App gestures
#272 Henry, Wednesday, 17 June 2015 12:39 PM (Category: Apple)
(Tags: app gestures)

It's easy to irritate me. I sometimes think I go through life almost permanently irritated.

Today, my irritation is with gestures in apps. More and more apps are relying on gestures to provide options. I can understand this, as there isn't a lot of real estate on a smartphone for an elaborate menu system. So, gestures.

I look at Marvin and my list of my books. How do I delete one? Swipe left on the list of books? Swipe right? Press down for a second, then swipe right? Or left? Or up or down? After a few futile swipes, I find how to do it and I delete my book. I'll remember it for next time.

But then I use a different app, and I have to go through the same experimental process to find out how to do something with it. Up, down, left, right, press and left, press and right, holy shit, I want to punch some developer in the face.

By the time I have cycled through a small number of the 300 apps I regularly use, and almost every single one of them has implemented gestures slightly differently, I can't remember which bloody gesture for which bloody app does what I want.

Standards, people, standards. Do it the same as everyone else. If you are going to have hidden options using gestures, then make them all work the same.

I remember back in the 1990s when GUIs were new and icon buttons were all the rage and some idiot thought it would be sexy to leave off the text and just have the image on the icon. And then everyone did it and everyone use different icons. Did you print with the icon with a dot matrix printer on it, or the one with the smiling dog, or the trapezium (probably a piece of printer paper), or the one with what looked like a toilet bowl (but was really a laser printer)? The answer was all of the above. Eventually standards came in and everyone started using the same stylised icons for the same task.

We need standardisation of gestures.