Quite often, mobile apps have a 3-6 step "slideshow" tutorial/onboarding in the beginning. The user can slides through it by swiping or just choose to skip it.

Some initial user research that I have done for a mobile app has been showing that many users try to tap these screens to move to the next step. Is there any reason why not to use tapping also as an interaction for moving to the next step in the slide show?

I'm assuming not, but curious to hear if someone has a case against this.

2 Answers 2


Yes, there are at least 2 good reasons

  1. If you any interactive elements in the body (even an IOS-style ellipsis °°° navigator) it can be confusing to users to "tap on interactive elements, but tap anywhere else to move to the next slide".

  2. Users often tap accidentally on mobile devices, so if you decide to do this, make sure you provide a back button of some kind for users to go back if they press accidentally.

#1 and #2 help explain why swipe actions are so popular with slide tutorials: they avoid unintentional taps and also are less likely to be confused with other interactive tap elements onscreen.

Although it's just one data point, I have measured this tap-to-advance interaction once before and found that a pretty high percentage of reading (as opposed to skimming) users did use the back button for whatever reason.... Maybe some users like to skim and then go back.

My suggestion would be, if you have interactive elements inside the tutorial then avoid tap-to-advance, but if you don't it may be effective if you can provide a decent navigation UX for for the user to move backwards on accidental taps.

  • 1
    Thank you thoster. I can't quite yet vote up, but like your answer!
    – happyuxer
    May 18, 2015 at 3:33

It's a tough question because it depends on a lot of things within your app. Things such as overall UX, UI elements and UI interaction you support today. Is there a wizard teaching your users design patterns of your app (eg. swipe to get to the next step in the wizard for example) and so on...

Assumption #1

If you do provide some sort of a wizard (animation perhaps) that teaches your app users to "swipe" the screen in order to go back and forth between the steps, then you could drop support for "tap" interaction.

Assumption #2

If such wizard does NOT exist in your app and your usability testing shows a good number of people using both "tap" and "swipe", then this is your answer and you need to support both.

If you do end up supporting both interactions, to Tohster's point, you would need to make sure to place your CTA (call to action) or any other interactive UI elements in each screen of your onboarding/tutorial process flow in a such way so they won't compete with each other and your main content area which supports "swipe" and "tap" interactions.

  • Thank you! Sorry I can't vote up quite yet but like your answer
    – happyuxer
    May 18, 2015 at 3:32

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