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Suggestion: revised gesture to close the active app (made relevant again by SFOS 3.0 UI changes)

asked 2013-12-25 23:31:08 +0200

janick gravatar image

updated 2018-11-14 23:33:22 +0200

rozgwi gravatar image

Edit by rozgwi: bumping this to bring it back to attention for SFOS 3 and the new top menu

Here's a big proposal: a revised gesture that could ease the way the active app is closed even with the new Sailfish OS 2.0 3.0 UI concept. Here it goes: start sliding finger from either edge (l or r) with peek. Multitasking view starts to appear. After a certain point, a semi - transparent red area (maybe with an "x", or the text "close", or any other visual indicator) appears at the bottom of the screen. If you then drag your finger to this area at the bottom of the screen, the app closes.

Peek and minimize would work as they do now, the device locker / ambience changer would still be available with a swipe from the top edge, but we would recover a quick way to close the active application with a swipe gesture.

EDIT 08/03/2015: I just had this same idea (more than an year later than janick it seems) while thinking about a possible new gesture to close apps in SFOS 2.0 (since it seems that the swipe-down-to-close-an-app gesture may be removed in favour of the new ambience switcher / device locker). I was going to create a new thread but I found this one while doing it, so I'm editing this one instead of creating a new thread, I hope it makes sense.

I take the liberty of adding my ascii illustration of how it would look:


 |         |
 |         |
 |      - -|<-*
 |    /    |
 |   \/    |
 |   (X)   |

Notice the similarity with minimize/move to back:

 |         |
 |         |
 |< - - - -|<-*
 |         |
 |         |
 |   (X)   |

Even if only right swipes are illustrated, of course it should work for swipes from both sides.

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One could live with that, I have to admit that sometimes the top is too far away

SieniMaagi ( 2013-12-25 23:42:32 +0200 )edit

I like to lock my Jolla by swiping from top to down. However sometimes I accidentally close apps. And apparently others do so too.

It would be nice if swipe top-down would always only lock screen and some other gesture would close apps.

otto ( 2013-12-27 00:33:54 +0200 )edit

I think this is a brilliant idea! With this you could close apps with a super-quick diagonal gesture from the lower right edge to the rightmost bottom edge = MUCH better than it is now. Especially if combined with what otto says about downward swipe always locking screen I love this idea.

gukke ( 2013-12-27 04:22:14 +0200 )edit

Otto, great idea! Top- bottom swipe locking the screen anywhere would make perfect sense. It would be as "global" as the power button.

janick ( 2013-12-27 09:12:51 +0200 )edit

(joke:) Usually I don't close apps: problem solved :D

Sfiet_Konstantin ( 2013-12-30 14:11:17 +0200 )edit

9 Answers

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answered 2014-01-11 12:30:43 +0200

foss4ever gravatar image

updated 2014-01-16 20:10:33 +0200

I see no reason to start to re-design the UI this way. The current setup of swipes and gestures to close apps and lock the screen are easy to use and intuitive. Also, apps can be alternatively closed from Home screen by long-pressing.

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I agree. Love Jolla UI as it is. But as an option for user to choose it would be great. I just might use it my self because I have to sometimes change my grip to close programs.

olli ( 2014-01-11 12:40:22 +0200 )edit

I disagree. While the 'swipe from the top to close' gesture is the most intuitive, Jolla is simply too big. I have quite a large palm, but still can't perform this gesture comfortably. When I try hard to do it, I can almost feel the phone slipping out of my hand. 4.5" is way too big.This would help.

nodevel ( 2014-01-11 13:07:13 +0200 )edit

@nodevel And how much effort do you think it takes from Jolla to develop this and for the users to learn yet another (and completely new kind of) swipe-gesture ?

foss4ever ( 2014-01-11 13:12:29 +0200 )edit

Fixing issues requires effort. I don't think this is too difficult to do in lipstick. On users' side? Why would they need to learn something new, when the current gesture is gonna be there? It's better to have at least one working gesture than none, don't you think ;)

nodevel ( 2014-01-11 13:16:46 +0200 )edit

There is already a working solution for closing apps / locking the screen. This is not an issue, this is a suggestion to re-design the UI with a new swipe, thus requiring learning from users and development effort (just for make already working features somewhat more pleasurable for some). Don't you think that there are more pressing issues to be sorted in the platform / midleware and implementing the missing features than this?

foss4ever ( 2014-01-11 13:26:07 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-01-11 13:31:21 +0200

FlyingSheep gravatar image

updated 2014-01-11 14:11:30 +0200

I see no reason to change the "swipe down to close" active app gesture. It is natural to all those of us who come from an N9 background, as the N9 had the same gesture.

The sliding sideways is already complicated enough differentiating between sliding between pages, sliding to the multitasking view, and peaking.

The only slight problem I have with "swipe down to close" is in connection with pulley menus - which are counter-intuitive. There I still sometimes reach for the menu indicator (the only bit you should not reach for ...) and inadvertently close the app.

As far as I can test it, the downwards swipe to lock the phone only works on the lock screen and the multitasking view. As soon as you have an app open, it closes the app. If the swipe to close is causing confusion, then maybe that is the gesture that should be changed?. Far the better gesture to lock the phone would be exactly the same one used to unlock it: a double tap, in the same way that the power button can be used to lock and unlock.

But perhaps we should all take a few months to get used to the gestures as they are now, and then comment again. Some will gradually become natural and we will wonder what all the fuss was about. If any remain problematic, then we can focus on those.

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The gestures should not be eliminated, the current ones work good-enogh. If you don't want to down-swipe the app to close it, "minimize" it by edge-swiping and close with long-pressing.

foss4ever ( 2014-01-11 13:37:08 +0200 )edit

I also come from the N9, but as that was quite smaller, the swipe wasn't that hard to reach. With Jolla the top of the screen is quite far away when you try to swipe with one hand.

Mohjive ( 2014-01-11 13:43:39 +0200 )edit

@jjaone: Please read again. I am arguing in favour of KEEPING the down-swipe-close. I want it to stay.

FlyingSheep ( 2014-01-11 13:44:48 +0200 )edit

@FlyingSheep Why should I read again? In your answer you say: "this gesture should be eliminated".. And I am proposing that no gestures should be eliminated, nothing needs to be fixed, the current design is good enough (why don't you read my Answer again, if you didn't understand it the first time).

foss4ever ( 2014-01-11 13:55:56 +0200 )edit

@jjaone: given that we are both in favour of keeping the down-swipe to close, you surely agree with the main point of my answer, but you have down-voted me for a detail (which started tentatively with I suggest). I will edit that sub-point to make it more clear.

FlyingSheep ( 2014-01-11 14:07:07 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-17 13:50:30 +0200

tad gravatar image

closing an app is one of the most often used actions at all. So the gesture associated to it should be the easiest way possible and very forgiving for being unprecise. A swipe from above is both. Doing an L or tapping a lock icon is neither

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A swipe from above is not the easiest way possible if you can't reach the top of the device without changing grip or using your other hand.

Mohjive ( 2015-03-17 14:32:25 +0200 )edit

So what is your suggestion? Long press and tap some button? I don't think it goes more easy, except you are able to fully configure your gestures and make e.g. swipe from left to close and swipe from right to minimize. Lefthanders would probably prefer it the other way around.

NuklearFart ( 2015-03-17 15:31:27 +0200 )edit

Ease of use of this side swipe and drag down to close- gesture is dependent of implementation. The l shape don't need to be there, only beginning point at the screen edge and ending point at the close indicator. That indicator practically needs to be narrower than the screen to allow minimize gesture at every height. So edge swipe at the bottom to the close indicator would be a lot faster than the top edge to down swipe.

janick ( 2015-03-18 06:58:09 +0200 )edit

@tad: Also, swipe down isn't that precise imo. I don't know how many times I activate the pulley menu instead of closing the app.

@NuklearFart: I find it slightly annoying when you post absurd ideas like it was something I'd suggest. For the record I like the original idea in the post that started this discussion, see top post. Also that suggestion works great with both left and right handed, as it could start at any side.

Mohjive ( 2015-03-18 10:01:37 +0200 )edit

@Mohjive you said the swipe from above is not the easiest way, so I just asked for your suggestion, not more, not less. The way of SFOS 2 as it is now is to long press and tap - that's a fact and not your idea. I never said it. You are only saying that swipe down might be not easiest. I think it is. The last part of my post was only to say that the easiest way for anybody is to fully configure it - that was not your idea but mine. So please don't try to turn my words into something which might be against you.

NuklearFart ( 2015-03-18 10:16:06 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-02-15 11:51:51 +0200

hsjpekka gravatar image

updated 2015-02-15 17:23:56 +0200

How about closing by swiping across the screen horizontally? A short swipe shows minimized programs, a longer minimizes the current program, and a full swipe closes it.

I would like to have only a couple of large covers to show info. Therefore I like to close apps often.

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That would be a nice natural aproach. 'cutting the app in half kills it'

Roundhouse ( 2015-02-15 12:14:54 +0200 )edit

While it might sound good in theory, looking at Ubuntu Touch (which utilizes complete swipes of different length), I would try to avoid it as much as possible. When I see even fan "reviewers" (fans of Ubuntu that were invited to pick the phone among the first) struggling with it, I can imagine how confusing it must be for a regular user.

Currently, it's not exactly like you describe - there's only one swipe - the one minimizing programs. The 'short swipe' (peaking) you describe is just holding the finger without releasing it, not having any other effect.

nodevel ( 2015-02-15 18:55:43 +0200 )edit

I think that would feel natural - swipe in from the left to minimize and do a full swipe to close :-) - for the tablet the old gesture (from the top like on the N9) wouldn't be very ergonomic - btw I still like the behavior of WebOS or the old Playbook OS - swipe from the bottom up to minimize and then swipe away to close

elastic ( 2015-03-16 14:51:59 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-09-08 01:55:49 +0200

Tobbe gravatar image

This is one of my favorite ideas in this forum. By using the L-swipe to close apps, you're free to use the top down-swipe to lock the phone at any time, which in turn could make it possible to have apps in the foreground immediately when you unlock the phone. Great!

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answered 2015-03-17 05:32:32 +0200

fasza2mobile gravatar image

updated 2015-03-17 05:36:05 +0200

What about a bit more complex gesture such as peak(swipe from side) then pull downwards, writing an L shape on the screen? It would feel quite comfortable with one hand even if that hand is small. It wouldn't be too different from the current gesture, so perhaps we could get used to it fairly easily.(It should be opt in just like it is now)

Ps: I also like the side to side gesture, but I think it might be uncomfortable to some and it might not work so well in landscape mode...

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That's how I understood the original suggestion: "Here it goes: start sliding finger from either edge (l or r) with peek. Multitasking view starts to appear. After a certain point, a semi - transparent red area (maybe with an "x", or the text "close", or any other visual indicator) appears at the bottom of the screen. If you then drag your finger to this area at the bottom of the screen, the app closes."

Mohjive ( 2015-03-17 14:34:37 +0200 )edit

@Mohijive exactly.

Orologiaio ( 2015-03-17 14:39:17 +0200 )edit

@Mohjive, that is not quite what I meant. My suggestion is that instead of the current vertical gesture use the L shaped gesture, It wouldn't need to reach the bottom or even a certain point, but users finger would need to travel a minimum set distance until the close animation kicks in. Not even the animation needs to change, or just very little. Perhaps this way isn't giving enough visual hints to new users, but in my opinion is a lot more comfortable than trying to reach the very bottom of the screen and would be easy to get used to for seasoned users.

Edit: please try both ways with one hand on your Jolla and check which feels easier.

fasza2mobile ( 2015-03-17 15:36:46 +0200 )edit

@fasza2mobile now I get what you mean. You got a point there, but as you say it would not give a visual cue to the user. I think I would use it, but it may be difficult for beginners. There could be a setting for that, like an "easy version" with the visual cue area at the bottom of the screen, and the "power user version" without graphical cues.

Orologiaio ( 2015-03-21 16:43:45 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-24 20:06:43 +0200

trauftropf gravatar image

I think this is a great idea, it could work even better than swiping from the top. Still I see there could be a problem with accidentally closing apps. So I thought, given that both ways you end up in the multitaskin screen, one could introduce the deleting countdown to recently closed apps. If you close an app, you still have the chance to undo it for 5 seconds. What do you think of that?

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Very, very cool idea! I didn't think about that possible issue, it totaly makes sense. This should be a comment rather than an answer, though ;)

Orologiaio ( 2015-03-24 23:29:16 +0200 )edit

As an option? Sure.

nodevel ( 2015-03-26 11:10:08 +0200 )edit

i think this would leed to so much useless 'work' if you do not want to close it! imagine you are taking this whole multitasking thing and switch fast between several apps (so obviously they need to stay open in homescreen), you would end up tapping between each stepp! i think that would horribly slow down and interrupt the flow of work!

dieerstegiraffe ( 2015-03-31 11:04:36 +0200 )edit

@dieerstegiraffe: I don't think the intention is to show the remorse timer every time you switch from an app, only when you close an application. And then you would only need to tap the remorse timer if you closed it by mistake. It doesn't get in the way of normal multitasking behavior.

Mohjive ( 2015-03-31 11:54:29 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-04-13 17:23:21 +0200

simo gravatar image

updated 2015-04-13 17:23:50 +0200

Official Jolla blog today seems to suggest that Jolla has listened to us, once again:

"However when you advance you are able to unlock handy tricks, e.g. closing an app via a top edge swipe or direct access to Events from anywhere in the UI."

Source: https://blog.jolla.com/design-insights-sailfish-os/

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There's a lot of great info in that post! I really like pretty much every design choice. I am sad that cover actions are changing to buttons, but I trust the developers in that it will be the best option and that it won't be cumbersome.

drcouzelis ( 2015-04-13 18:03:32 +0200 )edit

I don't agree that they listemed to us with regards to this thread. The new close gesture is relevant even with the old gesture being present. Personally I would like the new gesture suggested here together with the new ambiance swither swipe.

Mohjive ( 2015-04-14 14:45:39 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-06-01 16:35:04 +0200

cemoi71 gravatar image

HI all,
I just want to react first for the phone application.
i understand the motivation for some people who have problems with small finger or x other reason, that could make this gesture uncomfortable.
On the other way, there some people who have fingers which long enough. Or have accommodate themselves to appreciate the swipe down close gesture. And there a lots of people who don't have no idea, how practicable it is or not on a tablet.

For me what i want to propose is an adequate compromise, depends on the physionomie of the user. That means ideally i represent me that is would be great that some commands like this one could be configurable.
like on option menu of the system, a gesture Item where people could bound a gesture to a dedicated event.

For example: "closing session/app: Swype down" (or edge-right down).

System should adapt itself to user physonomie depends on hardware-size

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Closing an app by swipe is a feature I'm really missing in 2.0 UI. Comparison:

1.0. - swipe down

2.0 - swipe from side - long press - press X - tap screen (to remove X from other apps)

Why did you make it that complicated? 4 actions for something that could be done with 1 action in older versions. Please bring back the old behaviour or make it configurable.

Edit: It's already configurable: Settings -> Gestures :)

mdosch ( 2015-09-10 19:04:36 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2013-12-25 23:31:08 +0200

Seen: 3,918 times

Last updated: Nov 06 '18