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Suggestions for UX design (with consistency in mind)

asked 2018-11-06 14:19:35 +0200

Alen gravatar image

updated 2018-11-08 00:28:04 +0200

There are many hypes and complaints about new gestures with every major update. I agree with some complaints considering the consistency of the whole UX. I tried to suggest consistent simple gestures based on what I've seen and experienced since SFOS 1 up to 3.

This is not to make complicated gestures, nor to be something alike other platforms. There is a learning curve for sure, but with a harmonic design it would be as simple as possible.

Universal edge swipes

Edge swipes will be the same for either left/right hands.

  1. Bottom edge swipe would always go to Home screen.
  2. Right/Left edge swipe would always bring up the events layer. It would be an overlay layer and repeating the same edge swipe would return back to the most recent layer/app. (This allows the user to correct their mistake easily when they do an edge swipe instead of a flick for back/forward.)
  3. Top edge swipe will bring up quick settings and quick actions. There should be an option to enable quick close/lock; on apps it will close and on lock/home it will lock the device with one swipe.

    On lock, home and events when there's no pulley, also a downward flick would trigger the top edge swipe.

Lock screen

  1. Bottom edge swipe would always work as a flick too, i.e. no need to start from the edge.
  2. If there's any notifications, events view would appear also with a flick.
  3. There is a pulley menu to quick access to few favorite apps. Camera should work from pulley with limited camera roll in the case of locked device – no need to define new gesture. Pulley menu should include an additional option for silent.


  1. Lock/home/launcher all would be vertical, so to launch an app you would need to go Home and then open the launcher. The launcher is accessible on Home either by a flick or a bottom edge swipe; so from inside an app you need to swipe twice to open the launcher.
  2. Swipe cover actions can be revived since the events view is accessible from edges.

Status area

There should be a status area. Tiny status bar is due to its persistency on top, which is not a matter of SailfishOS with fullscreen apps. On lock screen and Home, there should be a big time and date in the middle and status icons on both sides.

Edit: To avoid messy look on landscape, it can choose a minimum size between "a constant" (say 2  Theme.paddingLarge) and "a fraction of height" (say 1/5  Screen.width).

SailfishOS suggested UX design

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rather than changing bells and whistles on gestures, I'd appreciate a notes field in addressbook, and a nice to-do app that can sync with any of the popular services.

danfin ( 2018-11-06 17:31:38 +0200 )edit

I like the idea of consistent swipes everywhere. I would prefer the other way, switch 1 and 2 in universal swipes, so side swipes go to home and bottom always go to events (like in SfOS1). My argument is that that way it's easier to make events an overlay. I really miss the possibility to open events over current app and to dismiss it and be back at the app again, instead of today to always have to go to switcher view from events to open the app again.

Mohjive ( 2018-11-06 23:16:49 +0200 )edit

personally i agree that events view is more important than the app drawer, but actually i think it should be configurable which action is triggered by which swipe (and if left and right should be the same). Secondly i don't get what this has to do with consistency (aside from the sideways events swipe but on homescreen that is actually a flick and not a edge swipe)? Edge swipes already do the same from everywhere.

michel ( 2018-11-07 23:12:40 +0200 )edit

@Mohjive an overlay is an overlay, no difference from where. I'm ok with that too. But you need to have the app drawer on left – what we had on SFOS 1 is not possible with unlimited app covers. So just feels more natural to me to pull the drawer from bottom or pushing the app to home. This can also have a good zoom animation to minimize the app layer into the cover box.

Alen ( 2018-11-07 23:55:33 +0200 )edit

@michel, currently (1) if you have a notification you lose your left gesture from lock screen – the most annoying for me. (2) You go to home from sideways but pull the app drawer from bottom, this feels unnatural to me either. Since SFOS 2 the design is a combination of vertical and horizontal movements. By consistency, I mean to keep the vertical design and have just an overlay from sideways.

Alen ( 2018-11-08 00:02:37 +0200 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2018-11-06 18:59:41 +0200

brinZ gravatar image

updated 2018-11-06 18:59:56 +0200

Please add icons for Caller menus "Call contact" and "Enter Phone number" - always need to read and seek while choosing item

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I don't get why this is in a pulley menu in the first place. Pulleys are a pain if you have scrollable content, and in this case (only 2 frequently used features) there is really no problem with simple buttons reachable with your thumb at the bottom of the window would be simpler and faster.

michel ( 2018-11-07 22:42:46 +0200 )edit

@michel buttons are too ready to be mistakenly tapped.

Alen ( 2018-11-07 23:45:33 +0200 )edit

well i happen to miss a pulley item much more frequent than missclicking a button personally. and i really don't get this fear of buttons that people here seem to have. We have clickable list items and an app-drawer anyway. sometimes buttons are the simply the best solution.

michel ( 2018-11-07 23:58:57 +0200 )edit

The selling point of pulleys are that you can use them without looking, by counting the feedback vibrations. It's a brilliant solution for the right problems imo. However, the problem above isn't something you normally do while not looking on the phone, so it's a bad idea and over-engineered imho. I agree these actions should be something else than pulleys.

Mohjive ( 2018-11-08 00:38:23 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-11-07 21:51:36 +0200

kandelabra gravatar image

Since in your suggestion lockscreen and homescreen became visually similar it's not too user freindly to make different swipes actions. One has to recognize where he is now and to remember what action swipe gesture will perform.

Theoretically all swipes should be universal. Modes are not good as great Jeff Raskin said.

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You have app covers on home, and an arrow to unlock on lock screen. Gestures are definitely the same (what do you expect from the Home gesture to do on Home?). By the way, when you activate the phone, you're on the lock screen. I guess it's pretty logical.

Alen ( 2018-11-07 23:44:34 +0200 )edit

After all, I was emphasizing on that large status area instead of tiny icons. Just like current design, it's possible to add more hints and tints to make them more different.

Alen ( 2018-11-08 00:08:37 +0200 )edit

Yes, but looking at your new home screen (when no app is launched) one can think that phone is locked - the screens look very (completely?) similar.

kandelabra ( 2018-11-08 17:51:00 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2018-11-06 14:19:35 +0200

Seen: 399 times

Last updated: Nov 08 '18