In a mobile swipe interface in which we can have 2 actions from the user: "Don't care" / "Like", it seems deciding and swiping in a direction left/right takes some cognitive load, forces the user to decide.

Would it be better if we let the user to swipe anywhere to dismiss a card and add a like button if they like the card.

Or just standardly make the user dismiss the card on left and like the card on right swipe?


2 Answers 2


The cognitive load is not the issue here. The main issue is findability and learnability and amount of repetition. If the interaction is not familiar to user, it has to be learned and memorized. And if the target group is not mobile enthusiasts and designers / developers it will need to be learned.

If there are good enough hints to let users find the interaction, then you need good enough hints to show them what will happen when lift finger from screen, and let them also cancel action.

If the action is something to be repeated several times, like sorting stack of cards to two piles like voting (hot) (not) or cleaning up todo lists (done) (not done), I would go with swipe. If the actions are not pairs, like (next) and (like) I would make like separate button or selecting the item instead of swiping.

Swipe directions- for left handed person swiping from right to left is slightly more convenient. I'd make default action and positive action to be from right to left, and not default or destructive actions from left to right.

Also one option is to use up/down instead --> better mapping with good/bad.


The swipe left / right pattern is set by Todo list apps(e.g. Clear), email clients (Apple mail, mailbox), and other apps like Tinder.

Is there is a standard, I'd say that swipe to left signifies destructive/negative behavior and swipe to right signifies a positive behavior. To keep such standard, swipe anywhere to dismiss a card breaks the pattern. However, adding a button may be more intuitive since in many cases wipe left/right behavior has to be taught.

  • i am more concerned about the cognitive load of deciding if the card is good or bad. if the user just swipes anywhere to make it dissapear, its easy. if we ask them specifically to swipe left to dislike, right to like, than there is a small decision to make in every content, which makes browsing more of a hustle. feel free to edit my original question if it wasn't clear enough
    – Esqarrouth
    Jun 15, 2015 at 18:07
  • Based on your options and main concerns for cognitive load. Swipe anywhere to dismiss/dislike with static "like button" seems to be the best option. (Given that user are educated with the actions and the "like" action will be a less common action, and therefore the "like button" will be harder to perform than swipe anywhere on mobile). If you think the users will "like" more, I'd make swipe anywhere to like and a separate interactive (button tap) to dismiss.
    – Poyi
    Jun 15, 2015 at 18:14

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