iPhone app photo uploading buttons: pick an order and use it

I’m a big fan of not reinventing the wheel. If a standard exists, and works, you keep using it. But in the wild west of mobile apps, many app developers mess with convention, which results in annoyances for the users.

The example I’ll use to demonstrate this is the the convention found in iOS for uploading photos. Apple has developed a standard for the buttons used when uploading a photo or video, seen here from the text messaging app:

  • first button: take a new photo/video
  • second button: choose an existing photo/video
  • third button: cancel

Tumblr keeps the same order, but changes the wording a bit. But the order is the important thing.

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Tumblr – same order, wording a little different

Of course once I started looking for aberrations in convention, I saw it in more places.

Now the Foodspotting app, which I think is lovely in every other way, changes both the order AND the wording. So my finger, which is used to clicking the second “Choose Existing” button to upload a pic, now clicks the “take a picture” button. I don’t WANT to take a picture, so then I have to spend time backing out of the camera and back to the app! Yes, I know this is a first world problem, but it’s something that could easily be fixed!

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Foodspotting – different order, different wording

The WordPress iPhone app changes the order too.

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WordPress app changes the button order

Fix: follow Apple’s standard for take a picture/uploading existing picture buttons.

For people who upload pictures a lot on iPhone apps, it will save time and annoyance!

Posted on April 3, 2012 in 5 minute fix, UX-usability

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