I am working on an iOS applications using SceneKit. That means the main screen contains a simple 3d scene, with various small objects in it. The main interaction from the user is dragging and "throwing" these objects around.

The only button that is displayed by default is a plus button in the bottom of the screen. It opens a list for the user to pick new objects from. However there also must be an option to modify/delete objects already in the scene.

They way I was thinking about is using a long press gesture. Holding an objects for let's say 1 second would show a small panel in the bottom of the screen with options to modify color etc. The problem with this is that most of the interaction is already done through dragging, and a long press would often cancel the drag gesture before the user decides what to do.

Another option would be to have alternative interaction modes. If the user clicked on Delete button, clicking on objects would delete them as long as he doesn't turn it off. Same way opening color palette and choosing color, then clicking on objects would paint them.

I am very new to UI and UX design, so I would like any tips how you might solve this problem. My focus is to leave as much of the screen as possible for the 3d scene, and show UI elements only when necessary.

  • You could definitely implement the use of 3D Touch and use pressure to your advantage. If the pressure sensitivity is high, bring in the list to do the other action. If it's low sensitivity, do not trigger the other action and proceed with dragging. View documentation here: developer.apple.com/ios/3d-touch – Swapnil Borkar Oct 31 '15 at 14:05

In case of new iOS devices, you can apply 3D Touch action to reveal a context menu containing needed options.

For older devices you could introduce double-tap instead of 3D Touch. This solution has some cons, though, since in iOS double-tap is used mostly for zooming in. Also, I don't know, what kind of objects would you put in the scene, so I can't predict if double-tapping them will be accurate. However, this seems the best idea for me, as new devices are being slowly introduced and, as time passes by, 3D Touch may become a default.

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