Add spacer on top of the hamburger menu for easier access

Right now all the important menu entries are at the very top and the left of the screen which is the most inaccessible place for most users. Screens are still getting larger so this is a real problem.

This spacer could be of a standard (~1/4 screen height?) or user defined height and could be empty or contain design elements or information. Information could be stats about the podcasts (how many, how long, etc.), the current time and designs could be random wallpapers, pattern or the thumbnail of the currently playing podcast. Would be cool if the spacer could be shown or hidden like the other menu elements.

I think as a start a blank spacer would be enough to achieve better usability and could be implemented fairly easily. Any bells and whistles could be added later.

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Could you please share what version of the app you are using and what version of Android?

What do you mean with?

I appreciate you may feel the hamburger menu is inaccessible for you personally, but I’m not sure if that’s what you are referencing. Can you please clarify?

Which spacer? Where are you proposing it should be placed and for what purpose? Can you provide a screenshot with something designating where you think this spacer should go? I don’t fully understand the purpose of it either.

I want them to add a spacer on top of the navigation drawer to bring the menu entries down the screen so it is easier to reach with the thumb.

Read this:

https://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1927

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Cheers! Very interesting to read and well thought out. Now I understand your point.

I also wonder how difficult it would be to allow the user the option to decide which side (left or right) of the screen the menu appears on?

Bumping this thread because I still think this important for making the UI more user friendly on big (read: all) phones.

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I already implemented that change last year and then after using it for a few days decided to not include it in AntennaPod. The reason is that it breaks the muscle memory and is therefore probably annoying for many users.

See details/screenshots here:

I’m sorry but I don’t think that is a good reason. Let me try to convince you.

First of all, we agree that putting important stuff on the top left of the screen is not good UI design, right? Like, it’s the worst place on the phone to put a regularly used item because it’s the hardest to reach for right-handed users and not much better for left-handed ones.

Then I think breaking muscle memory for existing users isn’t that annoying in the first place. They trade much better usability for a few days of retraining their brain. It’s a good trade-off in my mind.

Another thing is that there are way more potential new users that have to deal with sub-optimal UI design than there are existing users that may or may not be annoyed at this change.

If you’re still not convinced and want the Goldilocks solution at the cost of more work you could make the spacer an optional feature. Let users decide if they want to use it or not. I would set it as default for new users and let existing users choose freely.

As for the implementation you tried, it looks nice but I think the spacer is too small to make a big enough difference. The spacer would need to be at least twice the height. In the material design guidelines the spacer or header as they call it is even bigger in most examples. Maybe this header could be used to display the episode art of the currently playing podcast.

In my opinion if there is a need for better accessibility it would be better to inverse menu and start at bottom.

Adding a spacer wouldn’t be enough for long / big phone where menu would still be unreachable using only one hand. On my phone I reach only at best half of the screen with my thumbs.

Which then makes me think of Common functions in bottom navigation bar? · Issue #4376 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub

In the Material Design guidelines Google advises against mixing bottom navigation with a navigation sidebar.

And for 5 or more destinations the navigation drawer is still recommended.

Of course those aren’t strict laws.

Another option would be to limit the main screens/destinations to a max of 5 and go with bottom navigation. That seems to be the trend right now and it makes sense with big screens. But I assume that would mean a lot of work for the team.

The header/spacer in the navigation drawer would be a relatively quick and easy fix.

And I advised against mixing side and bottom navigation as well in that thread :slight_smile:
However, it could be an interesting exercise to see whether the one can be replaced by the other (offering it as an option to users - at least in the beginning). Indeed by limiting the number of entries.

Sure it could work. But for the app I think it’d be better to take longer to explore alternative navigation system that could work for all users, then apply a quick fix that uglifies (IMHO) the main menu for all users to the benefit of a smaller group.

Ah, sorry. I didn’t read the complete thread you linked.

I don’t really agree that this quick fix would be especially ugly or only benefit a small amount of users. Most people have big phones and use it one-handed. But it’s whatever. Nothing I’m going to argue about.

I think bottom navigation is the way to go. I don’t think there are many alternatives. Tabs would be an option but that’s a lot of swiping to get from A to D and back again. Are there other ideas you’re thinking of?

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For now I mapped the ‘back’ button to open the sidebar, but I generally agree that the top left items (which btw are the most commonly used) are hard to reach.

Personally I think the trend is pretty clear - bottom navigation, potentially together with inline tabs. Looking at what we have in the app today, we can easily go down to 5 items but it would require a bit of UI redesign.

The bottom navigation buttons (and tabs) could be something like this:

  • Playlist (Queue, History)
  • Episodes (New, All, Favorite)
  • Downloads (Running, Done, Log)
  • Podcasts (Subscriptions, Discover)
  • Profile (Settings, Statistics…)

Just created a separate thread to continue the discussion:

maybe I can put another hamburger menu idea here:
I’m quite often switching views by using menu
what about clicking to queue (or any other selected word at the top) will also open menu?
is here anyone who thinks this could bring her problem?
currently it is just big passive place with small menu icon left to it
p. s. I can’t imagine to use antenna with one hand only (even pressing play/stop at right bottom by hand holding phone)

Since the title is at the top (at the same ‘height’ or Y) as the hamburger menu, that still wouldn’t make it easier to reach the different app screens when you with a big display.