Designing for Foldable Devices

Designing for foldable devices presents a unique challenge for designers as they need to consider both the folded and unfolded states of the device. It requires a careful balance between functionality and aesthetics to ensure a seamless user experience. From adaptable layouts to flexible interfaces, designers must embrace the possibilities of this emerging technology to create innovative and user-friendly designs for foldable devices.

Designing for Foldable Devices

Designing for Foldable Devices

Foldable devices have taken the tech world by storm, offering users a unique and versatile experience. With the ability to seamlessly switch between a smartphone and a tablet, these devices have opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for designers. However, designing for foldable devices comes with its own set of challenges. In this article, we will explore the key considerations and best practices for designing user interfaces for foldable devices.

Understanding Foldable Devices

Before diving into the design aspects, let's first understand what foldable devices are. Foldable devices are a new category of smartphones and tablets that feature flexible displays. These displays can be folded or unfolded, allowing users to switch between different form factors. Some foldable devices have a single fold, while others have multiple folds, offering even more flexibility.

Foldable devices come in various designs, such as the book-like "clamshell" design or the "outward folding" design. Each design has its own unique user experience and design considerations. It is crucial for designers to understand the specific device they are designing for to create a seamless and intuitive user interface.

Design Considerations for Foldable Devices

Designing for foldable devices requires a shift in mindset from traditional fixed-screen devices. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

1. Screen Continuity

One of the primary challenges in designing for foldable devices is ensuring screen continuity. As the device folds and unfolds, the user interface should adapt seamlessly to the changing form factor. This means that the content and layout should adjust dynamically to provide a consistent and intuitive user experience.

To achieve screen continuity, designers should focus on responsive design principles. This involves designing flexible layouts that can adapt to different screen sizes and orientations. Using percentage-based measurements and fluid grids can help ensure that the user interface remains consistent across different form factors.

2. App Continuity

In addition to screen continuity, designers should also consider app continuity. App continuity refers to the ability of an app to maintain its state and context as the device transitions between different form factors. For example, if a user is watching a video on a smartphone and then unfolds the device into a tablet, the app should seamlessly transition to the larger screen without any interruption.

To achieve app continuity, designers should leverage the device's APIs and software development kits (SDKs). These tools provide developers with the necessary resources to create a seamless transition between different form factors. By utilizing these tools, designers can ensure that their apps provide a consistent and uninterrupted user experience.

3. Multi-Window Support

Foldable devices offer the unique advantage of multi-window support. Users can have multiple apps or windows open simultaneously, making multitasking more efficient. Designers should take advantage of this feature by designing interfaces that can accommodate multiple windows.

When designing for multi-window support, it is important to consider the hierarchy and organization of content. Users should be able to easily switch between different windows and have a clear understanding of their current context. Designers can achieve this by using visual cues, such as color coding or icons, to differentiate between different windows.

4. Gestures and Interactions

Foldable devices often come with new gestures and interactions that are specific to their form factor. Designers should familiarize themselves with these gestures and incorporate them into their user interfaces. This will enhance the user experience and make the interface more intuitive for users.

For example, some foldable devices allow users to fold the device partially, creating a smaller screen on one side. Designers can leverage this gesture by designing a split-screen interface that utilizes both sides of the device effectively. By understanding and utilizing these unique gestures and interactions, designers can create a more engaging and immersive user experience.

Best Practices for Designing for Foldable Devices

Now that we have explored the key considerations, let's delve into some best practices for designing user interfaces for foldable devices:

  • Design for Flexibility: Create flexible layouts that can adapt to different screen sizes and orientations. Use percentage-based measurements and fluid grids to ensure screen continuity.

  • Leverage APIs and SDKs: Take advantage of the device's APIs and SDKs to achieve app continuity. Ensure that your app seamlessly transitions between different form factors without any interruption.

  • Optimize for Multi-Window Support: Design interfaces that can accommodate multiple windows. Use visual cues to differentiate between different windows and provide users with a clear understanding of their current context.

  • Embrace Unique Gestures and Interactions: Familiarize yourself with the unique gestures and interactions of foldable devices. Incorporate these gestures into your user interface to enhance the user experience and make it more intuitive.

  • Test and Iterate: As with any design process, it is crucial to test your user interface on actual foldable devices. This will help you identify any usability issues and make necessary adjustments. Iterate on your design based on user feedback to ensure a seamless and intuitive user experience.


Designing for foldable devices presents exciting opportunities for designers to create innovative and immersive user experiences. By understanding the unique challenges and considerations of foldable devices, designers can create user interfaces that seamlessly adapt to different form factors. By following best practices and leveraging the device's capabilities, designers can unlock the full potential of foldable devices and provide users with a truly transformative experience.

Explore More

  1. Samsung Developer: Designing for Foldable Devices
  2. Google Developers: Designing for Foldable Devices
  3. Microsoft Design: Designing for Dual-Screen and Foldable Devices
  4. UX Collective: Designing for Foldable Devices
  5. Smashing Magazine: Designing for Foldable Devices

Create a website that grows with you

Get Started