- 06-22-2013, 12:41 PM #2
You've identified a problem, but your solution is less than optimal. The correct approach is not to design apps with backstacks taller than three.
- 06-22-2013, 02:07 PM #4
Speaking as a dev, windows phone follows a hub and spoke model. The design principles to which better apps stick to basically want us to provide normal functionality for the back button. (Devs can opt out anytime)
To quote from the design principles
The page navigation model is a hub and spoke system. This means that unless you explicitly add links to other pages within your app, users must use the Back button to navigate back to a page that they viewed. This is similar to how a web browser displays and navigates webpage history.
That said, if you see the Nokia App Social Highlights, they seem to be moving away from these principles by having a Jump to home menu. Maybe this is the future, but following design principles is a must for every ecosystem IMO like Holo UI for Android, Modern UI for WP and whatever it is called for iOS.
- 06-22-2013, 02:09 PM #5
and you don't need to close apps in Windows phone.Just press the Home button and leave it. When the system identifies many apps open, it will automatically close some apps and apps are suspended(sometimes tombstoned) when Home key is pressed.
(and here is everything on how to do IT :) https://dev.windowsphone.com/en-us/design/library )
- 06-22-2013, 10:24 PM #6
I'm not talking about hitting the back button to close the app, I'm referring to some apps, new tapatalk app for example, where if you are deep in the app, it takes many back button presses to return to the home screen of the app to select a new forum. Again, the home screen of the app, not the home screen of the phone.
- 06-23-2013, 03:24 AM #7
As a5cent pointed out, the app should not have been more than 3 or max 5 levels deep.
I get your pain regarding Tapatalk, the devs should have paid attention to detail and UX. Come to think how many apps are there which suffer from this? I am genuinely interested.
06-23-2013, 03:36 AM #8
- 10 Posts
I'm also planning an app right now and I think I will add a home button in some cases.
Fast Resume and secondary entry points really shook up the "no home button" design principle. Let me walk you through an example of what I mean:
Imagine you are in a game, and get a message from someone. You tap on the toast and the messaging app resumes but clears the backstack on the way to the conversation. Now if I would tap back, it would bring me directly back to the game but if I want to message someone else for example then I am in trouble without a home button.
I also think Twitter has a nice usage of the home button, I feel myself using it very often when I get deep down the structure searching for things and exploring profiles.
- 06-23-2013, 11:20 AM #9
Another example would be an app with various pinning options. I have the zendesk app, which allows different queues to be pinned to the start screen. However, the rest of the app isn't accessible from the pinned view. A home button, even in the bottom, three dot menu, would alleviate this issue. Metrotube suffers from this as well. Accessing the entire app from the pinned favorites tile isn't possible from what I see. Sure, I can pin the same app to my home screen multiple times (ie various views, and main tile), but that seems incredibly unintuitive.
- 06-24-2013, 11:32 AM #10
Hey jmerry, I want to apologize for accusing you of having chosen a poor solution. 99 out of 100 times, when someone suggests the home-button solution, they are complaining about deep backstacks. You are referring to a more profound problem of metro UI design (one for which WP lacks a good solution, where we can't just blame devs for designing a poor UI). In my defense though, you didn't initially mention what problem you were trying to solve, which is 'kinda' required info for posts like yours.
Anyway, I still don't think a home-button is an ideal solution, but for some scenarios and for some apps, it might be the only solution. I agree. I just feel that in addition to the guideline issue already mentioned, a home-button just doesn't feel metro like, as metro is intended to be free of navigational chrome. If a home-button can be avoided, it should be, which is why I don't think it makes sense as a general recommendation. An alternative solution would be to ensure an apps backstack is never more than one level deep... none of the issues mentioned so far exist in such apps. Other approaches also exist, but I can't think of one that would work in any and all scenarios like a home-button would.
Last edited by a5cent; 06-24-2013 at 03:04 PM.
06-25-2013, 07:54 PM #12
- 70 Posts
I've noticed this as well and I'm new to Windows Phone. A couple times to hit back isn't an issue, but when you have to keep hitting it and unsure how many times you need to get back to the start is frustrating. Having the option hidden in the three dots menu would be a fine solution to minimize chrome.
- 06-25-2013, 09:42 PM #13
It seems I have been auto subscribed to this thread. Speaking as a dev again , we await feedback from users always. Unless you use the support link in your apps it might not be of great help.
Developers like me who are not giant corporations might generally listen more due to the nature of ratings system.
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