Hidden Gestures in Mobile

When Instagram first came out, the user was not educated on the new way to like a photograph. The only reference the user had to go off of was Facebook in which you had to just click on the ‘like’ button. But Instagram came out with the double tap, a revolutionizing gesture on liking photographs on a digital platform.

Specifically at a mobile app & shopify development company, the UX designer needs to be mindful on how to educate the user on a new mobile gesture. From swiping right on a dating app to shaking a phone to undo a previous action, the user needs to be knowledgeable of these functionalities in order to utilize the gestures to the fullest potential. When providing a user experience design service for mobile apps, its important to educate the user. Below are some ways in which you can make the user aware of all of the gestures within the app

Tutorials at App Download

One of the easiest ways for a mobile app design and development team can ensure their user is knowledgeable of the full functionalities of the app is to provide a tutorial or walk through at the point where the user is opening up the app for the first time. This immediate educational walk through is key in mitigating frustrated users from not knowing how to use the app.

Although since often times the user is programmed to skip these initial tutorials, it is also important to tab to walk through the tutorial at a future time and as frequently as needed. This will also provide the ability to update the user on additional roll out gestures

Text vs Motion Direction

There are two common routes that UX design agencies can go on when educating their users on a new gesture. Although for both of these routes, they need to be implemented in a one at a time fashion, in order to avoid confusing the user.

The first way to educate the user is through text commands. These text commands need to be short and straight to the point on what exactly the user needs to be doing at that moment to achieve the desired action. For example, an app like Tinder needed to state “Swipe Right to Connect” so that the user understand that means liking the individual profile.

Another way that a UI designer can teach the user a new mobile gesture is by doing motion direction in which the action needed by the user is first demoed. It is important to note here that the action needs to be so simple that a gesture is all that is required. A motion direction would not have worked in the Tinder example because the user needed to know what the difference between swipe right and swipe left.


The emergence of mobile allows for diverse functionality by the user. The user goes from the ability of only being able to click on a computer to being able to tap, double tap, drag, pinch, press and flick to name a few on a mobile device.

Each of these motions and the actions associated with them is a process and educational structure that needs to be included in the app.

Looking for more insight on UX design services? Are you wanting to develop an app and you need to know the cost to develop an app is? Visit Codal’s blog, or come talk to us here! We’d love to hear from you.

Hidden Gestures in Mobile

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