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I am working on an Android app, which has two major flows:

  • One where user looks at a feed of items, and chooses to click on any of them
  • Or when user wants to enter/edit their personal information.

I am planning to implement these flows in UX by providing two tabs on the top (e.g. Feed | Profile), and user can laterally swipe to navigate between those two tabs.

Question: Is this the right pattern? Because user spends most of their time (hopefully) on Feed, and he/she should rarely go into their Profile. Is it still worth showing "Profile" on the home page (main activity)?

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TLDR: Tabs might not be the best approach to your problem


When should you use tabs?

Tabs are usually more suitable for displaying different category of content that are of similar nature.

Example from Google Play Music App enter image description here

Notice the layout and content may differ, however each tab are still essentially dealing with various aspects of listening to their music library.

When it comes to the user profile, your user is no longer reading content. Data entry is a completely separate type of workflow. So it does not belong in a tab menu with your feed.


So what's a good place to put the user profile?

Profile icon on the app bar at the top is a possibility.

e.g.

enter image description here

Tapping on the icon can open the user's profile.

If the profile is something that the user edits once in a blue moon. You may even consider putting it into the navigational drawer.

e.g

enter image description here

The drawer does have the possibility of being undiscoverable. So if user profile info is something you need/is recommended prior to the user using the app. I would recommend having a setup wizard that directs them to fill this out.

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    This is a interesting explanation of why tabs might not be the solution. Thanks! – user462455 Mar 11 '16 at 21:17
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Hard to say if it is right or not. I think it would definitely be one way to do it. Swipe tabs are a known pattern on touch devices, so it would be easy to handle for your users, which is a plus. I don't know if it is much of a problem that your users will usually be on the feed panel, except for that you'd maybe lose a fair amount of screen space to something that could be hidden in a smaller menu icon for example, which for me should be working just as good.

So maybe you should ask your self if the additional screen space is enough of a reason to decide for something else.

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