Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Apr 2018 19:29 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces

Look at this screenshot of MacPaint from the mid-1980s. Now look at this screenshot of a current version of Microsoft Excel for Mac. Finally, consider just how different the two applications actually are. The former is a 30-year-old black and white first party application for painting while the latter is a current and unabashedly third party application for creating spreadsheets. Yet despite having been created in very different decades for very different purposes by very different companies, these two very different applications still seem a part of the same thread. Anyone with experience in one could easily find some familiarity in the other, and while the creators of the Macintosh set out to build a truly consistent experience, there is only one significant piece of UX that these two mostly disparate applications share - the menu bar.

The lack of a menu bar in (most) touch applications is really what sets them apart from regular, mouse-based applications. It makes it virtually impossible to add more complex functionality without resorting to first-run onboarding experiences (terrible) or undiscoverable gestures (terrible). While menus would work just fine on devices with larger screens such as tablets and touch laptops - I use touch menus on my Surface Pro 4 all the time and they work flawlessly - the real estate they take up is too precious on smartphones.

If touch really wants to become a first-class citizen among the mouse and keyboard, developers need to let go of their fear of menus. Especially for more complex, productivity-oriented touch applications on tablets and touch laptops, menus are a perfectly fine UI element. Without them, touch applications will never catch up to their mouse counterparts.

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RE: idk
by le_c on Thu 19th Apr 2018 23:13 UTC in reply to "idk"
le_c
Member since:
2013-01-02

Same here, touch is a terrible interface most of the time. Wonder if pre-mouse, keyboard-only users were thinking the same about mouse ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: idk
by flanque on Fri 20th Apr 2018 03:48 in reply to "RE: idk"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Depends what you're touching.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: idk
by Christof on Fri 20th Apr 2018 08:41 in reply to "RE: idk"
Christof Member since:
2016-10-08

I'm a pre-mouse, keyboard-only user (or rather was one) and when i bought my first mouse (Microsoft, ball, serial, 650 DeutscheMark) i was really exited :-). Deep in the last millennium...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: idk
by zima on Sat 21st Apr 2018 01:53 in reply to "RE[2]: idk"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Was it really _that_ expensive? O_o We've come a long way, much better in every way optical mouse can be had for few €...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: idk
by avgalen on Fri 20th Apr 2018 09:08 in reply to "RE: idk"
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

Same here, touch is a terrible interface most of the time. Wonder if pre-mouse, keyboard-only users were thinking the same about mouse ;)

Yes, for DOS a mouse was a terrible interface most of the time.
Then Windows came, DOS-Games started to use mice, Dos-Programs started to use mice efficiently, Windows 95 came which made mice almost a requirement, etc.
Whenever a new interface paradigm comes adoption and usefulness take a very long time. There are also many attempts at new interface paradigms that simply fail.
Keyboard and mouse are the primary inputs and touch is a distant third.
Screen is the primary output, with sound/printers being supplemental.
CPU is the primary processor, with GPU being supplemental.
Sound/Printers don't replace a screen.
GPU doesn't replace CPU.
Touch doesn't replace a mouse! (on a pc/laptop)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: idk
by zima on Sat 21st Apr 2018 02:00 in reply to "RE[2]: idk"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Keyboard and mouse are the primary inputs and touch is a distant third.

Perhaps I wouldn't put it that way, Statcounter stats show that Android gets more web usage than Windows...

Reply Parent Score: 3