By Danielle Arad
What Can User Experience Guidelines Provide for You?
What are some touch/tap device guidelines for design and user experience?
Give buttons and components space to have oversized click areas, as well as drag areas where applicable.
Keep in mind that with touch devices, they are often going to be smaller. Most touch devices use smaller interface is for compactness and portability. It’s usually a PDA (though these are becoming obsolete), a tablet, smartphone or even handheld gaming system (also becoming obsolete as a stand-alone device). This means, first and foremost, that controls (components of the interface such as buttons, text boxes, menus etc.) should never crowd one another. Tapping is fairly precise with a stylus, but becomes a bit less so when fingers are involved. On the fly, most people will use their fingers rather than fumble with the stylus.
Tab multiple purpose windows, and use a paged/card interface, to make the best use out of limited space and evasion of control crowding.
Following this small area problem and extending on the crowding issue, too many controls or assets per screen is a bad idea. Again, controls will need space to be big enough to discern, images be viewed and text read. If too many controls are on a small screen area, it becomes hard to make anything out. UI navigation tools that provide context and clarity can certainly help; however, from here, it’s wise to consider not trying to go for a traditional windowed interface.
Avoid onscreen keyboards if possible.
They’re never pleasant to interact with. If one must be used, do not under any circumstances design or use auto fill. The internet is rife with pages showing hilarious and inappropriate things these have caused people to unwittingly type.
These get tiresome, are not natural motions for using a computer, and can be hard to do on handheld devices. These should be reserved for large “desktop” touch systems where both hands are free.
I could go on a long time about UX guidelines for touch devices, but I must be brief. If this is all you take away from the topic, then I feel I’ve pointed out the most crucial bits at least.