Friday, 28 September 2012

Field Trip App Demonstrates a Bezel Swipe Indicator

Google's new Field Trip app (US-only, side load from XDA-developers for the rest of the world) is not one one of the most Android design guidelines compliant apps out there but it has an interesting UI feature that I thought would we worth pointing out: fully scrollable map component inside a swipable container.

The main navigation of this app is swiping between "workspaces". The leftmost workspace contains a map. This map can be panned by the normal dragging gesture as well as zoomed with pinching. These gestures badly overlap with the swipe navigation of the app. In this case Google has solved this issue pretty elegantly. They leave a small strip as a handle for swiping back to right. In the gesture to navigate back to right is a bezel swipe (I've written about bezel swipe before).

One of the biggest problems with bezel swipe is its discoverability. This  small handle solves the problem. It is instantly intuitive and easy to use.

While some valid concerns about the visual unbalance were raised in Google+ by Cyril Mottier I find this solution being a good one or at least a very good approach in many cases. I'd encourage designers to explore this solution.