Build for Touch Now

Every so often I swipe my finger across my monitor at work. Nothing happens. It’s not a touch screen. I use touch on my personal PC at home, on a tablet and on my phone. Over the last few months I’ve trained my brain to touch the screen.

When we think of touch today, we think of responsive design for smaller devices, not for full sized monitors. I believe we’re just  24 months away from the majority of PCs being touch enabled. I have no official research to back that up, but I trust my instinct. Today we consider responsive and adaptive design to be about scaling down. But what about the tablet experience scaled up? My touch screen monitor at home is 28″. Sony has a 20 inch tablet in market. Every PC manufacturer has 1/2 dozen or more touch based notebooks.

There’s a good chance that the Websites you’re designing today will be used primarily on touch devices by next year. If your design team doesn’t have experience in interaction design and motion studies now is the time to ramp them up.

Designing for touch extends past Websites. PDFs, emails, Facebook tabs and applications will all be consumed on touch devices in the very near future.

Some useful reading on the  subject:

The Tangible Web: Thoughts on Designing Websites for Touchscreens

Best Practices of Touch Screen Interface Design

Windows Dev Center: Touch

Design for Fingers

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