iOS App Navigation - something better?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by Tander, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Tander macrumors 6502a

    Tander

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #1
    Hey all,

    So, I am at the start of a new app development project that I have started. So, I'm starting with the design before any code gets written. I read the iOS 7 HIGS to get some ideas and to make sure I follow them as closly as possible.

    Now, my new app will have lots of view controllers and a deep hierarchy data structure. Now I want to make it easy for the user to get to 4 view controllers from where ever they are within the app. So Facebook's Slide-Out navigator came to mind and that problem was solved.
    However, when going into more detail I realised that on a lot of my view controllers - I need to use the Navigation bar at the top for buttons like Edit and Back etc... which means I cannot add the slide-out navigator button.

    So I broke this down with some options -

    1. Don't have a button for the slide out navigator
    2. Just add an extra button to the bar - what's the big deal?
    3. Just use a UITabbar and be done with it.


    Once I had asked myself these are the answers I came up with for every point:

    1. Ommitting the button means I need to tell users about the slide-out navigator. This goes against the HIGs guidelines and users should be able to just use the app and not have to learn out to use it. Also - it's not obvious that the navigator is there.
    2. This is prone to users tapping the wrong button accidently and this will just cause frustration - I want the navigation to just work without the user putting too much thought into it.
    3. Tab bar would fit perfectly - but I don't like it. It takes up space and I find myself asking: "Isn't there a better wey?"

    So any thoughts, suggestions?

    Thanks all.
     
  2. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #2
    Simplify your app. Remove some screens. Often, after I've gone through a large amount of effort implementing something as I envisioned it, I realize that it's more complicated than necessary. Have a focus on what your app should do and make it so that's the easiest thing in the world. Maybe other ideas you have should be broken out into other apps.
     
  3. waterskier2007 macrumors 68000

    waterskier2007

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    White Lake, MI
    #3
    I use the Tab Bar in a lot of my applications, and I really like it. Not sure what the objection is. It takes up 44 (i believe) pixels which is almost insignificant (especially on iPad) and provides instant one-tap access to those views.
     
  4. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #4
    There's always the option to hide the tab bar and only display it when needed.
     
  5. Tander thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tander

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #5
    Okay - how would you hide it? and what is used to display it?

    @ArtOfWare - I would remove screens if that was possible. However the app will br browsing an eCommerce website - which has a lot of categories. The only way to go through that about of data is tableviews and a navigation controller i believe. However the "users pages" which never change - I want them to access those from almost anywhere in the app.

    I'm leaning towards slide out navigator - unless i can hide the tab bar effectively?

    @ waterskier2007 - I just don't like the look of it at the bottom of the app all the time.
     
  6. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #6
    I believe you can use UIViewController's hidesBottomBarWhenPushed property. And the common approach is to display it using a single tap anywhere on the screen. I can't recall which app but I thought one of the built-in apps did something like this, toggling the top and bottom bars via a single tap.
     
  7. Tander thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tander

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #7
    Something like Twitter uses when you click on a link or a photo - there is a little tab at the bottom that you tap or pull up and it shows some more controls?
     
  8. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Centennial State
    #8
    Ah, thanks for the tip. Now I remember. It's the Photos app! When viewing an image (fullscreen), you can tap the screen to toggle the display of the UI bars. Also, Photos will automatically remove the bars under certain circumstances.
     
  9. Tander thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Tander

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #9
    Oh like when you're in full screen phot view and you tap the screen and the UI Bars appear. Hmm.. that's an interesting idea that I like. I wonder how well it would work though.

    Thanks for the tip I will try it out!
     

Share This Page