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Knowledgebase, Touchscreen, User Experience

How Touchscreens Are Affecting UX

As technology advances, mobile devices are being used more and more over desktops, and touchscreen technology is gradually taking over. Browsing via smartphone or tablet is constantly increasing, and as such, websites are having to find ways to adapt to and increase UX.

With mobile phones, it is generally just a case of creating a separate mobile interface, but with the rise of larger mobile phones and tablets, there’s a need to explore other options that cater for larger devices.

Responsive design

URL redirection allows subsidiary sites or apps to be created for touchscreen users. However, this can prove dodgy and can result in poor redirection to wrongly formatted sites for mobile device users.

A website with a ‘responsive’ design can be built to function on both mobile and desktop devices, giving mobile users the same features and information as a desktop user, saving the hassle of creating two separate websites, although this can result in compromises.

A totally different beast

Some things to consider when creating a website that is also user-friendly are that, on a touchscreen, you swipe up to scroll down, and on a desktop, the opposite; we’re not as nimble-fingered as we like to think, so touchscreens need bigger buttons, and there isn’t the option for hover states to explain links, or even indicate them; you should consider the different accuracies on mobile inputs, whether it’s resistive or capacitive can affect sensitivity; mobile devices that have two orientations will require two very different resolutions too.

With mobile devices come varying resolutions. Rumours about smart watches potentially going beyond four borders, and with mobiles offering the ability to view the screen in both portrait and landscape mode, mean we need to consider screen orientation and aspect ratio. Liquid layouts offer an adjustable resolution and work in both portrait and landscape, and can dramatically change the look of a website for better UX.

All of these things are relevant when we think about touchscreen displays too, such as you might find at an exhibition, or in a store. From POS (point of sale) kiosks, to multi-user video walls, the right display solution could make all the difference in enhancing UX, and in the case of people watching an exhibited video instalment, for example, good resolution and aspect ratio are relevant to them too.

Going forward

When creating a UI, we need to think about our target audience and its purpose. The younger generation make up the majority of mobile users, whilst the majority of the older generation use desktops. Whoever the UI is for, it’s important that it’s not overly complex or overwhelming.

Some options that can increase UX for touchscreens include radial menus, otherwise known as pie menus, which put otherwise lengthy lists into nice little categories, great for preventing users from getting lost amongst hoards of sub menus, Skeuomorphic design, which is used by Apple, and involves making features of the interface look like everyday objects, dial UI, with which, as the name suggests, the menu functions like a dial, and minimalism, taking the website back to basics, decreasing load times and data usage.

Touchscreen technology has many benefits as society embraces mobile devices to fit in with our busy lives. If you’re looking to take advantage of the touchscreen revolution or need, find out more about how we can help you here, or feel free to contact us, we’re always happy to chat.

If you’re looking for a team to help you with your digital web projectuser experience or want to know more about how we can help your company grow through technology, please contact us today or call us on 0208 133 8210.

Posted by
Josh Bolland Profile
Founder & CEO
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