Touch on Desktop

John Gruber:

But why put the touch/tablet UI on all PCs? A touch-optimized UI makes no more sense for a non-touch desktop than a desktop UI makes for a tablet.

Most of the things required for a great touch user interface are also good ideas on the desktop. Large touch targets, fast, responsive1 user interfaces, a simple, intuitive information architecture, uncluttered screens that don’t offer too many different features, easily understood screenflows, lightweight applications, simplified window management — all of these things work on the desktop just as well as on a tablet.

In fact, for the average user, the current tablet operating systems would probably make for better desktop operating systems than the current desktop operating systems.

You can’t port a desktop UI to a phone. Going in the opposite direction, on the other hand, might just work.

  1. It’s really too bad that the term «responsive» has come to mean «adaptive to different devices». Now I can’t think of a good term for «reacts immediately to user input». ↩︎

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