Practical Examples of 3D Touch (aka Power Moves)

The Promise

In a previous blog post we stated how we thought 3D touch would lead to new types of interactions and app design.

It would be a lie to say that 3D touch has fundamentally changed the way that apps are envisioned. However, 3D touch is slowly but surely starting to take hold. As Craig Federighi showed last week at WWDC, 3D touch is becoming pervasive: available from the lock screen, control center and, of course, available in apps (e.g., Uber, Facebook, Circle). Apple is clearly continuing to bet big on 3D touch.

How Rocket has delivered 3D Touch

Here at Rocket we are building 3D touch into most of the apps we're working on. We recently partnered with Kickboard to build an iOS app. Kickboard is an innovative education company that is fundamentally making a real and positive impact in the classroom. They affect change in the classroom by supporting and encouraging a healthy and positive culture. Teachers can use the Kickboard iOS app to measure / view / analyze culture in the classroom.

We found two opportunities in the Kickboard app to leverage 3D touch.

Quick Actions


Quick actions allow a user to access a frequently run task directly from the home screen of their phone. The app can then detect this tap and launch directly into the task that the user wants.

These quick actions in the Kickboard app enable a teacher to quickly access their favorited groups.


The Kickboard app is organized by groups or classes. An action that a teacher frequently takes is to switch the active group that they are viewing when a new class is entering their classroom. They do this so they can see what behaviors the students entering the classroom have frequently done. E.g., is someone having an exceptionally good or bad day?

Here you can see how a teacher can view their classroom.

A teacher switches between their classes by accessing the drawer and selection the class they are interested in. In addition to simply listing the classes we enabled teachers to mark 'favorite' groups. This allows they to easily tap on the groups they frequently access.

By adding a quick action to the homescreen we enabled teachers to by-pass multiple steps of selecting a group and go directly to the incoming class. Over time this will save teachers a lot of time.

Peek / Pop Power Moves


Teachers can apply a 3D touch to a student cell and peek at the students profile and then optionally pop the profile into place.


Teachers want to perform several tasks in the Kickboard app. In order of frequency:

  • Assign a behavior to a student
  • View the profile of a student

The common task of assigning a behavior to a student is done by tapping on a student. In this way we keep the most common action the easiest to do.

Secondarily, we also wanted to allow a teacher to view the profile of a student by directly interacting with the student cell. This seemed a perfect opportunity to allow a teacher to press deeply on a student to go into their profile. Tap for the quick/frequent actions and allow a 3D touch as a power move to access more information.

Thus, teachers can use the power move of a 3D touch to go directly to a student profile right from the main screen of the app, again saving them a lot of time during their busy day.

Of course, discovery can be / is a problem for 3D touch so we had to have another button that would allow a user to access the profile. In a future blog post we will talk about the best way we found to educate users about the power moves.