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

enter image description here

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

enter image description here

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?

  • 2
    my best guess is a widget by nature is supposed to be a subset of the functionality of the larger program Jan 27, 2014 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, 2014 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.