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Symbols (arrows) in call log backwards?

asked 2014-03-15 00:26:27 +0300

spacenewt gravatar image

Haven't paid attention to it before but now I'm feeling confused. In call log, there's no marking in front of the entries for outgoing calls. Incoming calls I've answered or declined have an arrow pointing to the left, away, from the caller id. Wouldn't it be more natural to interpret the arrow pointing away for outgoing calls?

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1

I think it's ok like how it is now.

torcida ( 2014-03-15 00:36:14 +0300 )edit
1

It's logical. "<– Contact" shows that the call is coming from Contact. And if you didn't answer, the arrow turns back to the caller. But of course it would be even more clear if outgoing calls were marked "–> Contact".

ssahla ( 2014-03-15 10:15:24 +0300 )edit
1

That's tricky... an interesting question about user interface interpretation... I have never thought about this before, but both interpretations are logical, depending on which element you look at first. Having an arrow pointing to the left on the left side of your display may be interpreted as "away from this device" as well... in direct context with a person's name, it might also mean "away from this person".

May vertical arrows would be more distinct, up=away from me, down=towards me. After all the UI should reflect the user's perspective, not the device's...

tokaru ( 2014-03-15 11:47:21 +0300 )edit

Perhaps adding a vertical line to the icons would eliminate any potential ambiguity?

|← Received call |→ Called [contact name]

fivepointsquare ( 2014-03-15 12:35:34 +0300 )edit

Yes I agree with the logic behind it. But I feel the implementation somewhat confusing/conflicting with the common reading direction and interpretation (I don't know how it is for those languages that read from right to left though). And I'm not sure if adding a vertical line makes it clearer. I find it better if the symbols were vertical like for example on N9.

spacenewt ( 2014-03-15 13:03:52 +0300 )edit

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answered 2014-03-15 14:22:14 +0300

tokaru gravatar image

Maybe adding a telephone pictogram to the arrow would make it more concise? Seems to be a very common approach, like:

incoming call and outgoing call

Note: the icons are only for illustrational purpose and not part of the suggestion. They are from Freepik's Interface icon set, which is CC BY 3.0 licensed. Of course the implemented icons should look sailfishy :)

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+1. In this suggestion there is no ambiguity in what's coming and what's going.

ssahla ( 2014-03-15 16:59:22 +0300 )edit

+1 from me too.

spacenewt ( 2014-03-15 19:28:22 +0300 )edit
3

answered 2014-03-15 13:36:52 +0300

tokaru gravatar image

As we can see from the different comments above, the horizontal arrows are a matter of interpretation and obviously not intuitive for everyone.

I think it would be more intuitive to use vertical arrows to indicate call direction instead, like:

incoming call - incoming call (pointing towards me)

incoming call, rejected/missed - incoming call, rejected/missed

outgoing call - outgoing call (pointing away from me)

image description - outgoing call, rejected/missed

Note: the icons are only for illustrational purpose and not part of the suggestion. They are from Yusuke Kamiyamane's Fugue icon set, which is CC BY 3.0 licensed. Of course the implemented icons should look sailfishy :)

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i don't see how up/down would allow any interpretation at all of what the arrow should indicate. towards or away from the contact is logical.

ossi1967 ( 2014-03-15 13:45:55 +0300 )edit

Okay, so maybe also not intuitive for everyone... I would have thought that a down arrow is likely to be interpreted as "towars me"

tokaru ( 2014-03-15 14:12:46 +0300 )edit

@tokaru: I tried to imagine how you'd have to hold your phone to make this assumption vaild... And I had to think of Steve Jobs: „You're holding it wrong.“ LOL - No, that's just a joke of course, but this whole thing is an interesting example of UI design, including a lot of assumptions we make about how people read a symbol, about context. Is it pointing upwards or away from me? Is it pointing left or away from the contact's name? Or backwards?

ossi1967 ( 2014-03-15 14:23:13 +0300 )edit

@ossi1967 yep, I love discussions like this :) I am holding the phone at the height of my breast, a down arrow is actually pointing towards my stomach. Otherwise it is lying on my desk, pointing at my stomach again ;-)

tokaru ( 2014-03-15 14:33:27 +0300 )edit

This would be analogous to upload/download = from me/to me.

ssahla ( 2014-03-15 16:53:26 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-03-15 00:26:27 +0300

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Last updated: Mar 15 '14