Mobile Designers: Put Some Space between Your Touch Targets
Duo’s very own Chelsea Winkel just concluded a lunch presentation detailing some of the key takeaways she brought back from UX Week 2011 in San Francisco. She chose to present on mobile site development, a key area of continued learning and expansion for Duo—and the numbers prove that the future is locked up inside those tiny buzzing devices we carry around in our pockets and purses.
Among the trends and best practices presented, one set the little rodent in my head spinning the wheel for hours after lunch was finished: spacing out your touch targets. The slides Chelsea showcased included a prime example of awkwardly designed touch targets, where a small “cancel” link was placed just a hair above a larger “accept” button.
In most cases, it ends up being a minor annoyance for a potential client—but for your organization, it could mean a lost client.
In other cases, the reader has more on the line. Take for example this slightly embarrassing personal anecdote.
Several months ago, a friend of mine subscribed to a popular dating site. Over drinks one night at the bar, he showed a mutual friend a picture of the girl he took out to dinner the previous night. He explained that the date went extremely well and that they made plans to go out again that weekend.
Now, for whatever creepy reason, said dating site has an option to “wink” at your romantic interest—located just above the “next photo” touch target on the mobile site. It didn’t matter that my friend had a few drinks in him; he was surely destined to push that “wink” button. The “wink” was sucked away into the airwaves, and for implied reasons, my friend never heard from the girl again.
While our mutual friend blamed himself for the accident, he may feel guilt no longer. The real culprit here is the designer of the mobile site—the inadvertent antagonist and surely an enemy of true love.
Moral of the story: if you’re not spacing out your touch targets, you may be standing in the way of a match made in cyberspace.