I'm making an iPad app that, for our purposes here, runs a slideshow and has a settings panel to configure the various slides.

The app uses various templates for the slides and as such must have an editor for each slide. I was using a UITableView for the editors, and offering UITextFields and such for the individual settings. I decided that I wanted the editors to look like the actual slides. (A slide with an editable label, for example, instead of the Table View.)

My problem is twofold.

Firstly, the keyboard covers up half of the slide when it's being edited. Secondly, there are some settings that need to be dealt with as well which aren't visually represented by objects on the slide. (Show AM or PM or none.)

How would you go about designing the editor, (for a clock, for example,) where the editor takes up the entire screen?

How would you deal with problem of the large keyboard?

  • 2
    I'd shrink the slide, then have it zoom in as you click on editable areas. – DA01 Jan 10 '11 at 6:37
  • @DA01 - technically speaking, how so? (UIScrollView? UIView animation?) – Moshe Jan 10 '11 at 15:31
  • 3
    @Moshe - if you've got a technical question then post it on Stack Overflow, you should know how the system works by now ;) – ChrisF Jan 10 '11 at 15:53
  • @ChrisF - I know. I was asking for it in a comment, not an answer. An answer, which, this question still sorely lacks. – Moshe Jan 10 '11 at 19:25
  • I would answer if I had something constructive to add... – ChrisF Jan 10 '11 at 19:27

Regarding the layout and the presence of the keyboard, you have a couple of options. The first is to try to ensure that the lower part of the interface is partially covered by the keyboard so that the user can see that there is something to scroll down to. This is the "fixing imperfection" pattern where a person feels like they can fix the imperfection by scrolling the rest of the ui into view.

The second option is to programatically play with the keyboard and bring in custom keys that pertain to your editor. A Done key instead of return might be advantageous, for example.

If you can though, keep the focus out of typing fields when possible so that the keyboard doesnt appear. I do like the idea of shrinking the slide so the user can see it all, and consider zooming into fields when they get focus.

  • iOS supports multiple keyboard "enter" button types natively, so that's not an issue. Thanks for your input! – Moshe Jan 11 '11 at 19:10

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