Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox:
Gestural user interfaces have several inherent problems that tablet apps need to minimize:
- Accidental activation: users often touch things by mistake and need a way to undo the result.
- Swipe ambiguity: when the screen is divided into subregions (such as the frames we caution against), the same gesture can have different effects, depending on where it’s activated. This problem is exacerbated by the trend toward flat design, which doesn’t clearly demarcate the regions.
- Invisibility: users can’t see the gesture they just made, and they sometimes can’t even see what they’re supposed to touch. Again, flat design makes this worse.
- Low learnability: all of the previous problems combine to make gestures hard to learn. Advanced gestures might as well not exist, as very few users employ anything beyond the basic tap, press, swipe, drag, and pinch gestures.
So much this. NN/g is an incredible resource. Their reports are expensive for your average single-dude dev shop, but if you’re able to allocate a little of your budget to UX research, they’re well worth it.