Week 4: Understanding the Device

Planning for an app on iOS you should always practice using an iPhone and the same goes for android. Each platform has a set of unique elements, terminology, and device characteristics. For designing iOS, there are two main areas: gestures and user interface.

Part 1: Gestures in IOS

For iPhones some characteristics users will pick up on in a short time is the screen and user interface elements are touch based, fluid gestures like touch and swipe.

Some of the most common iOS gestures are as follows:

  • Tap: pressure sensitive and the basic building block for all other gestures.
  • Drag: involves pushing and moving a finger t0 move an onscreen element.
  • Flick: involves the touch and directional release of a finger for quicker and less directed movement.
  • Swipe: involves a larger finger contact area and allows access to hidden features such as offscreen menus, navigation trays etc.
  • Pinch: finger action that most commonly controls zoom.
  • Random gestures: e.g. shake.

Part 2: UI- IOS Anatomy

  • Bars: Helps users navigate or initiate actions.
  • Content Views: Contains app specific content and can enable scrolling.
  • Controls: Perform actions or display information.
  • Temporary views: Appear briefly to give users important information.
  • The Keyboard: There are different keyboards for different tasks depending on the user’s needs, for example, a text keyboards, email, number or URL.
  • Pickers and Date Pickers: This element allows for larger contact spaces making it easier to pick interaction options.
  • Tab Bar: Iphone signature positioned at the bottom containing icons.
  • Navigation Bar: Native app. The navigation bar plays a critical role using lists and pages in IOS. The Tool Bar: Sits at the bottom of the screen icons and text. The role of this element is to support the current view or page.
  • The Action Menu: Secondary to navigation within an app.


In order to create a successful app, understanding what gestures are prominent and what each part from the anatomy controls what is important. Overall this is insightful into understanding the device and functions needed to set up easy navigation. 

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