How (and why) I Simplified the UX of my iPhone Home Screen

When I am picking up my iPhone, I am usually thinking of a few basic tasks, such as making a call, texting, or checking Twitter.

Sometimes—but not every day—I do other things, such as learn stuff, buy new apps, or make a to-do list.

When grabbing the phone I would find myself taking that inevitable pause, swirling my finger across the screen in search of the proper app.

Weather? No. Kindle? No. TOCA? No. Ah! Twitter.

busyscreen

These little time delays add up. They slow down the process of being human.

It makes me think of other user experiences that affect our daily lives.

For example, a car’s dashboard has a clear place for the key. The steering wheel is directly in front of the driver (hopefully). The gear shift is off to the side (unless you have one of those suave ’70s models with the shift on the column). That’s basically it.

We don’t try to crowd the dashboard with a stack of books, to-do notebooks, Monopoly games, and the like. Sure, those can be in the back seat, but there they do not interfere with the driver’s job.

So why not just change my iPhone setup?

I wondered why the home screen was so busy, but I left it alone. That’s the way it was set up! That’s the way it should be!

Wait.

Who says?

The most beautiful thing about products in our time is that we often have the power to change them to our liking.

Reading a book on the Kindle? Change the text size, the background color, whatever you need to make it work for you. No mass-market paperback can boast these features.

Don’t like your fridge? Change the light intensity, temperature, shelf arrangement, ice type . . . make it yours, baby.

iPhone has too much stuff on it? Simplify. Right.

Here’s how I thought it through:

I find it easy to think in categories. So, for example, I arranged my social media apps so they are all in a row. I don’t have to hopscotch around the screen looking for where to go next.

Do I want to Tweet, Facebook, Snap or Instagram? They are next to each other, ready for me:

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.45.52 AM

Basic things I use every day come next:

screen2

Then, I grouped all communication tools at the bottom:

screencomm

So, my home screen looks like this:

phone

On screen 2, I have the items I use less often, such as games and extras.

I crammed as much stuff as I possibly could in the extras panel:

games

Then, the other few utilities I use occasionally are on the screen, but simplified:

phone1

That’s all folks! I love it. I have now made a sport of how impeccably-organized I can make the phone. Can I eliminate maps? Should I do a plain-colored background? I will keep working on it, while keeping in mind this quote from the great Coco Chanel:

Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.

Wishing you a nice Friday, all.