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I've been working on a mobile game and I'd like to know your opinion on the usability. The game must be played in landscape mode but the other screens such as menus/home screens have a listview and I'd like to enforce de user to change the orientation when displaying the menu screen - to avoid a lot of scroll and to show more information in the portrait mode.

Do you think that is better to keep all screens in landscape mode? This way the user doesn't need to rotate the mobile device but losing screen space. Or can I enforce the menu be displayed in portrait mode and when the user goes to the actual game screen force him to rotate his device since the game is works in landscape mode?

Thanks in advance for any help you are able to provide.

  • How many options do you have in your menu list? If it's necessary for your menu to be displayed in portrait mode, maybe you have too many options. – Savv Mar 21 '16 at 14:17
  • It is a dynamic list containg the challange other gamers sent. Like songpop f.e, this image: cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/… lh3.googleusercontent.com/… – petter castro Mar 21 '16 at 14:28
  • How complex are the list items? Could you possibly do two rows or would that be overwhelming? – Jan Mar 21 '16 at 15:32
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I would not advise to force a view in portrait mode when the game is running on landscape. This is can rather frustration to expect to using to flip their phone when browsing the menu (how often do you expect this to happen?).

I would create my design to be friendly to horizontal scrolling and horizontal pagination.

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  • Is it physically possible to play your game with one hand? e.g., while standing on a bus, carrying bags, walking the dog? If so then flipping orientations will annoy users and lead to dropped phones.
  • Does the game require fast-paced responses? If so, the time between when the user has made their menu selection and when they've gotten the phone back to horizontal mode will be punishing.
  • Does your menu have hierarchy, context, or a closed / limited set of options? If any of those is true then I can see benefits to having all the options visible at once. If it's a long list of items / friends / etc, then users will probably have to scroll anyway and it's not worth requiring the shift.
  • Finally, try implementing your menu in landscape format and see whether scrolling it actually feels inconvenient.
  • Actually the game must be played with two hands, and there is no fast-paced response since it is a turn based game. This is why I thought the user could flip the phone, but as you said it can be really annoying. For now, I will try to keep everything in landscape mode as @Daniel-Zahra and you suggested. Thanks. – petter castro Mar 21 '16 at 16:05

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