Dan Saffer gave a fantastic NYC IXDA presentation, Tap Is the New Click, discussing the rise of touch interfaces, their place and adoption in society, and the role of the interaction designer in designing these direct manipulation interfaces. Every IA and IXD needs to watch this. A summary of the talk below:
Even though the technology has been around for decades, only now are we starting to see mass production and adoption of touchscreen and gestural devices for the public. Jeff Han's influential 2006 TED demonstration of his multitouch system, followed by the launches of Nintendo's Wii, Apple's iPhone, and Microsoft Surface, have announced a new era of interaction design, one where gestures in space and touches on a screen will be as prominent as pointing and clicking.
But how do you create products for this new paradigm? While most of us know how to design desktop and web applications, what do you need to know to design for interactive gestures?
This introduction to designing gestural interfaces will cover the basics: usability and ergonomics; a brief history of the technology; some elemental patterns of use; prototyping and documenting; and how to communicate that a gestural interface is present to users.