A comparison of smartphone interface guidelines using primary navigation patterns

A comparison of smartphone interface guidelines using primary navigation patterns

Primary navigation patterns used by Spotify on: [left] Android (side drawer); and [right] iOS (tab bar)

ABSTRACT
Menus help in providing users quick access to commonly used functions. However, displaying menu hierarchies is difficult on smartphones due to the constraints of screen sizes and input capabilities. This paper presents an experimental study comparing Android’s side drawer navigation pattern, where all top-level destinations are shown in one single view, and a tab bar navigation pattern, in which top-level content is split between a persistent row of tabs and an extended table list, introduced in iOS.

A smartphone prototype web application was developed to investigate search performance using the two navigation patterns. Twenty-two participants were brought into a controlled lab to perform 120 successful known-item search trials of numeric values. Results from the study shows that the tab bar navigation pattern allows for faster selection time and scored better user satisfaction, with no noticeable impact on error rates. The findings provide insight around accessibility, reachability and design implications when developing smartphone application for various screen sizes.

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Whiteboarding design session

Whiteboarding design session

More companies nowadays require potential UX designers to undertake rigorous interview steps before selecting the most ideal candidate. Aside from the usual telephone screening and face-to-face interviews, whiteboarding design sessions have become an integral method of understanding how quickly candidates can think on their feet. This task focuses on the candidate’s ability to problem solve a design challenge using just a whiteboard and marker, in front of the hiring team. In this post I share with you some tips and techniques on how you can approach your next whiteboarding design session.

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Improving my visual UI skills

Improving my visual UI skills

If you’re an Experience Designer, sometimes you may get caught up for a few weeks (even months!) just working on the research phase of a project to define requirements using various qualitative and quantitative methods, you won’t even begin thinking about the conceptualisation stage. I think it is important to spend an hour a day outside your 9-5 to work on a personal side project as it is a great way to improve and sharpen our skills. One way I find is through concept projects.

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Paper prototyping

Paper prototyping

paper-prototype

The stages of a User Centred Design process involves ‘researching’ the problem, generating ‘ideas,’ before parallel ‘prototyping’ in order to conduct user testing. The latter is when you hone in on two to four ideas or sketches the team have selected to take forward based on how it meets the requirements. One of the methods of prototyping a selected item is to use paper.

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Creating personas

Creating personas

Personas (user profiles) are a snapshot of your target audience whom the product you are creating for. The visual representative of your research findings can help the wider team understand the problem the users are facing. However, what tends to happen is once the personas are created and shared, they’re never used or even revisited.

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Heuristic evaluation

Heuristic evaluation

heuristic-evaluation

Heuristic evaluation is a method for finding the usability problems in a user interface design. This discount usability method is a quick, cost-effective method of identifying usability issues against a set of guidelines and/or principles with no end-user required. The attributes are often used in the early stages of assessment as part of an iterative design process and used a as a general rule of thumb to ensure accessibility and consistency, in particularly, for softwares and websites.

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Favorite Podcasts

Favorite Podcasts

favorite-podcasts

I’m always on the hunt to learn new things. So when I’m not reading, I’m plugged into my favourite podcasts, whether on my daily commute to work or when I go for a run. Below are my top three picks in no particular order.

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Translating business requirements and use cases

Translating business requirements and use cases

My role at Bupa as a Visual UI Designer sees me play a integral part of a project early on in the product cycle, working alongside the project team: UX Architects, Information Architects and Product Owners. This involves translating what the business requires and end users want into high fidelity prototypes for testing and to get a t-shirt sizing estimation of the project before going on to design fully fledged mockups.

In my latest blog post I give you an insight into the different stages of translation process to really understand what is involved and how to go about reaching the designs phase.

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