Given that 53% of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices, making accommodations for your mobile visitors is crucial for a great user experience.
Swiping is the second most used feature on touchscreens after scrolling. The gesture is deeply rooted in human psychology and even babies have been observed making it when they like something. Swiping works well because it’s simple, practically effortless, and deeply intuitive.
Swiping is also widely used on other apps. Tinder may have popularized swiping, but the gesture is now everywhere. It’s how smartphone users have grown accustomed to navigating images so don’t break that expectation.
Optimize for thumbs
Studies have shown that 49% of people hold their phones with one hand and have the thumb do most of the work. Another 15% hold their phones with both hands and rely on both thumbs for scrolling and swiping. The remaining 36% hold their phones with one hand and rely on the opposite hand’s index finger for scrolling.
Since thumbs do nearly two thirds of the scrolling and swiping, the whole surface of the image should be swipeable, not just specific points.
Indicate the existence of additional images
The typical image gallery contains at least three to five images. Depending on the product and the number of angles required, you can have a lot more images. Due to this, you need to indicate the existence of additional images to the user. The best way is by having thumbnails just below the image gallery.
Other methods you can use to indicate additional images:
- Numbering images in the gallery (eg image 3 of 11)
- Having part of the next image slightly faded and visible in the current window.
You should also incorporate arrows to indicate swipe direction in the image gallery.