Case Study: iOS Calculator Concept

The Challenge

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The user is able to perform calculations without obscuring the data they are calculating.

The iOS Calculator application is a single view application that does not afford the user to reference auxiliary information on the phone itself. 

Put another way, a physical calculator in the real world does not obscure the information that the user is trying to calculate, whereas it does within iOS.


"...lends itself naturally to the metaphor of the real world in which the user can calculate in a dedicated space and reference information from another..."


The Design

The calculator application is a simple one, that does not require a lot of compute power, nor User Interface overhead. This means that the interface can be relatively condensed, say in the form of a widget. 

We know the metaphor of a widget and controls have been used on iOS. One such place this occurs is within what is known as the Control Center. This is convenient because this is also a place that the user can launch the Calculator app. 

The way that the Control Center is layered atop the iOS User Interface lends itself naturally to the metaphor of the real world in which the user can calculate in a dedicated space and reference information from another space.


The Solution

This animated mockups produced using Adobe After Effects demonstrates that a user can access the Calculator application from within the Control Center, make their calculations with the necessary information being referenced in the background, and then quickly exit the Calculator and Control Center, getting back to what they were originally doing. The entirety of this interaction happens with a few simple gestures, in an area of the interface that the user is already familiar with.