Consider this: You enter the Phone app on your Android device. You find the contact you want to call using search. You successfully call that contact from the search results. After a 15min call, you end the conversation and hang up by pressing the End Call button. Where do you expect to land after ending the call?

  1. Back to the originating search results in the Phone app
  2. To the Recents Calls list in the Phone app
  3. To the Favorites/Frequents Tab in the Phone app
  4. To the device's Home screen

I want to hear your guy's thoughts on this. It's been an open question of mine for a while now.

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    Personally, I expect to end up back at my phone's home screen after ending a call. Out of the options you gave me, though, taking the user back to where they were prior to the call (the search results) seems to make the most sense. – denveruxer May 24 '16 at 20:48
  • Why does it make the most sense? I'm trying to uncover some of the resonsing. I will add "Home screen" as an option – Aaron James May 24 '16 at 20:55

It really depends on the path user has followed to dial a number. Logically one should be kept at the point where they have left before dialing.

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It's good to bring people back to where they were before they started a task. This means the homescreen (task = make phone call), and the search screen (task = call a specific person) are good end positions.

You can argue that going to the recent calls makes it easy to re-dial in case you forgot something. However, that phone number should also be listed in the search screen. So why go to an different screen?

Going to the favorites tab makes slightly more sense. If you call someone you might want to call another person to tell them the same info. However, you'd likely start with those in your favorites as those are easier to reach. So going to the search screen implies other persons you want to call are not in the favorites tab.

That gives us two (well, three) options. Either you put the user back to the phone screen they were before the call (be it faves, be it search) and consider calls a series of tasks. Or you consider each call a separate task, and you revert to the launch screen.

I think going to the launch screen might be easier to implement (only 1 sort of ending to program), but it will add some extra actions between each call. Then again, how often do you call multiple persons after another, versus just one person? That's something you'd have to test.

Alternatively, make it an option? (although testing is still beneficial, to figure out the default setting)

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  • Some solid logic here for me to consider. I guess it comes down to me defining what I consider a task; either each phone call (multiple tasks in one session) or the act of going to dialer to make calls (one task). I do have some data around how many calls are made per session. It's ~1-2 per session depending on if the initial call was successful or not. There may be a hybrid solution we're not considering too. Example: If the first call was unsuccessful, take the user back to search results. If the call is successful, take user to home screen if call is longer than 5min else to favorites tab. – Aaron James May 24 '16 at 21:51
  • NVM, that hybrid solution is no good. Scrap that. haha. – Aaron James May 24 '16 at 21:59

I think you should consider this question not just in the context of doing a search and making the call, but also how this fits into the rest of the interactions/behaviours for the app.

So think about if you want your users to have the same experience if they weren't searching in the contact list but were on the home screen and received a call. Think about if they were searching in the contact list and received a call.

Not only should you consider the logic of the specific interaction, but also think about the rest of the interactions and test whether it also makes sense to make them consistent, or if you have good reasons to make them different.

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  • Fair point. The flow may change depending on the path the user took to completing the call. I will need to consider this aspect when putting together my spec. #highfive – Aaron James May 24 '16 at 22:38

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