One thing that’s fascinating about mobile design is how fast it changes. Great design ideas are only obvious in hindsight, and one of the more interesting design paradigm’s from the last few years is that of the pull-to-refresh action. The act of swiping down to initiate a refresh was originally found in the Tweetie app that Twitter acquired – and after they created it, more and more developers started to bring it into their own apps.
Now it’s the known way to refresh app content across a huge number of the big software companies, from Facebook and Twitter to Snapchat, Instagram and many, many more. Designers have also started to have some fun with it, as it can be quite a nice place to add a fun, interesting loading animation or to introduce some playful movement on the swipe. To help show off what I mean, I’ve brought together a collection of creative, unusual pull-to-refresh animations. Some of these are live and in real apps, while others are just experiments or concepts – but I hope that you find each one interesting and that it gives you some ideas that you can use for your own mobile apps.
So there you have it – my favourite examples of pull-to-refresh concepts. Which of these did you like best? Have you created any others that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear what you have to think in the comments.