Yesterday, I got in an interesting conversation about Settings toggles. The other person and I both agreed that having the actual on/off switch in the root of Settings was the most traditional way to display it, but we wanted to find a solution to following:
“How can the user toggle certain settings that have the toggle one cell deeper in Settings from the first page?”
The reason why this topic was important is because “in the name of keeping specific settings organized,” it’s better to keep the toggle and its respective settings all together. But on the other hand, it adds one extra step and makes it less convenient to switch certain toggles easily. The release of iOS 6 would make the solution we were seeking much more significant.
To keep all the settings of one specific setting in a unified view and allow the user to easily toggle just the switch from the first page, I formulated the following solution: swipe cell toggling. In the most basic of terms, the user would be able to switch a setting on or off by simple swiping over the first cell in Settings. Naturally, the text would change depending on which one you’re on i.e. “Swipe to enable, Off.” One view deeper in that setting’s panel, the on and off toggle would still be available and would dynamically change via swiping or simply tapping the switch.
Here are answers to a few questions that could be posed.
“Why keep the actual on/off switch in the setting’s panel? Isn’t it redundant to have a swipe and an on/off switch?”
It isn’t and here’s why. It’s displacing for someone to have to leave a view in order to toggle something. For example, if I was in the Location Services panel and wanted to turn it off from there, it would just be easier to go to the top and disable it versus having to leave the view to do it. I base my judgement on an example like the volume slider in the App Switcher. The volume buttons perform the same function, but having the slider is an easy alternative and is located right in within grasp of what view you’re in. My implementation of the swipe in conjunction with the on/off switch is on incorporated on the same premise. The swipe is added as a convenience, not a replacement.
“Why do you keep the swipe cells the same size? The cells in Settings > Notifications display a second line of text but are bigger.”
In comparison to the cells for Notifications in Settings > Notifications, the swipe cells are not displaying anything that is potentially significant. With the notification profile cells, the user is looking at it to see whether things like Badges, Banners, or Alerts are enabled. Viewing and knowing what each notification has set is important from that view. But when it comes to swipe cells, the second line is a reminder; a simple guide. It’s not meant to alert you of something that’s set. As the user becomes more familiar with how swipe cells work and where they are used (where info like “On/Off/Connected” is displayed on a cell), then it won’t be necessary to prompt them anymore about how to perform the action.
“Why even notify the user at all with the “Swipe to disable/enable?”
Prompting the user is important if there’s no clear indication of how to handle something. Swipe gestures are difficult because there’s no great way of alerting the user that swiping it will perform something with a symbol. Especially when it comes to de-cluttering the view. And in any situation, the user needs to know exactly what he or she is doing and what will happen when any actions is performed. At this current time, using a text string prompt is the best solution.
“The swipe cell functionality applies to other settings, not just Location Services?”
Absolutely. The implementation of swipe cells would be incorporated in every applicable area. Consistency is important so bringing all scenarios to the same level would be the only way to go. It would work on cells like Wi-Fi (although not shown), Bluetooth, and others that will be available in iOS 6.
“How does this work within the scrollview?”
The swiping is down horizontally and would not conflict with the vertical scroll that’s already native.
Note: I always value suggestions, opinions, and even opportunities to engage in a conversation. Discussions are for seeking knowledge and improving upon ideas. Feel free to comment below or contact me on Twitter.
© 2012 Joshua Tucker
Here’s Part Two of my recent multitasking concept. Visit below to get context if you don’t understand what I’m about to explain.
Note: I changed how to distinguish which tab is in use; it is now the darkest tab is the one that is selected.
The low down is the following:
If you remember from the first concept, basically when you launch multitasking, you will be given three options. Launchpad will always appear first, but you have the option to switch to another tab. If you choose the Music tab, than it will show this screen.
Just like in the native multitasking interface, you have access to music controls,except you now have more options. The buttons I added are the following:
Note: I may add more if applicable or reasonable.
Also, the volume slider is shown. If you swipe either direction in that area, the scrub slider will show (allows you to change the place in the song. You can easily go back to the volume toggle by swiping again.
There is more info now as well, such as the artist’s name and album. It is modeled out of the native Music application so the lighter text indicates the name of the song that is playing. Or just remember the middle string of text is the name of the song.
The album art of the album is shown at all times and will change if another album or artists starts playing (obviously).
Here’s the cool part — if you tap the album art, it will peel back revealing the Music icon, which allows you to go back into the native Music application. That area will be swipe-able and will house buttons beyond as follows:
- Tweet song
- Add to playlist
- More (if I can think of any)
As always, a concept is always evolving so stay tuned! I have added Disqus support for commenting on my Tumblr so please comment away with your concerns, suggestions, or whatever.
Thank you for your continued support and all the wonderful feedback you’e given me. Without a further to do, I end with this:
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Steve Jobs
© 2011 Joshua Tucker