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I'm working on a simple iOS app, where majority of time user will answer yes or no questions one after other. It will look something like this:

question screenscrolling between questions

But I also want to add the menu with various options, which the user will access from time to time. If I didn't use horizontal scrolling between the question screens, I'd just use side menu, but with horizontal scroll it would feel very weird. I also thought of the menu scrolling out from the upper part of the screen, but that would duplicate system menu functionality. What's the best way to add menu for such an app?

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I would worry too much about the conflict with the system menu functionality (I assume you mean the "activity monitor" that is dragged down from the top).

A menu from the top would conflict in two ways that I can think of:
1) If the app's menu is open with a swipe action, it might clash with the iOS menu.
2) The similarity in placement, look and feel might cause confusion about which menu is which and what it affects.

To not need to worry about point 1, either:
a) Create a non-accessible swipe proxy (an area where your app ignores swiping) close to the upper edge so that the iOS menu and your app's menu has no overlapping swipe areas.
b) Open it with a button instead.

To not need to worry about point 2:
a) Make the menu appear "beneath" your main view (where the system's menu opens above). This would make it look and feel like the completely different thing it is, even though it has more or less the same positioning in the screen. Slide the main view down and reveal the menu.

Example:

enter image description here

About the arrows: If you feel they serve a purpose making the swiping more obvious, have them there and then fade them out after 1500 ms or so. That would give a hint but not ruin the experience. Or add some coach marks.

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I think a more user friendly way might be to use side swipes for back and next instead of the arrows, then you can use the swipe up or down gestures to introduce the menus. A very quick intro page at the start of your app should get the user comfortable with the idea. You can still build additional tips or have a persistent help icon if the user forgets.

  • Oh, of course it would support swipes — the arrows are there just to make it more obvious, but it's not the first time I get feedback about removing them altogether, thanks. "swipe up or down gestures to introduce the menus" — as I written in the question, but that would conflict with iOS system menus. – Max Yankov May 19 '14 at 7:47
  • Knowing what the rules are gives you the ability to break them when it doesn't make sense to apply them. You could either redesign the workflow and navigation so that you don't have to rely on a menu button for a lot of the functionality, or you adopt other UI controls to create a more fluent user experience. – Michael Lai May 19 '14 at 22:20

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