I have an app that remotely controls a device. The device has several modes. Switching the mode activates some actions. For example, air conditioner do different job in different modes. But my device is industrial, so user can not switch modes accidentally. He must understand that after switching the mode, the device starts doing different work. Each mode has different functions. So after changing the mode, the layout is also changes.

What control is better to use in that case?

I am thinking about segmented control. But I'm not sure if it's ok to change the layout and command the device to do some actions after choosing an item in the segmented control.

This is a desktop app for specialists who work in the industry (sorry, I can not be more specific). There are 6 modes.

Schematic prototype: schematic prototype

How I implemented this:iplementation

  • I think it depends on the actions of the app. If the changes the user does can be critical i would definitely let the user confirm his action before changing modes. How many different actions are there? Is it a mobile app or a web based app? Aug 1, 2017 at 6:09
  • I really don't understand fully, what you are building. But one thing to keep a note on is, what controls you are selecting is totally depend upon for whom you are building this app. For some users, swipe from left to right works for switching different modes (Just like choosing filters in camera app). But for novice user, it is difficult to do that, as they get confused. Aug 1, 2017 at 6:09
  • This is a desktop app for specialists who work in the industry (sorry, I can not be more specific). There are 6 modes. Aug 1, 2017 at 6:36
  • 2
    There's isn't enough information here without some screenshots, in trying to identify what you have and what you are trying to achieve. Aug 1, 2017 at 6:40
  • Is it safe to say that switching modes once the user has started using that mode is less desirable than if a user switches modes without interacting with that mode? Aug 1, 2017 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


As you said the app is to be handled by an industry specialist, there is a less chance of mode being changed by mistake. Still, it is a better idea to take some precautionary measures. So you can use a drop down (as shown in image below). Here user needs to click on current mode icon to change it.

enter image description here

It has following benefits:

  • Only currently active mode is visible that saves space and you can show other controls or give description there.

  • Even if the mode button is clicked by mistake, mode wont change directly preventing any problem to occur bymistake.

  • After that you can add a modal for confirming the change of mode creating a 2nd precautionary measure. (for reference see image below).

enter image description here

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