Problem

Provide a way to enter information using a touch screen device, using only your finger.

Solution

Designed for natural and intuitive user interaction, touch input enables users to interact with application content such as a photo or a web page. Touch input enables simple and consistent user touch gestures that imitate real life behavior, such as panning on a photo to move it.

Features

  • Natural and intuitive. Everyone knows how to point with a finger and touch things. Object interactions are designed to correspond to how users interact with objects in the real world in a consistent manner.
  • Less intrusive. Using touch is silent, and consequently much less distracting than typing or clicking, especially in social situations such as meetings. Compared to using a pen, using a finger is particularly convenient because you don't have to locate or pick up a pen.
  • Portable. A computer with touch capability can be more compact because most tasks can be completed without a keyboard, mouse, or touchpad. It can be more flexible because it doesn't require a work surface. It enables new places and scenarios for using a computer.
  • Direct and engaging. Touch makes you feel like you are directly interacting with the objects on the screen, whereas using a mouse or touchpad always requires you to coordinate hand movements with separate on-screen pointer movements—which feels indirect by comparison.
  • Reduced accuracy. Users can't target objects as accurately using touch, compared to a mouse or pen. Consequently, you can't expect users to tap or manipulate small objects.

Gesture types

There are several motions that are possible on the touch screen based on the action that you want to perform.
Single-touch gestures make interaction easier with one hand, but multi-touch gestures are also available to provide more advanced gesture functionality.

Single-touch:
  • Tap
  • Double Tap
  • Pan
  • Flick
  • Touch and Hold

Multi-touch:
  • Pinch and Stretch

wp7-touch-gestures.png

Considerations

  • The program's interactive controls should be large enough to be easily touchable.
  • Make sure that the response time for the gestures is quick and feels receptive to users touch.
  • Provide an indication of what gesture to perform on the particular interactive control.
  • Provide an immersive touch experience by providing feedback with real-world physical properties, such as momentum and friction.
  • Tasks are forgiving, allowing users to correct mistakes easily and handle inaccuracy with touching and dragging.
  • Tasks are designed to avoid or reduce the need for heavy text input or precise selection.