Nate Cavanaugh is a designer/developer located in Southern California. He is the Director of User Interface for Liferay, Inc. His opinions here are his own, and not his bosses. Sometimes sane employees have crazy ideas.


UI Phone Home

Aza recently posted about the problem with the home button on many modern touch devices. I empathize with the problem he mentions as I oftentimes find myself nervously hitting the home button when trying to get to the root of my current mental context (which is the application).

However, I can’t say I agree with his proposed solution (and it seems many of the commenters on his post have the same issue with it that I do). The camera model, for me at least, doesn’t really work because I actually find the autofocus button on modern camera’s to be mentally taxing. I seem to find myself hovering on the press of the button, hoping I don’t accidentally press too hard and spend more thought in the actual action of dealing with the machine rather than focused on the shot I’m using the machine to capture.

The other aspect I dislike about this model is that it requires a hardware change for something I think can be a software change.

There seem to be 2 issues that are mentioned in his post:

1. users accidentally pressing home to jump to the application home
2. an easier way navigate backwards and forward in our navigation timeline

Rather than overloading the Home button (which is already used for multiple purposes, such as going to the home screen of the phone, jumping to spotlight, …

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