iOS Lock Screen

What’s up everyone? I wanted to share a personal project I’ve been working on with you folks. Since I updated to iOS 5.1 on my iPhone, the new fast access camera tab (calling it a “tab” for lack of better word) on the lock screen didn’t really sit well with me. It made the lock screen feel asymmetrical, and made using the lock screen awkward to use (for me at least :wink: ). So, I decided to fix it. I’d also love to know your thoughts on the new lock screen in iOS 5.1, and lock screens in general (and if anyone is as obsessive as me!).

UPDATE (3/22/12): Corrected spelling and grammatical errors. Took out “hold” as to prevent confusion.

This is a very polished mock-up and while I’m always in favor of symmetry, I still take issue with this interface. Giving equal real estate to both the camera and lock screen, this interface seems to assume that you use the camera just as frequently as you unlock your phone. I think it’s necessary to weight the attention to the lock control and have differentiating gestures, as one goes to everything on your iPhone and the other just leads to an app you use on occasion. Could you elaborate more on what you don’t like about the interaction of the lock screen other than “it’s losing it’s feng shui”?

Brye-kun, great work!

I agree with your stance that the lock screen is now “off”. The addition of instant access to camera is definitely welcome, but like you, I think it was done almost as an afterthought and lacks the polish that we’ve come to expect from Apple.

That said, and because of how usually nitpicky Apple is about this stuff, I’ll be also. Before, if I wanted to access the home screen from sleep mode, the steps are:

  1. Press power button to wake
  2. Press and slide to unlock
  3. Enter security code (4 buttons) to enter home screen

That’s a total of 6 motions to reach home screen (I envy Android’s lock screen, btw, for its one motion unlock), without any HOLD motion. Your solution introduces a HOLD motion between #1 and #2, which would be just slightly bothersome. Unless you meant it to be instantaneous at the “press and hold” stage. So, a tweak: press and SLIDE immediately to the left for camera, to the right to unlock, without the HOLD motion. Users will learn it quickly enough.

Still, I’d like to tackle this “problem” and as such, I have two alternative solutions to this…
First solution:
Press and slide “unlock” button from left to right–> LET GO to bring up security code screen–OR–SLIDE back to the left in SAME MOTION to access camera. The way the screen will appear is this: when the unlock button slides all the way to the right, the camera icon appears on the left of the bar, indicating the user to slide back to the left to access camera. Even the phrase “slide left for camera” can appear across the bar now. This will clean up any visual clutter because you’ll not need the camera icon to show up when you leave sleep mode AND you’ll get to keep the classic “slide to unlock” screen untouched (I prefer your new bar design though).

Second solution:
The button is at the CENTER of the bar. The button is silver and icon-less and the bar is faint and empty. As soon as the button is touched, “lock” and “camera” icons quickly fade in at either end of the bar. Slide left to unlock. Slide right for camera. Three benefits: One, the button is now dead center, making almost the entire screen symmetrical; two, the screen is cleaner than before with less icons; three, the slide motion is shorter, making it more convenient/quicker to access the home screen, because you now basically only need to slide across half the distance. Yes, it seems minuscule in importance, but fraction of a second delay can easily be detected by today’s users. #firstworldproblem

I didn’t elaborate in my response, but two primary problems:

  1. The introduction of the camera button indeed makes the weight of the graphics lean more to the left. With the date and time centered at the top, the camera icon always seemed a little like it was hanging freely there without support.
  2. The newest version of iOS requires the camera icon to be pressed and slid upwards to access the camera. It used to only require a quick tap. This is more troublesome than before and I find it more difficult to get to the camera on the first try. It’s most annoying when I miss that new “thing” that my baby is doing.

Thanks for your responses!

@linda_dong: For me, I love being able to access the camera from the lock screen, and I feel the camera is important enough to warrant substantial real estate on the lock screen. Most people use their smartphones as their main camera, so allowing them to get to it faster is always helpful. What I don’t like about the current iteration is that it looks like the camera was thrown on as an after thought. The lock screen has always been justified to the center, so the off center slider and camera tab looks weird with the centered clock/date. The sliding up motion leaves my finger at the top part of the screen, when the shutter button is at the bottom, making it longer to take the shot. It just doesn’t feel right. To me at least!

@davidhu: I’m glad I’m not the only one! To clear it up: you don’t have to actually hold the icon for a few seconds for the slider to pop up, it’s instantaneous. Your first solution sounds interesting, but would take some getting used to. The second sounds a bit like the Android lock screen (even more IP ammunition!), but it would be sweet to have it like that. Although, I’ve come to love the swiping across the screen motion of the iOS lock screen.

Side note: Try and raise the camera tab on the lock screen (don’t release) - you’ll notice that the shutter blades haven’t been updated to the retina display resolution! :wink:


Like you, I’m partial to the slide-across-screen motion, but I DO find one functional value of the new shortened bar: I don’t have to swipe that far across. I don’t have large hands and before the camera icon was there, I used to have to make sure my thumb swiped all the way across to the end to bring up the security code; not anymore. Again, I don’t like the current camera UI design.

If your method is instantaneous, I can get behind that. Apple has required users to remember many gestures since the introduction of the full touch UI, I don’t see why remembering to swipe left for unlock or right for camera would be difficult to remember.

Here’s another idea:

  • Shorten the unlock bar and remove the camera icon.
  • Once you swipe to unlock, the security code screen is brought up, with some changes.
  • The whole security code ‘block’ gets moved up until it’s aligned with the bottom of the "Enter Passcode’ block, leaving the bottom space for a large, across-the-screen camera button.
  • Tap the new camera button and your thumb is already right where the shutter is.

This requires extra motion for the camera, but not really more than the unintuitive motion that it is now. So, to get to camera, swipe to unlock and a tap where the shutter is already. Seems like a worthy tradeoff for better-looking lock screen (quickened by the shortened unlock bar) and a still-pretty-quick way to get to the camera.

This is a great post and I’m glad that you spent the time to show people that there are always more ways to do things. I think that your solution is much more intuitive and consistent with Apple’s design language and UI than the IOS5 lock screen is currently. I agree that it doesn’t need to be a long press on either button but rather instantaneous. I guess I like the fact that you showed that just because Apple does something one way doesn’t mean it is the end all be all. I think that sometimes people forget that. Nice work.

I don’t see slide up to unlock. I see slide LEFT…

I love this presentation. Excellent display of thought process and I think you bring a compelling argument to the table. I was very comfortable with the “double click to camera” and while the slide up IS easier, something just feels strange about it.

I really like how @NURB described it as a “slide left” function.

Great presentation; it’s quite an inspiring way to explore frustration/dissatisfaction with an existing product.

I do like your proposed implementation but I also think @NURB has a good point, although it is perhaps 180 degrees the wrong way round.

I often use the camera in landscape view allowing me to take advantage of the volume up button as the shutter release. Holding the device this way actually means the camera unlock slider is a slide right (albeit a much longer slide but a slide right nonetheless).

You’re exactly RIGHT… I was looking at that quickly over the weekend and didn’t even notice the volume buttons (I don’t have an iPhone…)

Now how where’s the asymmetry? Where’s the difference? It’s both sliding to the Right to unlock, you just hold the phone in a different way for each operation. I appreciate your concept Brye, but it appears Apple had it figured out the right way all along.

nice job. but you state:

“we’re stuck…every time we wake our iPhone’s.”

why are you using an apostrophe to form a plural? it’s “every time we wake our iPhones.”

as your presentation states – this, too, needs to be fixed. :slight_smile:

I would just like to be able to double-click the home button and bypass the lock screen.

Thanks for all your responses! I agree, the slide up can be thought of as slide right/left in landscape, however (for me at least) this either 1) leaves my finger/hand covering half of the screen or 2) far away from the on screen shutter button. It takes some getting used to, but I really appreciate the functionality.

You know, you don’t need to move your finger all the way to the top of the screen. Unlike the unlock slider, you can just flick the camera button up so your finger doesn’t need to move more than a very small amount.

I did like the old button and honestly was super confused when updated my iOS and it didn’t work (had to google it to find out it was a slider ) but now prefer the slider. The flick is very satisfying, like how people love to end a call by closing a flip phone (do those still exist?).


Still using one…