Thursday, July 19, 2018

Search at the Bottom

Theo Strauss:

In most apps, it’s common to see a search bar up at the top of the screen. On social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and even Snapchat, the search bar is at the top of almost every main screen. In transportation apps, that style is almost ubiquitous.


Lyft took a different approach with their search bar. Instead of a floating field up top, they added it to an overlay towards the bottom-mid section of the screen. This simple change made it more accessible for almost 100% of users.

Previously: iPhone 5 Size, Why Smartphone Screens Are Getting Bigger, Switching to Smaller iPhones, iPhone Sizes, Switching to an iPhone SE.

Update (2018-07-20): Nick Heer:

I think there’s a deeper argument here for a more comprehensive adjustment to the way iOS, in particular, is designed. The layout of a typical app hasn’t really changed much since the first iPhone — from top to bottom: status bar, then navigation bar, then the main view, then a tab bar at the bottom. While that worked great on a 3.5-inch screen with an iPhone that easily fit in your hand, I don’t think that’s the case with today’s iPhones — and, if the rumour mill is correct, the smallest of this year’s models will be the size of the iPhone X.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

I haven't figured out why most apps don't put their touch buttons and such at the bottom, which is closest to my fingers. Having to reach way up just to tap an "X" or a "<" to close or go back a screen is ridiculous (especially when there's no corresponding swipe gesture that will do the same thing). It might look pretty way up there, but the usability sucks. The top half of the screen should be for information display only, and the bottom half for navigation (not literally the entire half, just that navigation elements should never be above the middle line). Even Apple has fucked this up by moving Control Center to the top. And dumb things like closing videos still have the X in the top corner, as if iOS is Mac OS X. WTF??

Apple Maps does this, too. Being a recent convert from an SE to a X, I appreciated the shift in placing the input field at a more reachable thumb distance than the very top of the screen. Google Maps, by contrast, still places the search field at the top of the screen and I grumble about it every time.

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