Closed Bug 1023627 Opened 6 years ago Closed 4 years ago

[Homescreen] Inertial scrolling degrades usability - Implement paging


(Firefox OS Graveyard :: Gaia::Homescreen, defect)

Gonk (Firefox OS)
Not set


(Not tracked)



(Reporter: dmarcos, Unassigned)




(1 file)

Attached video
TLDR: Paged scrolling results in tapping an icon faster and with less errors

I will refer to two different ways of implementing a home screen:

1. Paged: As we find in iOS and stock Android. The user navigates through pages of icons that fall into place on a finger gesture.
2. Inertial: The user scrolls through a list and the scrolling acceleration depends on the user's finger motion. As implemented in the current vertical homescreen

A user not familiarized with the items layout will employ a similar time to find a specific icon in either a paged or an inertial implementation. 

Paging is a more effective technique when the user becomes an expert on the physical distribution of the items. Users quickly learn the layout of the icons on a homescreen and can rely on muscle memory instead of visual feedback. e.g: Look at video attached (What's app application: one swipe to the left and tap on bottom left corner). With experience, opening and app becomes more like a gesture and less of a visual search of a specific item in a grid of icons. There's a lot of research about this property derived from the invention of marking menus in 1994:

On inertial scrolling muscle memory is less effective, since applying the correct acceleration to a list is harder than discrete gestures that provide a reliable outcome (turn an icon page). When a gesture translates into scroll accelerations the user is likely to over reach or fall short when locating a specific target. The user will have to do additional corrective gestures before tapping the desired icon.
We can still implement a vertical scrolling but I suggest to make it paged instead of inertial to improve usability.
Flags: needinfo?(tshakespeare)
Flags: needinfo?(rmacdonald)
I am fairly sure that this is what we are looking for in bug 945584 - scroll snapping to the closest section as you scroll.
Jacqueline is in charge of Homescreen designs.
Flags: needinfo?(tshakespeare) → needinfo?(jsavory)
Diego, this is something Jacqueline and Maria are exploring for home screen in 2.1.
Flags: needinfo?(rmacdonald)
It doesn't look like this will be included for 2.1. NI on Maria as an FYI for 2.2
Flags: needinfo?(jsavory) → needinfo?(msandberg)
What's the progress of the spec? If we get started on it soon, there may be a chance to get this into 2.1 assuming we get something nice done on time :)
I haven't seen any of the UX work on this but I think Hung has been involved. Hung, do you know anything about the progress on the magnetic scroll? I will bring it up in our UX daily sync as well.
Flags: needinfo?(msandberg) → needinfo?(hnguyen)
I'm currently working on an initial spec and will set up meeting to review it this week.
Flags: needinfo?(hnguyen)
Mass update: Resolve wontfix all issues with legacy homescreens.

As of 2.6 we have a new homescreen and having these issues open is confusing. All issues will block bug 1231115 so we can use that to re-visit any of these if needed.
Blocks: 1231115
Closed: 4 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
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