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?

Why?

  • 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?

Touch Screens

Predictions for 2013 – from different sources

Tips on how to make your website touch friendly

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