Chapter 5. How people interact with the app


This chapter covers

  • Providing the best experience with input devices
  • Using gestures in appropriate and accessible ways
  • Handling low-level touch events

This chapter explains the different ways people can interact with your app, and why it’s important that you consider these. If your app uses only system-provided controls and has little customization, this is a relatively simple subject with few core issues to be aware of. But if you’re customizing visuals and interactions, you can do many things to impact a person’s experience. You’ll benefit from understanding the differences.

The most frequent approach to giving input and interacting with an app on a mobile device is touching the screen. Many such devices are referred to as touch-screen devices. This ubiquity of use can lead to complacency when creating apps for these devices. People touch the screen of devices a lot, but there’s value in taking a metaphorical step back and asking why and how they’re doing so. Assuming people touch the screen because they must interact with your app risks overlooking the understanding or intention behind the interaction. By not thinking about what you’re asking them to touch, you may also overlook considerations for alternative input methods.

5.1. Supporting different pointing devices

5.2. Using a pointing device to provide input

5.3. When pointing and touch input become difficult