Home screen organization for iOS users is one of those extremely personal things. Everyone has a scheme that best works for them in thier everyday use of the device. Some like to organize their screens in a logical order placing their most commonly used applications on a single home screen, some like to stage their home screens in order of importantace (i.e. apps used everyday, lesser used apps, and miscellanous junk), and some wont dare put a folder on thier main home screen for fear of runing the asthetic look or inconvienience of opening a folder to access an application.
Macgasm's Jon Mitchell put together a nice piece here about a logical approach to home screen organization. Mitchell contends that home screen organization boils down to the logical grouping of like-applications and minimizing to the least common denominator in terms of the number of apps used to get various tasks done. One of the most interesting parts of the article is the "heat map" used to identify logical groupings of applications. Heat maps are used in application and webpage design to determine where the human eye travels and where the focus of attention is when looking at a given screen, page, etc. The use of the heat map in Mitchell's article shows his logical grouping of social networking, photography based, and to a lesser extent, asthetic groupings.
For myself, my organization practices follow convential wisdom: keep what you use most on the first home screen, and for each subsequent page apps that are less used. I think the optimal number of pages anyone should have is 3. Any more than that, you are really spending too much time swiping or you just have too many apps. If you check out my screens below, you'll see my most used on a daily basis on the first page. I have folders for many of those apps which are just a logical grouping (Apple folder, Office/Productivity, News, Utilities), and the apps that I absolutely want one click access to. On Page 2, I have folders of apps that I use from time to time. Finally, page 3 contains mostly games and what I call the "App Graveyard". I call it that because there are some apps that I rarely ever use but may on the rare occasion be of some use. Also, I tend to keep apps that I have used in the past but do not want to delete them just to see what updates come from the developers in the future. For example, Calvetica is a great calendar app, however it is missing a few features that I would absolutely love to have (hint: Event Templates), and want to keep an eye on how the developer pushes that app forward. I also keep several twitter apps around waiting to see if they implement Tweet Marker or push notification support. I figure that the App Graveyard is on page 3 so it does no harm being there.
I carry the same organization methodology over to the iPad as well. Being a larger device, it helps that the home dock can support six icons (as opposed to 4 on the iphone), and that folders can have up to 20 apps (as opposed to the iPhone's 12).
Well, that's my thoughts on iOS screen organization. Pretty simple, if you ask me. I know some people that strive for that "clean look". Sometimes I really don't know what that means, but I do know it means different things to different people. I get a better understanding of that concept every time I look at my wife's iphone/ipad icon placement.
Comment and thoughts are welcome.
As an avid tech fan I look forward to sharing my tech experiences both personally and professionally with those that have similar interests and passion for technology.