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Native Development

Super Contributor
Posts: 440
Registered: ‎01-13-2011
My Device: Playbook
My Carrier: NA

Application menu - will the user know it's there?

To utalise the screen's real estate, I have opted to have a swipe down application menu rather than having an action menu at the bottom of the screen.


My question is, will the user know to swipe down for the menu or will it just be lost? how is everyone else dealing with the apllication menu?



BlackBerry Apps: Instruments | ARTPAD | Piano | Drums | Xylophone
Posts: 412
Registered: ‎04-04-2012
My Device: BlackBerry Z30/Z10/Z10LE/Q10/PlayBook

Re: Application menu - will the user know it's there?

IMHO, all apps should have an application menu, even if there is just an help/about or information screen. And it is hard to have an app that doesn't have at least a single setting. That way it becomes SBB (Standard Blackberry Behaviour). I know that with the playbook and upcoming BB10 devices. I will expect when I swipe from the top that an application menu will appear.


Posts: 6,473
Registered: ‎12-08-2010
My Device: PlayBook, Z10
My Carrier: none

Re: Application menu - will the user know it's there?

I agree with Bluenoser. This is the same question many of us asked two years ago with the early PlayBook development, and the general consensus was basically that users will become familiar with this feature and gradually come to expect it.

That said, I know some people (non-developers) who've had PlayBooks for quite awhile and they still don't think to check for a top-swipe menu in many apps.

If you think that situation may continue with BB10, you can help them along by doing something like the following. The first few times your app runs, animate the appearance of a small overlay message at the top edge of the screen, noting that there is a menu accessible by swiping down from the top frame. If the user ever access the menu, you could set a flag so you don't remind them again. You could also count, and after 3-4 presentations of such a hint, stop showing it.

RIM may also be looking at some mechanism to make such things more discoverable to users. They already mention it in the user tutorial, but as we all know some users will manage to avoid all such instruction, and still complain that you never told them. ;-)

Peter Hansen -- (BB10 and dev-related blog posts at http://peterhansen.ca.)
Author of White Noise and Battery Guru for BB10 and for PlayBook | Get more from your battery!
Posts: 285
Registered: ‎08-06-2010
My Device: Z10

Re: Application menu - will the user know it's there?

Considering that all major RIM apps will use the application menu as well as help and settings being built in to the menu, I think that it's wisest to believe that users will come to know this gesture. At worst, you can have a canned reply e-mail ready for users who complain.

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