by Cesare Rocchi

Navigation should be at the bottom

tags: UX

I like using my iPhone with one hand and I like apps optimized for one hand usage. I almost built one once.

So this post by Cuberto hit a nerve.

If you develop this kind of app for iOS you’ll need paddle upstream because UIKit components are not thought for this kind of layout.

When I did it iOS7 was around. Some things might be easier now but the following hurdles are still around the corner when you place navigation UI at the bottom:

  • showing the keyboard can hide navigation elements
  • keyboard elements like the suggestions bar can also hide/screw with navigation elements
  • swipe from anywhere on the view to go back (à la Flipboad) prevents you from using swipe gestures on cells

Even when I built Podrover’s login view I tried to place as many UI elements as possible at the bottom. It wasn’t trivial at first, because the keyboard height is different according to the device.

The reference point for UIs in iOS is the top left corner, not just technically but also design wise. If you want to pursue the (very noble) goal to foster one handed interactions be ready for some challenge.