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Mobile Navigation
Chris Reckling    

Why, yes, we HAVE been busy since Lotusphere! One of the things we talked about was a new, improved app for IBM Connections. As you know, the Connections apps are available today for Android phones, Blackberry, and iOS phones and iPad. This post discusses that navigation pattern and how it will evolve in the near future.

For the iPad release, we introduced a new navigation pattern, which lets you quickly get to the content you want, by drilling down. For example, the figure below shows going from the list of apps to the Files app, then to the list of files in that view. The left navigation is replaced with each subsequent level and the content detail appears on the right (currently in a webview). Moving back and forth is straightforward and understandable and all of the Connections services behave the same way.
Image:Mobile Navigation

On the phone form factor, in Connections 3.0.x apps, the Home screen was represented as an icon grid. Tapping on an icon brought you directly to that service and navigation from there was internal on that page via a drop down menu.
Image:Mobile Navigation
Early on in our design process, we were going to stick with the tile navigation, but decided to go with something more modern and suitable to how the app will be used. The problem with this style navigation in Connections is that different customers deploy different services; therefore, the number of tiles ranges from 2-9. In addition, we found that on Android, due to different size screens, that the layout was not consistent from device to device. (In fact, in the Lotusphere demo, there were 2 rows of 4 and one row of 1 instead of the desired 3x3 grid.) This presentation on Slideshare even talks about the death of the icon grid. :) Finally, we have a requirement for customers to customize and add their own links to the home page, so that sealed the deal for removing the icons.

If you've been paying attention so far, you can guess where this is going, right? Combine the best that is in the iPad design with the best that is on the phone! On both form factors, we want to use the list as the home navigation of the apps in Connections, but skip the view navigation (as seen above on the iPad) and go straight to the content (as seen above on the phone). To navigate to other views in the app, pull down on the 'windowshade'. Thus, it looks like this (sorry, screenshots got a bit messed up in translation - look better on the device):

Image:Mobile Navigation
You go straight to your content on the device, but still have the option to switch views from within that context. We feel this gives you the best ability to have direct access to your content, understand how to navigate around the app consistently, and get to all of the features available in Connections.

A lot of apps, including some of our own, use tabs to switch views. We started to do that but many of the Connections services have a lot of views, so that did not scale well. Typically, if your app has 4-5 views, it is better to use tabs to switch views. See below, in the Sametime example.
Image:Mobile Navigation

That's it for now - tell us about your mobile app strategies or put links in the comments.

Chris Reckling

Apr 02, 2012
66 hits

Recent Blog Posts

Sametime A/V in the Cloud
Tue, Oct 21st 2014 3:25p   Chris Reckling
Sametime Chat in the cloud now supports video on the iPad and audio on the iPhone! I called product manager, Marc Pagnier today - I think he was logged in from the web client actually. Now you can log into SmartCloud directly with your user name/password and have access to audio and video. Here's my live screenshot from today. Picture quality gets adjusted based on bandwidth. Enjoy! Chris [read] Keywords: ldd lotus sametime iphone password

Connections Mobile Tip of the Day
Fri, Oct 17th 2014 3:45p   Chris Reckling
Here's something you may have missed in the little introductory pop-ups when you first log in to the Connections mobile app. We have a new feature, called Favorites, that let's you, the user, add a link to almost anything in the app to the left navigation. This let's you quickly get back to a community, file, forum, or person that you frequently open on mobile. Rather than navigate to a list of Communities and then scrolling to the one you want, make it a Favorite. Here's the trick (yes, [read] Keywords: connections ldd lotus community mobile

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Fri, May 9th 2014 2:25p   Chris Reckling
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Sametime Meetings app for iOS Updated
Mon, Apr 21st 2014 3:25p   Chris Reckling
Today IBM released an update to the Sametime Meetings app. This release updates the UI to be more in line with iOS 7 guidelines. Check it out. When we started this process, we decided to go for a lighter, friendlier tone than before. Here is what the main entrance screen looks like now - what we call the 'lobby'. From here you can launch straight into your meeting room. And once you are in a room, you can focus on the content at hand for the meeting. This screen shot shows the slide vi [read] Keywords: ibm ldd lotus sametime apple mobile

Update from Connect 2014
Wed, Jan 29th 2014 8:42a   Chris Reckling
Orlando, FL, also known as Lake Buena Vista, or on my phone location as Bay Lake...Wednesday morning, January 29. It's hump day at IBM Connect - that means the Wednesday night party happened on Tuesday this year at the Hollywood Studios. Everything is turned around! It's been great meeting customers and friends from over the years both in the hallways and in our Design Studio on site in Asia 4. If you are at Connect and haven't made it to the lab, then why not today?? Most people enjoy spendi [read] Keywords: collaboration connections ibm ldd lotus sametime mobile vista

Visit the Design Studio at IBM Connect
Fri, Jan 10th 2014 5:22p   Chris Reckling
IBM Connect is just around the corner - yikes! Once again, the user experience and info management teams will have a lab in Asia 4, to the left of the elevators to the partner showcase - also known as, 'the same place as the previous years'. IBM Design Thinking is a big emphasis for us this year and indeed, across all of IBM. We will have a number of activities in the studio for you to participate in, as well as the usual one on one feedback sessions we typically do. I will be speaking on W [read] Keywords: connections ibm ldd lotus mobile


Sametime 9 Chat App for Android
Mon, Nov 18th 2013 3:42p   Chris Reckling
Getting a jump on things, last Friday the Sametime Chat app for Android was updated for Sametime 9. The new apps add audio and video chats so now you can easily move from text chatting to a richer communication mode. Congratulations to Tyler (our designer) and the dev team for getting this out to the market. Here are a couple of screenshots of the app for tablets and phones. Dare I note that you must be running Sametime 9 with the appropriate server pieces enabled? You can try it if you ha [read] Keywords: ibm ldd lotus sametime google server wiki

Connections Mobile 4.5 Now Available
Tue, Nov 5th 2013 11:02a   Chris Reckling
November 5. Today IBM released updates to the Connections app for Apple iOS and Google Android. This update primarily adds support for Connections Content Manager, an alternate file database available in communities. The other features worth noting are an indicator for when the device loses the network connection and support for Mobile Iron on iOS. In these examples, the Connections Content Manager (CCM) is being used inside a community on the Greenhouse. It adds features to your file sharin [read] Keywords: connections ibm ldd lotus apple community database google mobile network

Connections Mobile 4.4 Now Available
Tue, Oct 1st 2013 8:22a   Chris Reckling
Last Friday, IBM released updates to the Connections mobile apps for Android and iOS. The main new features include a much better Media Gallery and Wikis experience. (Android already had the wikis done, so this part is only new on iOS.) Here are a couple of screens to give you an idea of what it's like. It's a much more immersive experience than we've done before and works well in both tablet and phone form factors. Tapping on a picture brings it full screen with a slider at the bottom (or [read] Keywords: connections ibm ldd lotus iphone mobile wiki

IBM Connections + IBM Docs Mobile = A Match
Sun, Jul 21st 2013 4:02p   Chris Reckling
Exciting news! You can now access IBM Docs on your iPad from within the Connections app. You can create and edit documents and view spreadsheets or presentations created with IBM Docs on the desktop. All of the files stay within the Connections app on the device, which removes the worry about information being sent to other apps and potentially to an insecure place. To get started, you will need to download and update the Connections iOS app from the Apple App Store. Then log in to either IB [read] Keywords: connections ibm ldd lotus apple desktop mobile

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