Ground rules for implementing slider in mobile applications

By: Deepu Balan    |    In: Web Design       

There is no dearth of mobile applications in the app stores, however, only a few of them are able to create a buzz and others get flopped. Thus, if you are interested in creating a surefire application that goes viral upon its release, you must focus over its superior functions, and intuitive and impressive visual appeal.

As far as, the design patterns are concerned, there are several options available in the market. While diving deep into the topic, you will observe that there is an overwhelming list of options for each UI element. Thus, it is advisable to streamline your choice by considering the prime goals of your app. In this article, I will unleash various styles of slider that can be integrated in a mobile application while enhancing its overall look and feel, and tips for a better approach.

Significance of Integrating Sliders

A slider can add to the intuitiveness of an application, as it augments the user interaction with an app. A well implemented slider not only makes the app intriguing, but it also facilitates users to precisely enter a value within a specific range. Sliders offer an ultimate way to interact on touchscreens while consuming a little screen space and are easily accessible.

However, unfortunately, getting sliders wrong is quite easy and this can frustrate your users and thus, impact your app success. Therefore, it is imperative to have an insight into different types of sliders and their implementation in mobile apps.

Let’s explore various types of sliders.

sliders in mobile apps
You can scrutinize the sliders broadly into two categories, including single sliders and dual sliders. Single sliders are viable for seeking one value from users and dual sliders are ideal for restricting search filters and form values to a particular range. Both these types of sliders can support either continuous adjustments or discrete adjustments.

The continuous adjustments can be defined as intermediate values in a range. That is, it allows user to choose a transitional value via the slider with a flair; for example, when you want users to input their budget via a slider, continuous adjustments will offer a great solution. On the contrary, if you want to offer an option to choose a value from a predefined set, the discrete adjustments make a viable choice. It represents value within the predefined increments; for instance, giving an option to choose the clothing size, (or shoe size) via a slider.

Pitfalls Related To Sliders And Tips To Triumph Over Them

A slider can be blissful or hateful, it all depends upon the way it has been implemented. Here is a list of helpful tips to prevail the issues that are quite common with sliders in mobile.

1. Provide the actual range instead of arbitrary values:

By including the actual range (that is, the minimum and maximum value), which a user can choose via the slider, you can make the process more clear and intuitive. The actual range, thus, make the search more effective. Like, if you are searching for a dress priced less than $1000, with a slider with a range from $2500 to $6500 for an inventory, it clearly shows that you won’t get anything at desired budget under this window.

2. Showcase the numbers:

By allowing users to view the value (while they are hovering over the slider) will make your slider more useful for mobile devices. Thus, it is advisable to represent the chosen value above the slider, so that it is not covered by the fingertip of a user while accessing the slider.

3. Discrete is better than continuous:

Although, continuous sliders allow users to input an exact value, but using them is a daunting task. Imagine, entering a value while traveling in a bumpy train, you may end dialing a value that is not even feasible in the field. There is no doubt that continuous sliders make inventory-related tasks more efficient and smooth, but observing its real time drawback, it is better to go with discrete sliders. Since, discrete values on a slider makes it easily operable, users can conveniently dial a feasible value.

There is no rocket science involved in implementing the sliders. You just need to understand the exact utilities of different types of sliders. By implementing the best suited slider with an appropriate code without leaving the key objectives of your app behind, you can deliver an ultimate mobile UX. Thus, using a correct type of slider in a precise way can surely delight your users and leverage your business.

This guest article was written by Rick Brown, who is a veteran iPhone app programmer with Mobiers Ltd – a reputed iOS development company. You can avail iOS developers for hire with his best assistance and advices, in case you are looking forward for the same.
Written by Deepu Balan

Deepu Balan is a self-taught web UI designer and developer who is really passionate about web design related stuffs. You can follow his updates on twitter @bdeepu