Back in the day, Accordions for web apps were quite common. We built a Silverlight app, and it has a very Accordion-centric workflow. The content is mainly divided up in to Accordion panels because a) there's too much information on the screen to put it on one panel, and b) most content is irrelevant to most users. Different teams that use the software focus on different panels. If there are 10 panels on the screen, one team will probably only use one or two panels, so it doesn't make sense for them to get all the controls on screen.
There are obvious upsides and downsides to Accordions. I feel like there are about three or four different ways to deal with dividing up content.
- Tabs - These are clear, but you can't have more than one tab on a screen at once. This good for simplicity, but it can mean more clicking.
- Accordion - Very similar to tabs, but the difference being that you can potentially have more than one panel on screen at once (assuming you are using a larger device like an iPad).
- Button driven navigation - There could be a submenu that allows the user to launch in to a scroll-able page which is tailored for his/her team. The downside is that we'd probably have to design panels for each team which leads to duplication of design.
- Flat scroll-able page which has everything for everyone. This isn't very nice for the user because they will usually see a lot of stuff they are not interested in.
Here is an article that talks about Accordions and is generally unfavorable toward Accordions: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/accordions-complex-content/.
We handed over some design work to a UI/UX designer and he came back recommending Accordions for data entry on phones. I was taken aback about this. This is mostly because there's no really well supported controls that work on iOS/Android and are compatible with each other. So, I have a bunch of questions. Are Accordions ever considered to be a valid UI choice on phones and desktop these days? What really is the major reason for the industry steering away from Accordions? If we built our own Accordion control, would this be too jarring for users that are not used to using Accordions on devices? Or, is it possible that the design community has arbitrarily moved away from Accordions when in fact, they are a good way of dividing up content? Are there any good Accordion controls for Android/iOS that are well supported?
PS: The thing to keep in mind is that this is a native app. This is not a Cordova app (HTML/CSS wrapped up in a Native App frame). We have to stick to controls which exist on the platform.