iPhone app interaction related

7 Sep 2009 - 10:25pm
4 years ago
3 replies
1065 reads
Uidude
2009

Hello

This is iPhone application related.
Application UI is already done for S60 phones but we are developing
new version for iPhone as well.

There is a screen that displays a list of devices. For every device
in the list the user can perform one of the following
1. browse into the directory of the device
2. see device properties
3. see home page of the device
4. see settings for that device

Of the above, the most commonly used action (say default) is the
first one, which is 'browse directory'.

Using the S60 type regular phones, users use the five-way main
navigation button to first highlight the device they want to act on
and then select options menu that shows the above four actions.

In case of iPhone, as we know everything is single tap/touch we want
the user to see the 'browse into directory' on the tap of a device
in the list. This is because it being the most common action
performed. We do not want to include an additional step every time
for choosing from a modal box or a new screen containing the four
options. It is because we want to minimize the taps to be done by the
user.

Now the user has tapped on the device and views the file directory as
the second screen.

My question: Is it a good idea to have the four options display on
this second screen showing the directory of deivce? The four options
has got to act on the device and not on the directory itself. If user
goes browsing deeper into the directory, the options change and
actions have to act on the files within the directory and not on the
device.

>From your experience in designing interactions for iPhone
applications, have you come across such a problem? How should it be
handled? Is there a convention sort of flow followed for iPhone app
dealing with such type of interaction?

Comments

8 Sep 2009 - 11:01am
Barbara Ballard
2005

On Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 3:25 PM, Shivan Kannan<shivan.kannan at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello
>
> This is iPhone application related.
> There is a screen that displays a list of devices. For every device
> in the list the user can perform one of the following
> 1. browse into the directory of the device
> 2. see device properties
> 3. see home page of the device
> 4. see settings for that device
>

> My question: Is it a good idea to have the four options display on
> this second screen showing the directory of deivce? The four options
> has got to act on the device and not on the directory itself. If user
> goes browsing deeper into the directory, the options change and
> actions have to act on the files within the directory and not on the
> device.

I think you are falling into the trap of menu-driven design. Perhaps
try breaking apart that a little bit?

One option is to have the screen simply display the directory, with
buttons/tabs at the top for the other three options. This converts
your hierarchical menus into a tabbed display, reducing one layer of
menus. The whole "screen" with all four options is all about the
device.

I imagine more options are available.

> >From your experience in designing interactions for iPhone
> applications, have you come across such a problem? How should it be
> handled? Is there a convention sort of flow followed for iPhone app
> dealing with such type of interaction?

As a rule of thumb, 80% of iPhone apps are poorly designed. They are
pretty, but not well designed. The percent may be higher. Other than
Apple guidelines (which they do not always follow) there aren't too
many conventions that I would follow just yet.

~~~~~
Barbara Ballard
Skype: barbara_ballard
Twitter, Delicious: barbaraballard
email: barbara at littlespringsdesign.com
1.785.838.3003

8 Sep 2009 - 11:56am
White, Jeff
2007

Are the devices being presented in what Apple refers to as a "table view"?
If so, the "details disclosure" pattern might work well for you. In the
table item for a device, tapping the device name itself would result in your
default action. Tapping the details disclosure icon (blue circle with an
arrow in it) would reveal the other 3 options.

See:
http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/MobileHIG/ContentViews/ContentViews.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40006556-CH12-SW13

Jeff

On Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 1:25 PM, Shivan Kannan <shivan.kannan at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hello
>
> This is iPhone application related.
> Application UI is already done for S60 phones but we are developing
> new version for iPhone as well.
>
> There is a screen that displays a list of devices. For every device
> in the list the user can perform one of the following
> 1. browse into the directory of the device
> 2. see device properties
> 3. see home page of the device
> 4. see settings for that device
>
> Of the above, the most commonly used action (say default) is the
> first one, which is 'browse directory'.
>
> Using the S60 type regular phones, users use the five-way main
> navigation button to first highlight the device they want to act on
> and then select options menu that shows the above four actions.
>
> In case of iPhone, as we know everything is single tap/touch we want
> the user to see the 'browse into directory' on the tap of a device
> in the list. This is because it being the most common action
> performed. We do not want to include an additional step every time
> for choosing from a modal box or a new screen containing the four
> options. It is because we want to minimize the taps to be done by the
> user.
>
> Now the user has tapped on the device and views the file directory as
> the second screen.
>
> My question: Is it a good idea to have the four options display on
> this second screen showing the directory of deivce? The four options
> has got to act on the device and not on the directory itself. If user
> goes browsing deeper into the directory, the options change and
> actions have to act on the files within the directory and not on the
> device.
>
> >From your experience in designing interactions for iPhone
> applications, have you come across such a problem? How should it be
> handled? Is there a convention sort of flow followed for iPhone app
> dealing with such type of interaction?
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8 Sep 2009 - 11:36pm
Uidude
2009

Thanks Mikko (post not seen here yet, but by email), Barbara and Jeff
for your inputs. I had been working UIs only for the regular phones
so far and my client requested I make one for iPhone as well. So this
happens to be my first work for iPhone lately. Your inputs helped me
in my thinking.

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