What are the alternative solutions for easy One Handed navigation?



  • The super-sized smartphones of this era make the user stretch their thumbs to reach touch targets on the top. The one-handed mode does not really solve one-handed reachability as it shrinks the screen making it harder for the user to see the content. How might we redesign smartphone Interfaces to solve reachability concerns consumers face?



  • I would say there is still a lot of room for R&D here. Some have tried and may have not succeeded to get the pattern in the hands of the masses for reasons other than it being a competitive approach to gesture input.

    The Floating Action Button on Android facilitates easy access to actions in the easiest to reach part of the screen. When extended, a range of actions can be accessed through the same mechanism and some swipe gestures. Prolonged usage of that pattern will yield Repetitive Strain Injury, a topic not yet commonly associated with mobile phone usage but a present and growing danger none-the-less.

    FAB is terrible for left-handers, however, so I would propose that a similar pattern that can somehow determine the hand the user wishes to use and adapts to it could provide a better solution for "one handed" usage.

    There is a potential to leverage other sensors and input devices to provide an array of inputs, enough to say navigate a menu in order to access more, and all quite easily accessible with a single hand:

    • volume control,
    • gyrometer,
    • accelerometer,
    • compass,
    • squeeze sensor,
    • light sensor (covering the phones sensor to action something).


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