Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Before iOS 7 form navigation in iOS 6 Safari was handled by a "Previous,Next" segmented control just above the keyboard.

ios 6 safari

But with iOS 7 they are replaced with arrows "<,>".

ios 7 safari

However in the iOS 7 Apple Store app they are back to "Previous,Next" without the segmented control.

iOS 7 Apple Store

Any reason I would want one over the other as long as the VoiceOver hints for both said "Previous, Next"?

share|improve this question
    
Or does this really matter? Am I bikeshedding here? –  Steve Moser Feb 5 at 16:01
    
I believe the </> buttons regard navigation (previous/next page) and "previous"/"next" texts regard navigating through the fields of the form. For the field by field navigation using </> would be misleading, because user would think that this is navigating between process steps. Anyway, I agree that this pattern is not perfect. –  Dominik Oslizlo Feb 5 at 16:09
    
@DominikOslizlo I think you are thinking of this screen without the keyboard. zurb.com/blog/system/images/904/original/blog-4.jpg?1371059571 Notice the slightly different spacing between the arrows in this pic and the one with the keyboard. –  Steve Moser Feb 5 at 16:49
    
Yes, you are right. It's my mistake. </> really are used for navigating between fields (which is bad, I think, as I still believe these are more related to moving backward/forward through history. In this case I think this shows inconsistency - which most probably derives from the recent redesign of iOS. –  Dominik Oslizlo Feb 5 at 18:43
    
@SteveMoser If any of the answers were helpful or useful to you, it would be nice if you could accept one. –  VAlexander Feb 17 at 23:24
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The only plausible reason I could imagine would be:

  1. You want to limit localization efforts.
  2. You think that the icons are less distracting from the user's eyes sliding down to the keyword. There is a camp in usability that says that extra words are distractions because your head tries to read them. Symbols don't often use the same amount of cognitive "work".
share|improve this answer
    
As far as #1 goes, an app still needs to be localized for VoiceOver users. You could be on to something with #2 since the user's content in Safari is more important than their content in a shipping form. –  Steve Moser Feb 5 at 16:52
add comment

"As Safari goes, so goes the iOS"

Well, maybe not, but I would imitate Safari which is probably more at the forefront of Apple development than the Apple Store app, which Jony Ive probably doesn't fuss over as much.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. Just an FYI, my last example was from Apple's Apple Store app where you buy physical things vs. their App Store app where you buy apps. –  Steve Moser Feb 11 at 15:46
    
Oh yeah, thanks for pointing that out. I was totally thinking Apple Store, but I wrote App Store. I fixed that typo now. –  Richard Venable Feb 11 at 19:40
add comment

In most cases where < & > are used, there will probably be some sort of textfields on the screen, not to mention a keyboard. With that in mind, I believe that the less crammed the screen is, the better the user experience. To avoid having to localize your app I'd say go with arrows. I will say that I really dislike those default arrows and wish apple would have chosen nicer ones. However, the reason they probably chose those as opposed to something more beautiful, is because they might be using text instead of actual images.

The way I'd approach this, is to make my own images. If you're presenting a text field, I say design a new icon that would make it obvious to the user that they'll be moving onto the next textfield in a form. An arrow alone can create confusion (your question is an example of such confusion). However if you throw some sort of context into the image, not only would it be universally understood, but would also resolve the confusion, save you time by not worrying about the localization of text (which is different than localization of speech synthesis), and it would also improve the user experience.

Unfortunately I'm on my phone right now, but when I get to my mac tomorrow I'll draft a quick icon to show you what I mean by replacing the next / previous concept with a new image containing context.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

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.