iPhone X Reveals the Pros and Cons of Gestures
The most radical interface change on the iPhone X is the disappearance of the familiar Home button, which frees up a lot of space for a larger display. But the loss of the Home button means that Apple had to replace its functions with a variety of new gestures. Raluca Budiu of the Nielsen Norman Group explores the interface challenges that gestures face, including discoverability, memorability, and swipe ambiguity. Although Budiu identifies some areas where Apple’s approach with the iPhone X stumbles, she praises the Home line as a reminder of the iPhone X’s new gestural needs. If you have or are getting an iPhone X, it’s worth reading this piece to understand how it changes the iPhone user experience.
Budiu needs to proofread her article. In the discussion of gestures for app and page switching, "swipe left" and "swipe right" appear to have been interchanged, which puzzled me (I thought maybe I was misremembering which gesture was which). Then in the paragraph about the new "Done" on-screen button to stop app-delete mode, Budiu says the button is in the upper left corner while the accompanying screen shot shows it in the upper right. Doesn't invalidate the critique of the X UI changes, but sure confuses the hell out of me when I try to replicate Budiu's described results.
The home button was a great and intuitive way to use the phone. And it gave nice tactile feedback. That's a lot to give up.
Could the camera have gone on the bottom? Offset to one side? I don't know if that's possible, but if so it would have allowed retaining a (smaller) home button at the bottom center in a solid bar with the camera on one side and sensors on the other. No more notch. The earpiece could technically be on the top frame, I've seen that on other phones. No idea if it works well.