For reading purposes on mobile devices, what is the way to go? Paging or scrolling? If I want to give the reader the option of a scroll, should the controls for that be on-screen or in a menu?

  • Are you including the BlackBerry with a touchpad, because that should definitely just scroll. – Roger Attrill Aug 5 '11 at 14:55
  • The app is more focused on Android and iPhones. But that's a good point, thank you! – hidrees Aug 5 '11 at 15:18

It is becoming commonplace to offer both options to the user (why not?). Instapaper has an option to switch between the two, and Float has both navigation controls enabled simultaneously.

  • Thanks for those links! Float has a great instruction screen too. Currently, my app allows "swipe" or "flings" as well as "tapping", but I don't know if that's helpful or just one too many ways to do it. The instruction screen also gets cluttered if I tell them how to use each method of reading. – hidrees Aug 5 '11 at 17:46

Scrolling + "Load More"

Paging on a mobile divice is frustrating. Tapping still is still inaccurate, though most have gotten the hang of it. But if they are reading through 10 pages, chances are they will have trouble pressing the button 2-3 times. Also, if the information is being pulled via the web, they must reload the pages assets which takes a while for safari to render. Further more, it breaks their cognitive flow, though just for a moment, can make then move onto something else.

Now you dont want to load it all at once either I assume, and scrolling through that would be nice. So if you just load 20 at a time and then have a large "load more" button, people can keep reading.

Scrolling, and navigating through a lot of info is a main part of any app, and I strongly urge you, whatever you choose, not to put it into a menue.

  • The content is all loaded up on the device before hand, so it's really a decision between allowing all kinds of scrolling or picking one. Wither either choice, how should the instructions be displayed to reduce confusion? – hidrees Aug 5 '11 at 17:44
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    In that case, just let them scroll till the content is done. – jonshariat Aug 5 '11 at 17:55

Information Architects did an article on Scroll vs Card on the iPad, and while it's not all relevant to mobile, it's a fantastic read regardless, and is doubtless helpful. See http://www.informationarchitects.jp/en/ipad-scroll-or-card/

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