What are the implications of a touch screens dominated world?
How often have you touched a non-touch screen and momentarily wondered why it is not responding? … I have done it quite a few times.
Have you heard the story of the kid who touched the TV screen and expected it to respond? … At least 3 people have told me a story like that.
Touch screens are intuitively natural way to interact with the display … “mouse” and “pointer” was the aberration. So, I can make a very confident prediction that touch screen will be everywhere.
BTW: Here is a contra view from none other than Scientific America – Why Touch Screens Will Not Take Over
Implication of Touch Screen only world
The trouble with touch screen interface is that our finders have little bit … well no … a lot larger surface area compared to a mouse pointer. Have you ever tried using a touchscreen enabled windows computer and tried closing – maximizing – minimizing a window? If you have not done it then let me assure you that it cannot be done with any accuracy.
Most websites are designed to be used with mouse and pointer.
Touch devices comes in all shapes and sizes
2012 was a year when different shapes and sizes were tried and some of them succeeded.
We have seen Phablets like Samsung Note. We have also seen Tabtops like Microsoft Surface hit the market. 3M even previewed an 84-inch multi-touch display at this years Consumer Electronic Show!
Current sites would be usable in larger display but it is a different story for smaller screens.
Websites designed for desktop and be very awkward to use in a smartphone.
Mobile web traffic is growing … growing … growing
The web access from the desktop and laptop still rules. Depending on which stats you look at it is somewhere between 80% and 90%.
But the share is changing fast.
Going by the current trend, in 2-3 years time traffic from touch device would overtake traffic from non-touch device. Can organizations ignore this channel and have a less than optimum presence there?
So, you like it or not…
…all active websites will need to be redesigned for touch interface of varying sizes.
Where does this lead us to?
The time frame for redesign would be about 2-3 years.
Do a quick calculation.
How many active websites are there? How many of them work well on a touch screen device? How many of them are presentable on a small screen? How much effort will be required to redo them?
Whatever way you do your calculation it would translate to a very large number.
Then why do I not find this in any of the technology predictions for 2013? I have looked through many and have listed some of them below.
They talk about how the mobile industry will shape up … not the effort required by organizations to respond to it.
They talk about innovative usage of mobile … not about the bread and butter stuff about redesigning the website.
They talk about migration to cloud … not about migrating websites to mobile.
They talk about big opportunity for Big Data … not about big opportunity mobile website migration.
I can go on and on but why do they miss this point?
- Is it because migration is too mundane?
- Is it because of the feeling that building web site for small screens require small effort?
- Is it because each project size is likely to be small?
- Is it because there is no new products to be sold?
Well … I do not know. Do you have an answer?
Predictions for 2013 – from different sources
- Gartner: Gartner Releases 2 Top 10 Predictions For 2013 – What Are They Really Saying?
- IDC: Top 10 Predictions – Predictions 2013: Competing on the 3rd Platform
- Readwrite Enterprise: Six Tech Trends That Will Rock Enterprise IT In 2013
- InfoQ: Predictions For SOA, Cloud and Big Data In 2013
- Infoworld: 11 predictions for enterprise software in 2013
- SearchIT Chanel: Information technology trends 2013: Five channel hot spots
- Forbes: Technologies Of The Future: 5 Trends To Watch For 2013
- CNN: Tech trends for 2013: Five things to watch
- The Washington Post: Tech trends to watch in 2013
- Design Mind: 20 Tech Trends for 2013
- Daniel Burrus: Top Twenty Technology-Driven Trends for 2013
- Stanford Social Innovation Review: Ten Technology Trends to Watch in 2013
- Universal Mind: Top 5 Technology Trends for 2013
- InfoWorld Cloud Computing: SaaS in 2013: Companies and trends to watch