I am wondering if anyone has experience with designing a zoom in/out control slider and if they know what the best possible position for them is? Is it the best user experience to have it horizontal or vertical on the canvas?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  • My first thought was horizontal, to avoid confusion with scrolling, which is much more often vertical... unless it's A/V, then you're moving the timeline... Why don't you sketch it both ways, show it to a couple of people and ask them what the slider probably does? Otherwise the mouse-wheel and a hot key are often used to zoom... and of course pinch on a touch screen.
    – InkyDigits
    May 18, 2016 at 17:18
  • Thats good advice! I think based off of what you mentioned above and after doing some designs it makes more sense to offer the vertical zoom control vs the horizontal. Thanks!
    – Mike
    May 18, 2016 at 17:37
  • Just another thought - if your app is being designed for smartphones and/or tablets and it can be used in either portrait or landscape, then you may also consider having the slider alternate between both horizontal and vertical positions depending on how the user is using the app. Of course this gets down to what your app is for - but this behaviour has been used in a number of popular apps.
    – Monomeeth
    May 18, 2016 at 23:42

1 Answer 1


I don't think there is any best practice. I find more natural a vertical slider to zoom, with down direction for zooming-in and up direction for zooming out.

It seems to me more natural probably because in google maps the user scrolls-down to zoom in (and so many other maps websites) and the same gesture is used to scroll-down in documents and websites. So they created a new conceptual connection between down and zoom in.

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