Buttonless: engaging users in interactions with keyless devices



As we inch closer to phones with all-screen designs, physical buttons are on the chopping block. But how do you interact with a smartphone that has no buttons? Samsung asked Experientia to develop two navigation frameworks for a concept device.

3 things to know

A new language 

Through extensive research, benchmarking, and the organization of a workshop with industry experts (incl. cognitive psychologists and UX specialists), a new language of interacting with a buttonless device was constructed, focusing not merely on isolated substitutes. From the workshop, two design challenges were identified and subsequently developed.

The path to keyless strategy

The strategy is based on analyzing the dynamic relationship between the user and the device, understanding that the device’s position significantly influences interaction (Edward T. Hall, ‘Proxemic’, 1968). By tracking user location and device handling, the device and its AI can anticipate user expectations and respond intelligently to various usage conditions.

UX, UI and usability test

The development of a functional physical prototype for a specific interaction was instrumental in augmenting the persuasiveness and efficacy of our design proposition. Moreover, Experientia conducted a usability test involving seven participants whose demographic characteristics aligned with potential international users of forthcoming Samsung flagship devices. This assessment centered on evaluating key aspects of the developed UX framework, thereby providing valuable insights into its usability and effectiveness.



Samsung, one of the world’s renowned communication companies, turned to Experientia to craft a tailored UX framework for the development of buttonless mobile solutions, encompassing both lateral and non-lateral interfaces.


The task for Experientia was to cultivate a distinct language of interaction between users and their devices, fostering a seamless and intuitive user experience.


The research process aimed to create user-centric UX navigation frameworks for buttonless devices. It started with market benchmarking and heuristic evaluations of alternative interaction methods, then an expert workshop identified key issues. Framework ideation led to tailored proposals, prototyped for validation.


User testing gathered valuable insights, including changes in device handling under different conditions, universal gesture commands, and strategies for preventing user errors. This thorough research process informed the creation of user-centric UX navigation frameworks, ensuring a seamless and effective user experience.


The results of the project, center on establishing a symbiotic language between the device and the user. This language encompasses specific gestures and interaction cues designed to facilitate a seamless and harmonious collaboration between the user and the device, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience.