Application UI Design Recommendations

Mohammed Musallam musallam001 at
Mon Jul 16 21:03:27 CEST 2007

What I don't like about the "pie chart" is that it clutters the screen when its displayed and it would be confusing at first. I'm wondering if we take a more simplistic approach.

if we start with the idea:
* All applications (for day to day) should be a finger application. That includes Contacts, pim/calender, dialer, GPS & basic settings (bluetooth on/off, wifi on/off, etc.)
* interface should be intuitive
* Big buttons and uncluttered interface

Then: menus, popups & dialog boxes should be strictly removed or limited to the bare minimum because of their small nature... it would be difficult to use our fingers on them

as such, we would define touch gestures to mimic the first gen mouse on a MAC. 

I see some of you are rolling their eyes and thinking yet another fanboy. but listen to my reasonning.

1. putting supported hardware/software aside, Apple PC running MAC OSX are much easier to figure out and run. (FYI i'm a PC fan for over 15years but I've recently tried to use a MAC at work and to tell you the truth, i'm impressed with the simlpistic interface)
2. MACs had a single button mouse for quite sometime, and all they where able to do is either single-click, double-click and drag for almost as long.
3. Take a look at their file browser, or their ipod menu: single clicks would get you to any file.

So I believe to simplify the touch interface:
    a. single-tap would equal a single click
    b. tap&hold would represent a double-click
    c. a drag would mean a scroll in that direction

making the tap interface any more complicated would be more cumbersome than anything else. Remember we don't have a precise pointing tool (a mouse) and we don't have an huge screen real estate.

menus, popups, context-menus should be avoided as much as possible unless for something that _really_ need the user's attention (like an incomming phone call)

Maybe this is a generalization, but no one can deny that when Apple work on an interface, they master it.

I haven't modified the wiki waiting to discuss the matter on this list.

what do you guys think?

----- Original Message ----
From: Jeremiah Flerchinger <jeremiah.flerchinger at>
To: openmoko-apps at
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 1:57:02 PM
Subject: Re: Application UI Design Recommendations

The "pie chart" clicking functionality looks very useful as described 
under "Touch Gestures."   I think I would prefer a global behavior of 
scrolling up/down/left/right after a press to scroll up/down/left/right 
and a press-hold would perform a right click and bring up a typical 
menu/dialog of options, if not accompanied by significant 

This would present a uniform method of scrolling across the applications 
& the press hold for right click should translate well to any 
application.  The phonebook could be quickly scrolled with a press & 
drag, a second screen could be opened with a simple click to edit the 
contact or call/email/etc, and a press-hold could open a message dialog 
with the contacts name & the option to call or cancel.

A press-drag left/right is suggested to translate to a click 
right/middle.  It's a good suggestion, but I think scrolling left/right 
would be more useful to the average user and extend better as a general 

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