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I have few suggestions to improve navigation in the Android app.

Current version is having deep navigation and user has no chance to go back to the home (very first) screen from where he started app, currently Home screen is Feed screen.

To demonstrate:

  1. Launch app
  2. Open the navigation drawer (i.e. list of sites sliding menu)
  3. Select any site, lets say select Stack Overflow first, then Meta Stack Overflow, then Android enthusiasts, then Web Applications, then Super User and go up to open 15-20 sites.

Now when you try to head back to the Feeds screen:

  1. The User has no idea about how many sites have been opened and and requires blind back-button mashing to reach the feeds the page
  2. It always opens each site in new screen (i.e. Activity/Fragment in android term) and this is the reason it is creating deep navigation)
  3. It loads the same site again if its already selected. For example, I am already viewing Stack Overflow site's questions and if I click on Stack Overflow again, it loads again as many time as you select it from navigation drawer).

Ideal cases:

These are the ideal cases/suggestions for the issues mentioned above:

  1. Ideal case for Issue 2: It should just launch a single screen and then replace screen with new selection. So Feed screen always be home screen and there way whenever user press Back key, it always returns back to Feed (i.e. Home) screen.
  2. Idea case for Issue 3: It shouldn't the same site again if its already selected from the site list.

Reference app:

You can refer the Gmail android app to understand exact about the navigation issues/suggestions mentioned above.

Steps:

  1. Open Gmail android app and first it shows Primary emails screen.
  2. Select Social => Select promotions => Select Updates from navigation drawer.
  3. Now press Back key, it will let you to Primary screen (i.e. Home screen) in any case, doesn't matter whatever level at which you navigated to.
  • 1
    That's not a bug but rather feature request, please tag properly in the future. – Shadow Wizard Aug 8 '13 at 7:13
  • @ShaWizDowArd sorry for the tagging mistake but its more like issues/suggestions than feature request. Thanks – Paresh Mayani Aug 8 '13 at 8:24
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    Feature request is also used for suggestions. Bug is only when something that should work and worked in the past suddenly stopped working or not working as expected. – Shadow Wizard Aug 8 '13 at 8:25
  • @ShaWizDowArd ok got it. Thanks for making the point clear. – Paresh Mayani Aug 8 '13 at 8:27
3

Heading back to Feeds can now be done via the Feeds entry in the slide-out menu, which resets the backtracking thread (for the time being), so that pressing back goes to the home screen.

Now, when I click on a site's entry while already viewing it, it does nothing.

So, both issues can be considered solved.

Personally, I like having the ability to backtrack over questions and sites viewed. The trail that lead me to a question is often important. It may be the case that the question I'm reading right now is just one linked to the question I was viewing, and it's the latter that's really important to me.

  • It's kind of inconvenient that there is no "forward" or "history" button though, to help with accidentally tapping back. This is especially frustrating in the case of having the app open SE questions by default – Ciprian Tomoiagă Jan 22 '17 at 1:22

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