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Designing for Touchscreens


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A few things i have learned while working on touchscreen interfaces.

Published in: Design

Designing for Touchscreens

  1. 1. Designing for touchscreens A few things i’ve learned while working on touchscreen interfaces.
  2. 2. Throw away your preconceptions A touchscreen is not like a usual device. Don’t rely on your design “habits”.
  3. 3. A touchscreen is not an iPhone. (or an Android) All touchscreens are not created equal. Multi-touch, quick response, modern browser, device-specific form elements, predictive keyboard, sound & visual feedback... Don’t take it (all) for granted.
  4. 4. but it might not be a desktop either... Tablets, handheld devices, kiosks, tables... The touchscreen landscape is still evolving.
  5. 5. Imagine the use cases What kind of hardware? Which OS? Screen size? Will the app mostly be used seated, standing, running, on the loo...? Will the screen always be lighted correctly? Do i know the type of users?
  6. 6. Dumb it down. Don’t forget accessibility basics. Remove any unnecessary or distracting elements. Use clear call-to-actions. Use large inputs.
  7. 7. Self-explaining & consistent icons With no tooltips available, you should not confuse your users. Use common conventions, pay attention to detail.
  8. 8. Use even more whitespace Prevent accidental triggers by design.
  9. 9. Provide the user with visual feedback Did this button register my tap? Is the page loading? Have i selected the right input? Why does this look like a christmas tree? Use feedback for actions & use inline validation wisely.
  10. 10. You might have to make some trade-offs Ex: What happens when CSS3 is not supported? Think about your lowest common denominator.
  11. 11. Use progressive enhancement Your app should be usable by everyone. Just make it even better for those with the right technology.
  12. 12. Use conventions when they apply. but don’t hesitate to throw them away when they’re not relevant or mess with your users.
  13. 13. Questions?
  14. 14. Thank you. @gregone
  15. 15. More on the subject... Luke Wroblewski - Touch gesture reference guide Lukas Mathis - Detail in interface design John Hicks - Icons for interaction