A Couple Twitter UX Ideas

Maybe I’m getting old, but I always feel like a lot of bad mobile design still exists out there (I’m looking at you most of iOS 10). These designs forget the size of the hand, the size of the device, and the size of the icons or elements a user needs to accurately touch. One of the apps I use the most, and irritates me the most, is Twitter.

Current Twitter mobile UI, can you hold your phone in your left hand and reach that weird quill? And why we’re at it why is it a quill?

I’m not Mr. Fantastic or Plastic Man, I can’t easily reach that quill icon (?) easily when I hold my phone in my left hand. And isn’t that how most of us interact with our phones? One handed and probably taking mass transportation or doing other things we really should be fully focused on? But no, we are tweeting and texting etc. So my first idea makes a simple swap of the two top icons.

A modest proposal, a simple switch of the top icons put the “tweet” icon closer to the user and replaces the quill with something a bit more common from an icon standpoint. But does it really help?

So this modest change helps some, based on my tests I can hit the new left top icon with my thumb easier than the current far right quill icon. But its still an awkward reach if we’re being honest. As a UI designer I definitely want to avoid doing anything that puts my user’s phone at greater risk of being dropped or stolen. I strive to allow a user to reach all the icons they need to reach and keep their phone firmly in their hand. And that brings us to the next idea.

A less modest proposal, let’s put a large tweet button right in the heart of the “thumb zone”.

Its a big button screaming TWEET and what’s wrong with that? Yes it has a much more standard pencil (the universal icon for edit) rather than a quill (yes, I have an issue with the quill, its weird when you think about it). And here is the important thing, I can add this large icon and make it easier for a user to add a tweet and we have lost minimal space and have ADDED functionality.

#Twitter doesn’t have a Medium account but I will share this page on Twitter and maybe they will consider my modest suggestions. I’d love to hear feedback from anyone if you are a Twitter user or a UX professional. Let me know.

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