I use reddit a lot.
And I really mean a lot!
It is my favourite site to surf after stumbling on the site a year ago, and I find it hard now not to rely on it for information and news.
Anyway, if you have spent even time on reddit, you would have at least heard of it’s official iOS app, Alien Blue. Recently, the application was updated and the interface overhauled.
Here’s the current landing page user interface on Alien Blue.
It looks a lot cleaner now, and follows flat UI. Clicking on the settings icon (Donut looking icon at the top right corner) brings you to the app’s settings page.
Into the unknown
Whoa! Look at that! Is that a settings UI? Most settings UI that I have seen on iOS look more like this.
Instagram, Quora, iOS Settings UI
Alien Blue’s settings UI is different. At a first glance, it offers users a ‘Okay, this is new, how do I use it?’. As researched by HUGE to find the best practices to tackle scrolling, almost everyone scrolls, no matter what.
Almost everyone scrolls, no matter what.
I did the same. I placed my right thumb on the screen and hoped for the best.
As I scrolled, the icons moved towards the opening of the page at the top right, and more icons slided in from the west. Think of it as a seatbelt, the belt is fed through the opening of the vehicle structure, and as you were to pull the seatbelt towards the buckle, more belt is fed through.
What about left handers?
“Sure, that’s all nice and fancy. What about left handers?”
Notice that switch at the bottom of the page? Toggle it, and the interface switches to this.
A more traditional looking UI as compared to the mind blowing one above, but it shows that the developers have thought of both the majority (Right handed users) and minority (Left handed users). I am a left hander myself but I use my right hand to scroll.
The Personalize page has a rather interesting UI as well. Traditionally on iOS, most settings page I have seen uses the ON-OFF switch as a checkbox form control. Users can either to flick the switch to select or deselect an option.
In Alien Blue, it is presented in a slightly different manner.
Active or selected options have their icons highlighted and the text in a bolder and darker colour. Inactive or deselected options have a greyscale icon and text. While this might not be groundbreaking, when comparing both screen side by side, Alien Blue seems to provide more options in a page.
It can be argued that the descriptions are longer on iOS, which led to design where the ON-OFF switches are at the top, followed by a description at the bottom.
So that’s what I have analysed for now.
Let me know what you think!
Originally published at jacobtyq.ghost.io on December 16, 2014.