I am building an app(for the phone), my dilemma is that am not sure whether I want to have landscape orientation or not.

Since by default we hold our phones in portrait mode, isn't the expectation to have in portrait mode more than the landscape mode? How often do people rotate their screens?

Also, though landscape mode increase the keyboard size and hence technically easy to input, many a times, the keyboard takes a lot of screen space and you miss the context in what you are replying, take for example whats app...if you want to reply to a question, you may want to see the question while replying.

Or not?

Any help on my dilemma?

  • 2
    So it's a communication app? I assume it is since you brought up WhatsApp as an example. Would be nice with some more context. – AndroidHustle Aug 25 '14 at 12:59
  • It's a project management app. WhatsApp was an example where in portrait mode works best for me in my experience. – Anirudh Aug 26 '14 at 7:18

I think being able to use landscape and portrait keyboards is a basic feature, and should be left to the user to decide what they prefer.

I know users that use scaled landscape keyboards exclusively by necessity, due to the size of their fingers. If you want to reach a wider range of body types, keep both keyboards. Especially if the app is heavily focused on using the keyboard.

  • Andrew, as a UX designer, landscape would call for a different approach and design and also use-cases to justify whether I absolutely need to provide landscape or not. Though input of data may be easy in landscape, the readability can be at stake. Now the contrary is if some one is using SWYPE keyboard, closer the keys better it is, in that case portrait is better. Or I am missing something? – Anirudh Aug 26 '14 at 7:23

I think the better question is...

Do your users want landscape mode?

The one thing I will suggest is having the ability to turn off auto-rotate so I can always be in portrait mode if I want and the users who want landscape can use landscape.

  • Thanks...yes that's indeed a better question. But the thing with users is if we ask they will say yes, so I am trying to find as to what decides whether they want or not and in what conditions? You mentioned ability to off auto-rotate...where will that be and how it will be implemented? Any examples of app where I can see how its done? – Anirudh Aug 26 '14 at 7:19

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