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Currently, I'm design a stock market widget. The widget is pretty much analogy to GMail widget as both of them contains multiple profiles.

GMail widget is giving user to choose 1 out of multiple folders (Inbox, Outbox, ...)

Stock market widget is giving user to choose 1 out of multiple watchlists.

Step 1 : Let user to choose

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Step 2: Show user what he choose. The choice is fixed and can no longer be changed.

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I was wondering, why don't GMail widget designed in such a way, once the widget is placed, user is still having ability to switch (through left/right swipe?) among different folders? Is there any technical reason, or UI/UX design consideration behind?

I refer to many stock market widget in current Google Play Store. I realize, none of them provide ability to let users change watchlists on the fly, once the widget is placed.

I was wondering, what is the real reason behind such design?

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    my best guess is a widget by nature is supposed to be a subset of the functionality of the larger program – VoronoiPotato Jan 27 '14 at 18:44
  • The control to switch can't be left/right swipe since that would switch between home windows. But yes, it would be quite possible to implement another action, like a dropdown spinner. – abhinavc Feb 2 '14 at 21:19
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The biggest reason is probably simplicity. As VoronoiPotato commented, widgets are only supposed to be a subset of the functionality of the main program. If a widget had all of the functionality that the main app did, it would create a lot of clutter on the homescreen, and it could be confusing to a user. The purpose of widgets is to show at a glance information—not replicate the full functionality of the app on the home screen.

Additionally, the extra clutter makes the homescreen less user friendly and less attractive to the every-day user, which is not worth it to the average user who would rarely switch folders on the fly.

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