Monday, June 18, 2018

How Apple Can Fix 3D Touch

Eliz Kılıç:

Not all of these buttons can be 3D Touched. How are you supposed to know which is which? The only possible thing you can do is try 3D Touch and remember it. And to make things worse, 3D Touch is not a gimmick anymore. You need to know you should be pressing hard on the “4 Button Control” to access “Personal Hotspot” or “AirDrop” toggles.

Now that we know what the problem is, here is my solution. Like we did with the link texts years ago on the web, we should visually distinguish 3D Touchable buttons.


My solution is adding a line on bottom-right of things that can be 3D Touched. Let’s call them Force Decorators (with reference to Force Touch).

Via John Gruber:

Total agreement from me on this.

Craig Mod:

Not only is 3d touch undiscoverable but it only reliably activates about half the time (less so on home screen icon grid). 3D touch and the touch bar are two of the most inscrutable apple design decisions in recent years.

Benjamin Mayo:

It’s been three years since Apple debuted pressure-sensitive screens and I still have conversations with my family about how to access what should be simple features … features that just so happen to be gated behind a firm press gesture.

Apple’s usage of 3D Touch throughout the system is inconsistent. that they artificially wall off features with 3D Touch gestures, when they aren’t needed at all. In Control Centre, you should be able to long-press on the platters to open them up. There’s no reason for this action to rely on pressure. Another case of this kind of misappropriation is the ‘Clear All Notifications’ button in Notification Centre. A long-press could serve the same job, and it doesn’t. That’s weird.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

Seems like a user Accessibility guidelines problem. Are there things you simply can't do without using 3d touch? That would violate the guidelines, wouldn't it?

Honestly surprised that there isn't a text & keyboard based configuration utility for iOS. (As an alternative to the Settings app.) Seems like even ordinary tasks have a lot of fine motor control hoops to jump through for people with certain kinds of disabilities.

I wonder what it is like to use an iphone if you have Parkinson's?

This would be such an easy and intuitive problem to solve if the UI still had depth cues. Oh, well.

This would be such an easy and intuitive problem to solve if the UI still had depth cues

^^^ This.

I'm not sure why they can't use parallax to show some depth. Then the UI is untouched for day-to-day use, but has cues if the user wants to do some investigation -- perfect for 3D Touch (or Force Touch or whatever it is) discovery.

John C: Until iOS 12 (or at least the current betas), trackpad-mode for text input was 3D Touch-only — now you can long-press the space bar. (The iPad's two-finger trackpad mode was previously used in betas for non-3D Touch phones, but was removed before release.) Until I believe iOS 11, certain options such as the brightness of the flashlight was only accessible via the 3D Touch menu in Control Center -- now they're long-press accessible, as long as 3D Touch is disabled. There are "Touch Accommodations" for users with motor skill issues, such as setting a "hold duration", whether to ignore repeated touches, and whether to use the first or final touch location, but I can't speak to how effective these are for the users who need them.

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