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closing apps from home screen - UX improvement proposal

asked 2014-01-14 15:26:03 +0300

dom1n1kus gravatar image

updated 2014-01-14 18:37:36 +0300

chemist gravatar image


First of all, the starting point for my idea was someone who suggested something similar on TMO, but I don't remember who it was. Maybe he or she will come forward?

Anyways, this my idea:

I often find myself closing only one or two apps in home screen. Hitting those small Xs doesn't feel very natural, especially since they are only shown here and when uninstalling apps. Also, Sailfish OS is gesture based, so why not use a gesture for that?

My proposal:

You long press an app on home screen. The covers become smaller, but no Xs appear. The app that was long pressed is highlighted (but still smaller!) just like it would be highlighted for a cover action. Instead of the small Xs all app covers show the "arrow down to an X" overlay that you see when peeking from top of the screen before the app gets closed.

There are two pulley options on top and bottom, similar to ones on the "alarm ringing" screen. Now, pulling down reveals the option "close [name of app under finger that was just long pressed]" and you just have to flick it down to activate, just like triggering snooze on the alarm. After that, covers are still a little smaller and you can do the same pull down on the other apps you want to close. The bottom pulley gives you the option to close all apps and shows the same "just flick up" behavior like "dismiss alarm".

IMHO, the flick up to close all apps would match the UX paradigms quite nicely, because usually you flick up from home screen to open a new app - so using it to make room for the new would fit nicely. To me, the small Xs feel very unnatural in Sailfish an should only be used to uninstall apps.

tl,dr: long press an app in home, pull down to close that app only. pull up to close all apps with a simple flick of the finger.

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Actually, you could re-use the cover action gestures. Just replace the cover actions with a single "close" action and use the pull-to-sides gesture to run that. More consistent that way. When at it, making it possible to re-arrange covers in the edit mode would be swell, too.

mornfall ( 2014-01-14 15:46:41 +0300 )edit

On the other hand, the (x) buttons are consistent with app uninstallation. Pick your poison I guess (you can't really use cover-action-alike to remove apps).

mornfall ( 2014-01-14 15:47:45 +0300 )edit

I like the idea of the cover actions becoming the closing action - but while those of us who take the effort to write here would easily adapt, I doubt this would be helpful for the "average user" (if he or she existed).

dom1n1kus ( 2014-01-14 18:17:50 +0300 )edit

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answered 2014-01-14 16:53:41 +0300

chemist gravatar image

This does break with the task-manager UI as up/down pull is to scroll through active covers when +9. Cover-actions otoh could be visible for all and could hold an X, this would keep the UX flavour and finally get rid of the buttons, tap could bring you back to home-screen from anywhere on the screen not only from empty areas or between Xs.

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that is an important point. maybe an enhanced top pulley menu would do the trick. first option is "close [name of app under finger]", second option is "close all". otoh, this would not allow for the "just flick your finger up" gesture to close all apps I had in mind.

dom1n1kus ( 2014-01-14 18:13:22 +0300 )edit

The X button is actually an inconsistency in the UI - so stick with having it as coveraction, no need to have a pulley-menu-by-finger-position-entry. If you see a button, try think a way to remove it and replace it with a gesture and not a pulley-menu if possible.

chemist ( 2014-01-15 12:49:55 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-01-14 15:26:03 +0300

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Last updated: Jan 14 '14