54 pixels and 10 pixels: My Start in Touchscreen Interface Design

When I started working on a client’s e-commerce touchscreen kiosk application, I scoured the web looking for best practices and usability specific to touchscreen interfaces. Touchscreen interfaces were always a side bar in any book discussing web usability. All I could find was 54 pixels and 10 pixels, minimum size of touchscreen buttons and the minimum spacing between buttons.

I frankensteined together the beginnings of a best practices for touchscreen interface usability and design. I used my many years of experience in design and interpolated from all the web usability knowledge I could find. It wasn’t pretty and there was a little bit of trial and error.

Now several years later, I’m back to the web to share what I’ve learned. I’ve wrestled with the below topics and more.

  • Internationalization with Asian Languages
  • Usability versus Branding
  • Text Formatting
  • Scroll Bars!
  • White Space versus Decision Points per Screen
  • Readability
  • Unique Layout Constraints
  • Screen Flow Issues

My goal with this blog is to create a dialogue for designers to discuss these issues and build a living best practices document for touchscreen interface usability and design.

I’m not talking about multi-touch smart phones. The multi-touch aspect creates its own usability issues. I’m talking about Red Box, airport check-in kiosks, mall informational kiosks, etc… I saw a POS kiosk at Jack in the Box last weekend!

Please comment, email me questions and let me know if you’ve had different experiences.

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