Stop Swiping

The Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) was first created as a way for magazine publishers to get their content onto the iPad. So it’s not a surprise, that swiping was built in as a way to get from article to article. Whether it was done to mimic flipping a page, or because it made it easy for publications to take their existing pages and port them over to the iPad, the end result is the same: bad user experience.

The examples are everywhere. Arrows pointing down, pointing right. Don’t swipe back or you’ll find yourself at the end of an article, instead of the beginning. Or worse, you will find yourself in the middle of an article, making it difficult to know where you are.

Non-publication apps suffer the same fate. The fact that the swiping function can’t be turned off, means a user’s journey is often similar to playing Chutes and Ladders — with the user landing somewhere else without knowing how to get back.

There are exceptions. Times when the designer has created an experience with buttons where the UI is so intuitive that the user knows where they are and where they are going at all times. But even in these cases, it’s impossible to disable swiping, which means a user can accidentally get lost.

The Solution: Create a Multi-State Object (MSO) with an empty (transparent) rectangle the full size of the page in both states.

In the folio overlays panel, set the MSO to “change image on swipe.” This will prevent users from swiping to the next page because they will actually be changing the state of your transparent, full page MSO.

Once the MSO is created place it on top of all static content while layering any interactive content on top of the MSO. If the interactive content (buttons, videos, scrollable frames) are behind the full page MSO, user interaction will be blocked.

This may not be a perfect solution, but it will prevent most accidental swipes that leave the user confused about their location within the application.