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
This a continuation of my interface concept. You can check out the first part below —
Let’s break it down.
When you launch the interface and select the Wi-Fi tab, this is what will appear.
You have the standard Wi-Fi on and off button as well as the Ask to Join Networks switch. Whatever you change in this interface will also change in Settings (vice versa).
Blacklisting is a way of putting networks you don’t want to see or get notified by into a list. That way you will longer see the network or get a notification for it if you’re in the area (blue box on SpringBoard / application). You can at any point put or take networks out of the list and have three ways of adding networks to it:
- Swiping inside the blue box and hitting “Blacklist”
- Swiping inside this interface and hitting “Blacklist”
- Swiping in Settings in the Wi-Fi section and hitting “Blacklist”
The Blacklist is available in this interface as well as the Wi-Fi section in Settings.
On top of being able to turn Wi-Fi on and off from here, you can also disconnect from networks by simply swiping the connected network in this list and hitting the “Disconnect” button (not shown — exactly like the Blacklist button but with the string “Disconnect”). This saves you from having to disconnect from Wi-Fi and than joining another network. Or choosing “Forget this Network.”
Pull to Refresh:
To update the list of networks that are shown, simply pull down from the interface to refresh the list.
© 2012 Joshua Tucker