I've recently designed a new Android Application for a theme park.

According to Android Design Guidelines:

If your app uses action bar tabs, use swipe to navigate between the different views.

Problem is that my different views contains elements that require both vertical and horizontal touches to interact with them (for example a tab with a mapview).

Also specified in the Guidelines are:

Use tabs if:

  • You expect your app's users to switch views frequently.

  • You want the user to be highly aware of the alternate views.

There are some screenshots of the design:

Start screen Map screen Info screen

As you can see, both the start screen and the info screen requires the user the be able to scroll horizontally which breaks the 'swiping between screens' functionality.

Should i disable the swiping between screens in favor of interacting with views or what is your suggestions?

  • I can understand how the map screen requires horizontal scrolling, but how does the Start screen? It just appears to be a header image with a list of vertical items below.
    – JonW
    Sep 20, 2012 at 7:50
  • The start screen has a "carousel of images" with swipe-to-change functionality
    – Richard
    Sep 20, 2012 at 8:09

2 Answers 2


You should offer bezel swipe here, meaning:

  • When dragging your finger horizontally within the screen, treat this as panning/swiping within the tab contents (e.g. panning a map).

  • When dragging your finger from the side of the screen (from the bezel), treat this as changing tabs.

This is already recognized behavior in Chrome for Android, and is the default behavior when developers use the ViewPager standard widget for horizontally paged content.


I don't think tabs are appropriate for your app. Looking at the views you presented they are not really multiple views of the same data, and not something I think users need to rapidly switch back and forth between.

It looks like you are using tabs more as a form of navigation, which would be better handled by the Action Bar. http://developer.android.com/design/patterns/actionbar.html

There are only 4 items in your nav, so using tabs is overcomplicating matters.

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