Last Tuesday I attended a short presentation at the Delft University of Technology, where Kay Hofmeester (former UX manager for Microsoft Surface) told us a bit about how the Surface team tried to handle the new challenges posed by designing user interfaces under the new touch interface paradigm. I took the liberty to record it to share it with whoever is interested (Kay if you’re out there reading this, I hope you don’t mind ;-)).
It was a very interesting lecture with some nice and concrete examples of how wrong it is to try to directly translate old user interfaces for new input devices such as touch screens.
The Spanish speaking pointer and the Italian speaking finger
In the lecture, Kay explains very nicely and in depth some of the main practical differences between interacting with a classical GUI and with a touch interface, but I’m gonna give it a go with my own metaphor.
Think of the following scenario. You’ve been speaking Spanish all your life. You know the ins and outs of your language. One day you move to Italy and all of a sudden you find yourself surrounded by Italians. Sure! your Spanish might help you get by to a certain level due to the language similarities, and you