Large Targets

People note that designing for touch screens requires you to have much larger tap targets, because tapping is less precise than clicking — your finger is way bigger than a mouse pointer. They conclude that this creates user interfaces that are inherently bad for desktop PCs, because desktop PCs use mice.

But if you’ve ever seen normal people use computers, squinting at the screen to position the mouse cursor just exactly over the icon, and then carefully clicking it to make sure that they don’t accidentally move the mouse while clicking and initiate a drag, you’ll probably agree that desktops can really benefit from larger click targets, too. And it’s not just people who are not proficient with mice. It’s also people using trackballs, people working with drawing tablets, and so on.

In other words, I think the exact same design patterns that make touch screen apps work well on touch screens — large buttons, large text, uncluttered user interfaces — also make them good desktop apps.

This is exactly what our user research for Moblin Netbook found. Just part of another fantastic article by Lukas Mathis.