I'm having a bit of an internal debate over which navigation pattern is more suitable for use on the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch enables you to use

a) Hierarchical navigation - a list of items that link to a detail page, swiping left->right, or tapping top left chevron will take you back to the list page

b) Paged navigation - Swipe horizontally to navigate through a group of items like a stack of cards. Scrolling down on a card could show the extra details.

Advantages of a) - You can use the digital crown to prevent covering the interface - New users to the watch will become familiar more quickly if they already use another iOS device - Faster to skim a list than scroll through several cards.

Advantages of b) - Improved legibility as generally less information on screen at once - Fewer accidental touches - Can trigger any context sensitive actions (force touch) without needing to go to details.

Any other strong arguments for either case?

1 Answer 1


It depends on the kind of information you want to display in the app. The Human Interface Guideline for Apple Watch clearly states:

Page-based navigation is best suited for a flat collection of information in which all items are peers.

Example - Weather for different but limited number of locations.

Hierarchical navigation is best suited for master-detail interfaces or for presenting a navigable list of options.

Example - A to-do list.

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