Apps are hard to distinguish on home screen

asked 2014-12-28 07:19:42 +0300

hongakonga gravatar image

updated 2014-12-29 08:01:38 +0300

When I am in the home screen I have usually bigger troubles to distinguish between the different open apps. At the moment, they look very much the same (some text in a tiny font). I guess the developer could implement a descent representation of the application, but right now it takes too much time for me to pick the right application.


When I read the different posts, we probably need to discuss the requirements in the first place :-) Here my first thoughts:

1) The system must not frustrate a new user, but satisfy him while using it.

1.1) A user with 1d experience must be able to identify and pick the right application in less than 1s with a probability of <99%

2) A user with 7d experience must be able to pick the three most important applications (without the need of identifying them) in less than 0,2s with a probability of <99%

3) A user with 7d experience must be able to identify and pick an application in less than 0,5s with a probability of < 99%

Current status

A) Right now there are pretty often previews with very similar design.

A1) Especially Sailfish apps look very similar (same colour and often contain a lot of text which changes often)

A2) Android apps are easier to identify as they have a more unique design (colour), they have a header with name and icon

B) When one opens or closes an application, all applications are reordered. Therefor the identification process needs to be restarted (which takes a lot of time) and leads to mistaken picks.

Ideas to improve this:

  1. Different colors for the apps (may be derived from their icon) or adjustable by the developer/user
  2. Name below the application representation
  3. An Icon instead of the preview
  4. Small icon on the left upper corner (bilgy_no1)
  5. No reorder, when application has been opened (ibins)
  6. Fixed places for certain applications

I'm not sure why most people tend to like the same colours. For me, this would be very helpful. Maybe reasons of design?! If you look on the icon page, all icons have a different colour. I'd like really watching you picking one icon if they had all the same colour :-)

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and 4: not mixing or moving the covers around when an app get selected.

ibins ( 2014-12-28 07:54:03 +0300 )edit

I opt for a small version of the logo/icon in the top left corner of the app cover. This way, you can still see the contents and use the cover controls.

bilgy_no1 ( 2014-12-28 09:57:20 +0300 )edit

I can totally see how one could get confused there. I usually only have problems telling apps apart when they don't provide their on view for the tile/card i.e. show only a miniature version of the main app screen. I'd second the proposal to show the icon in these situations (as an opt-in available from Settings)

JonasG ( 2014-12-28 10:15:30 +0300 )edit

Agreed, for instance it takes a second look to distinguish between Messages, Phone, Calendar and Email apps.

Manatus ( 2014-12-28 11:15:04 +0300 )edit

It has been discussed before that it could be useful to reserve fixed places for your favourite apps. I support this, would allow a quick selection, even if the cover is not clearly recognizable.

Stefanix ( 2014-12-28 11:16:11 +0300 )edit