Guidelines for a Main Menu in Active Applications Work in progress

Kmail Touch with a Menu Flap on the left

Kmail Touch with a Menu Flap on the left

The Kmail Touch main menu

The Kmail Touch main menu

When to Use

In Plasma Active, not every application has a main menu. Since mobile applications tend to be more focused on one or few specific tasks (like browsing and viewing images or reading a document) than on a large range of tasks and features, the majority of Active applications will do well without a main menu. There are still applications, however which need a certain amount of features for maximum productivity (like for example a full-fledged PIM suite such as Kontact Touch). For these more complex applications, a main menu may be useful to keep a consistent entry point to more advanced features.

When considering if your application needs a main menu, ask the following questions:

  • Does the application have more features than would fit on the screen or on the main screen plus a Drawer ?
  • Are there primary (very often used) and secondary (less often used) features?

If all functions fit on the main UI or a Drawer without overcrowding it or taking too much space away for the actual task, your application does not need a main menu. If you have many features, but all of them are equally important / frequently used overall, start your application with an Entry Page which leads users to seperate pages for each type of task.

How to Use

The main menu is placed inside a Menu Flap. The flap is placed on the left edge of the screen.

  • Pulling the Flap out reveals the menu. Tapping outside or pushing it back to the left of it closes it again
  • The Main Menu can have up to three levels, which are presented in columns from left to right
  • Selecting an entry on one level displays the entries of the corresponding submenu in the next column
  • A (sub)menu may be represented entirely with icons instead of words if the icons are clearly understood. Do not mix words and icons in one (sub)menu

Code to Implement Menu Flaps

This page was last edited on 4 June 2012, at 20:15. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.