Organizing Mobile

by Luke Wroblewski

14 Reader Comments

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  1. Contrary to the article, I prefer an on-screen “back” button in Android apps. The way I hold the phone when interacting with the screen is sometimes different than the way I need to hold the phone to click the hardware buttons. I can more easily tap the screen than shift around and press harder to click the button. For applications with a lot of forward and back navigation, it can make sense to keep more of the gestures on-screen.
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  2. @astearns, in situations like that the gestures can be integrated in the app. But an explicit “back” button is different. it is a browser control. Why replicate it (often with different behavior)? We learned this lesson on the Web a long time ago. Site’s that tried to rebuild the browser’s back button moved away from it real fast. If you need navigation actions make them navigation actions: ideally labeled with their destination/function and secondarily with a non-“back” label like “up” a nav tree or “previous/next in a sequence.
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  3. In an application I could see having a onscreen back button due to the fact that sometimes pressing the hardware back button actually closes out the program when you only meant to go back one screen. Website wise if you’re using an Android phone, Opera mini has an onscreen back and forward button.
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  4. Simply changing the CSS of a normal, desktop focused web site to display the same content on a mobile is a Very Wrong Way of creating a mobile friendly site.  You have demonstrated very clearly why we need to completely re-think the architecture for mobile presentation Good one
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  5. @jcgallaher that’s in a native app, not in the Web browser.
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  6. Although the article doesn’t cover this I noticed that in your examples the redesign of facebook/twitter kept a small magnifying glass icon on the top while bagcheck’s search is integrated with the menu at the bottom. Should search be relegated to the bottom menu? Would the average user know to go to the bottom (or click on the arrow) to search for something? I could see the top menu design having both menu and search icons as well as the logo (a facebook & bagcheck combo). Fantastic article. I look forward to reading the book.
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  7. Thank you for this interesting article! It really helpt me clear some stuff out.
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  8. Thanks for sharing this with the A List Apart readers Luke - some incredibly useful and usable information in here. Wondering how you feel about users who are exploring on information rich website being given a crumb trail for orientation purposes? It has its obvious benefits but is likely to add precious height to the header of every page.
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  9. This is a wonderful article, gotta love technology. I wonder how you feel about iphone vs Android?
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  10. Focusing on content first, navigation second gets people to the information and tasks they want quickly.
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  11. Mobiles are extremely used on web. Much more than a few years ago. In Brazil, its raising 500% per year according to google. We need to start focusing on that very quickly. Nice article!
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  12. You wouldn’t believe how many “Back” button battles we’ve had in the past few months for our mobile sites. It’s like the early web days all over again.
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  13. Having the menu button at the top take the user to a menu at the bottom of the page is a bad idea.  If you argue that having a navigation page takes the user out of context is bad, then scrolling the user away from the context they’re in isn’t any better.  It might even be worst.  Autoscrolling is more jarring to me and there’s often no way to get back to the same context.  I favor having a menu that is laid over the content.  This way the user is able to take a peek at the menu and dismiss it without penalty.  Peeking without penalty is a UX design pattern I’m seeing more of in both desktop and mobile apps.
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  14. Hi Luke, I was about to buy the book, but I see that it’s quite old (from 2011?)
    Any updates planned for 2013?
    BTW, in German Amazon they only have the French version of the book!?
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