Monday, October 12, 2009

Leaving gaps on the iPhone helps a lot

One of the navigation nightmares of the iPhone is that by default the apps you download are all clustered together on page after page of identical seeming pages. Each page contains 16 apps.



I kept having problem where I'd start the wrong app because muscle memory would take my finger to the right place and I'd have clicked before I'd realized the icon wasn't the one I was looking for.



But I solved this problem in a simple way. I rearranged my apps over three pages (after deleting a lot of stuff I wasn't using) with gaps on them. By doing that I end up knowing which page I am on just based on the black space.



This is the iPhone equivalent of the dog-eared page in my notebook, or the coffee stain on the project plan. These simple queues make sub-conscious navigation easy. But I'm lucky because I've managed to arrange unique black-space on each page. Since the iPhone forces all the apps together other people might not be able to do this if they want to group applications together logically. Would be nice if Apple allowed arbitrary positioning.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy my travel book for people interested in science and technology: The Geek Atlas. Signed copies of The Geek Atlas are available.

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