I am building a doodling app and I would like the user to be able to scroll the page and doodling with their finger.

I presume I must use buttons for the user to be able to switch between doodling and scrolling, however, I would be interested to know if there are any other solutions that may be better.

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a. My solution was to simply have the pen and eraser tool be available to use, but by default the scrolling would be the primary interaction. Which is not ideal as I would like the user to interact with the page first by doodling on the page (not scrolling).

b. I run into the issue that if the user has pen tool (doodling) as their primary interaction, they won't realize that there is a way to scroll as well (unless they tap on the pen tool to clear the selection)

Any thoughts on this.. Is there a better solution?

Thank you.

  • Just have a "hand" tool which lets the user "grab" the page to scroll around. As one of 3 tools, it would be more obvious that scrolling is a feature than if it happened in the "no tools selected" state, and lets you select the pen tool by default.
    – Wolfie
    Mar 3, 2021 at 8:43
  • Don't forget to implement an undo/redo button too, this allows to play around a bit to figure things out.
    – jazZRo
    Mar 4, 2021 at 9:25

3 Answers 3


Consider this pattern: use one finger for doodling, use two fingers to move the canvas around. A lot of drawing programs work this way, which would make it a familiar pattern to those who have used similar apps.


I guess both your point a and b make sense. My suggested workflow

I would suggest to add another pointer tool to indicate that the user can go into no-tool-selected mode and scroll down if he want.

Additionally, it might be a good idea to use double tap to toggle between the pen and the eraser tool since most of the drawing softwares provide that option.


It can be a selection between 3 modes: pencil, eraser and hand. Hand would be used for scrolling.

Possible shortcut for power-users: Scroll with two fingers in pencil/eraser mode.

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