I'm working on a sharing flow for an iOS Mobile App where the user will be gifting something to up to 10 different people. Those people could be contacts stored in Contacts, Facebook friends, Twitter, etc.

I'm trying to understand whether a combined flow (e.g. select and combine different types of formats, such as email, text, FB all with the same SEND button) is more effective than using separate interactions for each type of contact. What intuitively works better?

  • I guess a user wants to share content with people, and doesn't really care what medium is used. The app would ideally present an overview list of people + one medium to send the content over as suggestion. The user would then have the chance to adjust the medium for certain people and tap the send button. A priority order of mediums could be user-adjustable in the settings of your app. If you want to go really fancy, keep track of which medium is actually chosen and suggest the most used per person.
    – CodeManX
    Commented Oct 17, 2014 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


A combined list works well as all the choices can be selected in a single view. However, users may want choose the network to use so I would supplement this by identifying the network each contact will be using. Another thing to be wary of is that the merged lists may be exhaustively long and littered with multiple duplicates (contacts that exist in multiple networks).

A separate list to select from imparts additional steps if the user wishes to choose contacts that reside in different networks. But may help the user with searching as it acts as a filter. Users would most likely know where contact A can be found, and wouldn't have to sift through a large merged list.

Side note: the app can acquire permission for the phone contacts upon installation. However for Facebook and Twitter they require the user to do it within the app. Unsure if you plan to ask/require from the start, but I feel that the separate list layout may be better suited to persuade the user into adding their social network contacts.

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