I build a mobile application that has lists of content.

There were two ideas about what should happen on a swipe.

One was about the list, a catalogue of items, that is filterable.

The idea was to have 5 kind of filters at the top in a horizontal menu and when the user swipes the whole screen to the left or right, other filters get activated.

The other one was about content navigation after one item in the list was selected. So a swipe would get to the next or previous item in the list.

Is it okay, if the changes that are triggered by the swipes are properly visualised? Like changing the selected filter visually, etc.

  • Sorry, I'm a little confused about the types of filters that are in this horizontal list, versus the ones activated by swiping. In what ways are they different?
    – Confused
    May 3, 2017 at 2:07

1 Answer 1


Be careful when using gestures to perform actions. Make sure it is not the only way to perform the action.

Implementations of swipe-to-delete or swipe to reveal contextual actions often suffer from usability problems.

Source: Using Swipe to Trigger Contextual Actions

Usability pain points

The above mentioned article addresses a number of problems:

  • Lack of signifiers
  • Content is obscured
  • Some of the actions associated with contextual swipe are nonstandard.
  • Contextual swipe is sometimes used inconsistently within the same app.
  • Poorly implemented swipe-to-delete can lead to loss of data.
  • Swipe ambiguity can affect how effective contextual swipe is.

Posible solutions

These points can be fixed, of course. You mention properly visualised triggers. This tackles a few points from the list but it will take some room from your screen (point 2).

Be sure to keep your swipe gesture consistent in your application and do no overdo it.

The same article mentioned above has also a few tips and a conclusion on how to use gestures in your application.

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