a reply from Evan on Twitter:

His response made me wonder if I actually knew how to even use the app properly. I have to admit it was kind of embarrassing because I had been using the app for a long time.

Upon digging deeper, finally, I was able to locate what I was looking for.

Here are some screenshots if you have found similar difficulties in locating the menus of Medium app either on your iPhone or iPad.

So what’s wrong with the app’s usability?

Well, first of all, every app should be designed for simplicity.

And, if it’s truly simple, even non-tech savvy users should be able to use it without much hassle.

If you look at Medium app on your iOS device, it requires you to click on Help (located between Read and Sign Out) to visit the FAQ section.

While on FAQ page, you can see the Medium logo on the top left corner of the page. If you click on it, you can see the menu from where you can search stories as per your preferences among other things.

Personally, I think this is a huge usability issue since I would expect this feature should be made available above every page itself. This will help a user navigate to the menu to use other features.

Why this feature is hiding inside the FAQ page is beyond me.

Where’s the Home Page?

This is one of the FAQs available for the users in the iOS app. Here’s what they say to answer this question:

Rather than bog you down with a homepage, we want to get you right into discovering the stories than matter to you.

To me, this answer doesn’t clearly say if there actually is a Home Page or not.

As of a matter of fact, there is one. (as I explained earlier in this post)

To see if I was only one struggling with the lack usability in this app, I asked my wife if she could help me find the home menu but she couldn’t either.

Well, I think that explains it.

I am hoping that Medium would improve this sooner than later.

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