Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Swipe UX Idea

Over my desk at work I have a sign that says "On my deathbed I would design a better deathbed".

I've been using the N950 now for several weeks and I can't help thinking about how I would do things differently.  This is not meant to criticize Nokia's work on Swipe.  Swipe works well as a universal gesture.  Even if there are issues with it you and I should recognize this is beta software.  I've heard Nokia has already made one change to swipe since my software build and who knows what else might change before release.

I'm just curious about how else things could be done and the effect they might have on the user experience.  I don't think Nokia should immediately drop everything and switch to my idea.  I first would like to see what they come up with in the finished project.  If I still think mine is better?  Oh well.  People think and act differently, especially programmers, and they are probably targeting others.

Swipe UX

I'd recommend these demos for a quick introduction into swipe.  The main swipes will bring you back to the last home screen you used.  When wanting to swipe to a specific screen you swipe back to the home screen you were on, pause to see which it was, and then swipe over.  You can go about it faster by remembering what screen you were on.  I usually think I know where I was but I tend to be wrong leading me to swipe a few more times.

My variant on Swipe UX

My idea centers on a spatial model that spans home screens, the lock screen, and applications.  This could roughly be translated to virtual desktops with rules controlling which desktop different windows get launched on based on the desktop's role.

Launch an app, no matter from what screen?  As it is opening the device also slides home screens over to the task switcher.  Now with the app up a swipe down reveals the task switcher below.  If instead you swipe up the app closes.  Also you can swipe to the right to move to the launcher or left to move to the events feed.
Idea: Swipe up or down from the lock screen to unlock and reveal the feed
The device goes to sleep?  The lock screen is above the events feed.  A swipe up or down reveals the feed below.  Instead a swipe right moves to the task switcher and left for the launcher.

Idea: Swipe left on the lock screen to unlock and move to the launcher
Open up a folder of icons? The subfolder opens up above the launcher.  A swipe up or down to reveals the main launcher below.    This would provide a simple UI for subfolders to be built into the launcher..  Again instead a swipe right moves to the events feed, and left for the task switcher.

Idea: Swipe Right on the lock screen to unlock and move to task switcher
Applications, home screens, and the lock screen would operate on a more consistent set of simpler rules using a spatial model for the home screens rather than most-recently-used.  From where you are you would always know how to get to where you want to be with one swipe without a pause to think of which screen you are on and what direction you need to go to get to where you want or having to keep an accurate mental copy of the device state.

*Note: The images are mockups only and were hacked together from screenshots I found through Google.