Navigating inside a phone’s UI

When I mention the word ‘Navigation’, the first reference that comes to your mind will be navigating a car in a small street as you turn the steering wheel left and right dodging the objects, hoping you dont hit on anyone

But then navigation is a concept that’s equally important for a user. The Operating System layer and the user interface placed on top of the OS stack can be a driving factor while selecting a phone. It all leads to a smooth user experience as they tend to use a phone throughout the day probably without a break.

So when you build a complex User Interface, it gets to become a problem for the consumer as he needs to navigate through several menus until he reaches the desired application. A good UI should allow minimal touches to get to the end point . Anything more than two clicks points to a bad design. Apple’s iOS operating system had a user interface which came without a launcher. They simply grouped all the icons and kept everything on the home screen without any menus, navigation scrolls. They had a smart grouping technology that identified an app’s primary usage and grouped similar apps together. For example all travel apps like Makemytrip,cleartrip,Jet Airways were grouped under a Travel group while organizing apps like Planner,Notes, task scheduler, calendar etc were grouped in another category. This made people quickly get to what they wanted by merely selecting that particular category

This doesnt mean that navigation inside menus is a bad option. For the typical Android user, a menu based navigation and a scroll is easier and visually more pleasing. This way users are able to visually see all the inbuilt and downloaded apps in the phone in one shot than opening each grouped category to see what apps are coming under it

Navigation is the core of user experience and much importance should be given while designing a new phone. This is also one of the reasons why the Blackberry’s and Nokia’s simple Java based OS rated very high when it came to basic design.

Google’s Android is trying to improve its navigation experience in every version of its release. You can see it quite evidently from how many changes have occurred since its IceCream Sandwich operating system to its Jellybean till the recent Marshmallow. The phone’s features may have only improved marginally but the design, navigation and the UI has seen considerable changes. With each advanced operating system they are merely trying to make it simpler for the consumer to use the phone in a minimalistic way. They are making the phone intelligent by being able to respond to the consumer in the way he desires, predicting his favourite apps, tracking his schedule and reminding of appointments at the right time. It guides him wherever he goes and makes it an invaluable resource
One cant just wait and watch what’s going to be launched next

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can  apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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