mobile device scrolling & text selection problem..

19 Jul 2007 - 1:45pm
7 years ago
7 replies
959 reads
.pauric
2006

I need some help with ideas on how to have both scrolling and text
selection on a touch sensitive device. In trying to crack this design
problem I think I understand why text selection might have been
dropped from the iPhone release candidate.

How do you succinctly allow a user to flick a list in something like
an address book, but then within a text editor use the same effective
gesture to highlight a bunch of text?

I dont think framing the gesture based on the context of the
application is a good idea. Another idea is to only allow up/down
gesture for scrolling and left/right for selection, but again - messy.

Ideas welcome, I'm stumped!

Comments

19 Jul 2007 - 4:07pm
Morten Hjerde
2007

Maybe differentiating on speed is better than differentiating on direction?
The flick is sort of an invisible full screen scrollbar, but is has to be
done quickly, right? You should be able to distinguish a slower "dragging"
gesture and use that for text selection.

The touch interfaces I have tried before (I don't have an iPhone, aaargh!)
has used a scrollbar in text editors. Any movement in the text area is
cursor movement or selection. All scrolling is done with a scroll bar. If
you hold and drag to the bottom of the text editor (continuous selection)
the whole mess scrolls up rapidly, way beyond what you intended. On a PC the
behavior is the same.

On 7/19/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I need some help with ideas on how to have both scrolling and text
> selection on a touch sensitive device. In trying to crack this design
> problem I think I understand why text selection might have been
> dropped from the iPhone release candidate.
>
> How do you succinctly allow a user to flick a list in something like
> an address book, but then within a text editor use the same effective
> gesture to highlight a bunch of text?
>
> I dont think framing the gesture based on the context of the
> application is a good idea. Another idea is to only allow up/down
> gesture for scrolling and left/right for selection, but again - messy.
>
> Ideas welcome, I'm stumped!
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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>

--
Morten Hjerde
http://sender11.typepad.com

19 Jul 2007 - 4:17pm
Anne Hjortshoj
2007

Kind of a tangent, but has anyone else noticed that the iphone
scrolling behavior is a little bit counter to user expecations, if the
user is accustomed to using scrollbars/scrolling mice?

Scrollbar = "wheel" metaphor = move the scrollbar up to move the page down.
iPhone = "shoving" metaphor = move the page directly, by touching it,
so the page moves in the same direction as the motion of your finger.

I tried out an iphone last week and couldn't figure out at first why I
automatically resorted to a behavior that seemed so obviously wrong
... the iphone's implementation is better than a scrollbar, of course,
but it's interesting how certain metaphors become very hard-wired over
time.

-Anne

On 7/19/07, Morten Hjerde <mhjerde at gmail.com> wrote:
> Maybe differentiating on speed is better than differentiating on direction?
> The flick is sort of an invisible full screen scrollbar, but is has to be
> done quickly, right? You should be able to distinguish a slower "dragging"
> gesture and use that for text selection.
>
>
> The touch interfaces I have tried before (I don't have an iPhone, aaargh!)
> has used a scrollbar in text editors. Any movement in the text area is
> cursor movement or selection. All scrolling is done with a scroll bar. If
> you hold and drag to the bottom of the text editor (continuous selection)
> the whole mess scrolls up rapidly, way beyond what you intended. On a PC the
> behavior is the same.
>
>
>
>
>
> On 7/19/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I need some help with ideas on how to have both scrolling and text
> > selection on a touch sensitive device. In trying to crack this design
> > problem I think I understand why text selection might have been
> > dropped from the iPhone release candidate.
> >
> > How do you succinctly allow a user to flick a list in something like
> > an address book, but then within a text editor use the same effective
> > gesture to highlight a bunch of text?
> >
> > I dont think framing the gesture based on the context of the
> > application is a good idea. Another idea is to only allow up/down
> > gesture for scrolling and left/right for selection, but again - messy.
> >
> > Ideas welcome, I'm stumped!
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Morten Hjerde
> http://sender11.typepad.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

--
Anne Hjortshoj | anne.hj at gmail.com | www.annehj.com

19 Jul 2007 - 7:12pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

1. How about "Double-Tap" to select semantic chunk of text (a sentence or
URL)? Analogous to mouse double-click. With the same problems: many are not
dexterous or have good sense of rhythm for that matter, so maybe...

2. "Select" mode button. Makes drag a selection. Spring loaded. Requires two
hands, modes are confusing, so maybe...

3. A small "circle" with a finger to start the selection (selects the word
in the center of the circle) and another "circle" to end the selection. Two
circles with scroll in between could select a lot of text. The screen will
shake a little: in the beginning the screen will start scrolling, once the
arc passes about 100 degrees it should spring back into initial position.

I like 3.

Oleh

On 7/19/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I need some help with ideas on how to have both scrolling and text
> selection on a touch sensitive device. In trying to crack this design
> problem I think I understand why text selection might have been
> dropped from the iPhone release candidate.
>
> How do you succinctly allow a user to flick a list in something like
> an address book, but then within a text editor use the same effective
> gesture to highlight a bunch of text?
>
> I dont think framing the gesture based on the context of the
> application is a good idea. Another idea is to only allow up/down
> gesture for scrolling and left/right for selection, but again - messy.
>
> Ideas welcome, I'm stumped!
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is the Design of Time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

20 Jul 2007 - 8:05am
.pauric
2006

Morten:"differentiating on speed" & " (force use of a) a scrollbar
in text editors"
The device is limited with a pressure sensitive screen and not as
responsive at the iPhone capacitive. Speed detection is going to be
problematic. I'd prefer to overlay one 'scrolling' gesture for
all apps. In addition to making the user's experience more
intuitive through simplifying the number and type of gestures, given
that its an open source development (herding cats) a one size fits
all approach will make for a better overall solution - if I manage to
get standards implemented of course (o;

Anne: "has anyone else noticed that the iphone scrolling behavior is
a little bit counter to user expectations"
In addition to the flick gesture metaphorically 'pushing' lists, an
added benefit of the break with scrollbar convention is that you move
your finger in the opposite direction of the oncoming screen content.
Using a 1:1 mapping (finger down = scroll down) would obscure new
content as it appears on the screen.

Oleh: "1-double tap"
Yup, thats captured but only goes as far as triple tapping to select
a sentence, as in the desktop conventions, then the selection should
be cleared and resort to placing the cursor. I'm not sure I follow
your 3rd suggestion

Thank you all for your ideas, very much appreciated, many hands make
light work.
regards - pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18444

20 Jul 2007 - 12:40pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

Pauric: "I'm not sure I follow your 3rd suggestion"

# 3. A small "circle" with a finger to start the selection (selects the word
in the center of the circle) and another "circle" to end the selection. Two
circles with scroll in between could select a lot of text. The screen will
shake a little: in the beginning the screen will start scrolling, once the
arc passes about 100 degrees it should spring back into initial position.

Here is 2 minute video illustrating possible text selection via "double-tap
and drag", "double-tap and double-tap" and "two circles":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MMuL4O8FuY

Oleh

On 7/20/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Morten:"differentiating on speed" & " (force use of a) a scrollbar
> in text editors"
> The device is limited with a pressure sensitive screen and not as
> responsive at the iPhone capacitive. Speed detection is going to be
> problematic. I'd prefer to overlay one 'scrolling' gesture for
> all apps. In addition to making the user's experience more
> intuitive through simplifying the number and type of gestures, given
> that its an open source development (herding cats) a one size fits
> all approach will make for a better overall solution - if I manage to
> get standards implemented of course (o;
>
> Anne: "has anyone else noticed that the iphone scrolling behavior is
> a little bit counter to user expectations"
> In addition to the flick gesture metaphorically 'pushing' lists, an
> added benefit of the break with scrollbar convention is that you move
> your finger in the opposite direction of the oncoming screen content.
> Using a 1:1 mapping (finger down = scroll down) would obscure new
> content as it appears on the screen.
>
> Oleh: "1-double tap"
> Yup, thats captured but only goes as far as triple tapping to select
> a sentence, as in the desktop conventions, then the selection should
> be cleared and resort to placing the cursor. I'm not sure I follow
> your 3rd suggestion
>
> Thank you all for your ideas, very much appreciated, many hands make
> light work.
> regards - pauric
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18444
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is the Design of Time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

20 Jul 2007 - 2:32pm
Morten Hjerde
2007

On 7/20/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> Speed detection is going to be problematic.
>

No pain, no gain, m8 :-)

--
Morten Hjerde
http://sender11.typepad.com

23 Jul 2007 - 12:41pm
Matt Rehkopf
2007

For those interested, I have started a Google Group to discuss designing for the iPhone.

http://groups.google.com/group/iphoneusability

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