User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm working on a new platform for mobile. In this platform, the gesture of swiping left (from right to left) acts differently in different contexts.

  • On an object (a rectangle with details) it opens more options inside the object
  • On a row, of a list, it opens one option
  • On a canvas, it moves between screens

Does having many different behaviors for the same gesture make sense to you?
Are there any conventions on the behavior of swiping left/right?

share|improve this question

Having multiple behaviors for the same gesture makes sense to me if the behaviors are similar and are all on local objects/contexts.

In your case, since the swiping sideways acts as a change screen action, overloading the gesture to an expand/open action does not make sense.

I would go with a double tap or long tap to expand/open items (rows/objects) instead.

share|improve this answer

I would use swipe as a shortcut, and never as the only mean to accomplish an action.

That said, it is best if the gesture invokes "compatible" actions: like "swipe left always opens more options", even if it does it on different contexts. This way it is easier for the user to learn the gesture. If it works very differently in different contexts the user will feel more insecure, as it is difficult to form and accurate mental model.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.