Years ago, when Apple launched its first iPhone, people went crazy for touchscreen mobile phones. There was not only tapping on interface anymore but nibbling, escalating and swiping. It was a huge hit. Touch gestures in mobile app development have become extensive.
In the starting, there were only a few elementary movements. But, with adding combinations like double touching, long pressing, long press dragging etc., the era of gestures started mushrooming. New features are continually coming but, the cynosure remained on natural behavior and congenital workflows.
Today, in-app gestures in mobile application development are so natural to us that we don’t even consider it unique. Most of the mobile phone users may not know a single gesture by name, but they spend most of the time in figuring out and learning them.
What Kind of Touch Gestures Are There?
There are various gestures in all shapes and sizes are listed in the graphic below. All these gestures are already very common because all mobile phone users are used to them. All these touch gestures are used across all the mobile application platforms, so the user becomes habitual with this experience and can control gestural.
Designing touch gestures for applications is not an easy task, it requires strong planning, excellent ecosystem, appealing designs, and conceptual foundation. Lacking any of these elements may risk the value and ROI of the finished product.
It is very important for mobile app developers to keep all these gestures within the reach of user’s thumb as most of the mobile phone users use the thumb for navigation. So, all the app functionalities need to be concentrated.
Importance Of Touch Gestures Over The Buttons
It saves user’s time by reducing the number of steps required to perform a particular action. Now, in mobile phones, everything is one-touch away. Because of smart gestures, actions including search, surf, and click, are become easier.
Gestures are the logical way to make your app aesthetically pleasing and clear. Navigation through touch gestures removes unnecessary icons and numerical buttons on the screen that provides breathing space to an app without creating a mess. Touch gestures also provide more space for valuable content and let the user do a valuable task without any distractions.
Gesture increase engagement and provide tactile experience, which is really enjoyable. It also makes interaction with content more natural and spontaneous and also makes us believe that we are interacting with something tangible. Engaging interaction can give users a sense of accomplishment that the reason we become more immersed in this experience.
Give Your Users Clues
While designing a mobile application always keep in mind the needs of your target audience. During mobile application development, give your users clues about the availability of gesture and guide them about the gestures step by step. Start by showing only the most relevant options for interactions. There are various visual interaction design techniques are available to increase user experience.
Role of animation in gesture-based mobile app development
Gestures are closely linked to animations in mobile application development as it plays an important role in nurturing an illusion of interactivity for app users. When animation paired with
Gestures, it makes the brain believe that it’s interacting with touchable objects and also provides visual feedback to the user. Without animations, users wouldn’t get the idea of successfully completed a gestural action.
Now in every innovative gestural interaction, animation has become standard. It feels so smooth and spontaneous that countless list-based applications adopted this gesture simply by convention.
Things you should take into consideration before designing a gesture-based interface
Increased User Effort
Most of the gestures are difficult to learn or remember. Let’s take an example, in most mobile apps a single finger gesture means one thing, the same gesture with two fingers means another, and yet another with three or four.
Lack of Feedback
Most of the gestures do not leave any record behind their path, which means if one makes a gesture and gets a wrong response, there is no information available to help understand why this happened.
Lack of flexibility
Most of the gestures are not consistent across mobile apps yet and are not always flexible for users. Even a simple gesture of swiping over an email item work differently in various mail apps.
For example, in Apple Mail, for deleting an unread item user should swipe left and in Gmail, swiping to the left marks an email as unread.
The gesture-based user interface has solid possibilities to enhance the user experience, they are also a powerful mode of interaction. Today designing a mobile app without gestures may cause a downfall for you. So for the app success, design a meaningful gesture and tie it to an action and allow the gesture to linked with the particular action.
Before integrating mobile app gestures, mobile app developers need to make sure about the proper visual analysis tools, like touch heat maps, tracking, optimization, and troubleshoot these user actions. Never forget “Seeing is believing” so make your mobile app appealing as well as seamless to use.