- Published on Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:00
Prediction is a tricky beast of necessity as you have to develop the online presence that will be usable for at least a year from now. If you know that your customers are young, mobile savvy, technology freaks, then you must provide the best possible experience for them, ahead of time, if you want them to keep visiting your digital hotspots.
iPad and other tablets are already established as a new driving force of web user experience, there is something that will possibly make this the only way we will design for web. Microsoft has released new tile-based Windows OS, with touch-friendly intentions, which points out that touch interface will be increasingly integrated in user experience next year. Microsoft is far behind the leaders of the technology, but this indicates that vast majority of Windows users will soon experience the “new world” of less clicks and endless dialog boxes that keep asking you “Are you sure?”. Predictions are that new input devices such as LEAP motion, will bring even more intuitive interface to ultrabooks, large screens, even without touching them. New technologies developed in 2012, such as affordable flash HDD, UltraHD resolution screens (retina display) will create a whole new, already emerging, market of new business solutions. High performance ultrabooks with touch interface are creating a need to design everything for touch rather than mouse (Apple started integrating touch oriented apps for iPhone and iPads to new OS for MacBook and iMac, indicating the shift).
Information at the fingertips
But how does it reflect on us, web developers, designers, UI experts and common users? Big publishers are ready for this change (USA Today is a good example), redesigning their websites to be more touch friendly, with emphasis on how do touch interface users actually experience their websites. To break it down, everything soon needs to be finger-friendly and intuitive. Two aspects of design need to be implemented: readability and navigation. Font sizes, images, videos - everything that users consume needs to be designed to be usable on a much smaller screen then we are used to. 50% of Android phones are about 480x800 pixels in screen resolution, half the average laptop screen, and simple transition from regular to mobile web is not the best solution. The density per inch is greater, which needs to be taken into account when you make the information layout. Information is imperative, so make it wise and provide it to the user in the best way. When it comes to navigation, don’t make it the focus point of your web experience. They don’t want to click and navigate all around, they want to swap, and wander about in a very fluid manner. Make those buttons with user’s fingers in mind – actually two main fingers to think about: index and thumb. Various websites (links provided below) can provide you with the information on how to design the UI for different platforms and different screens, but at the end you have to test, test and test...
by Igor Bozovic, Digital Projects Manager