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Recently, I found out the hard way NOT to allow other people to view photos in the Camera application on my Samsung Galaxy 3 Android phone.

How? I had taken some photos that I was viewing using the Camera application on the phone. Then I passed the phone to another person. And one of the photos got deleted – such that it cannot even be recovered using Recuva – though I was left with the thumbnail image.

This happened only because of the way the user interface buttons are laid out on the camera application. While viewing photos, if we tap the screen once, a ‘Delete’ button appears on the lower right side of the screen – the most logical place to hold when handing the phone to someone for viewing the said photo – unless the person is left-handed. If the button is pressed during this exchange or otherwise, a dialog box asking confirmation for deletion is displayed. To dismiss the dialog box, people will most likely press ‘OK’ without reading the warning text.

To improve usability, either the ‘Delete’ button should not present itself so readily or the dialog button text should be changed to ‘Delete’ instead of ‘OK’. The dialog box can also contain an icon indicating deletion.

But the simplest mechanism to overcome this problem is to view the photos using the Gallery application.