Buttons are a Hack: The New Rules of Designing for Touch

Josh Clark (Big Medium)
Design & UI
Location: New York East Level:
Tags: mobile
Average rating: ****.
(4.84, 19 ratings)

Fingers and thumbs turn design conventions on their head. Touchscreen interfaces create ergonomic, contextual, and even emotional demands that are unfamiliar to desktop designers. Find out why our beloved desktop windows, buttons, and widgets are weak replacements for manipulating content directly, and learn practical principles for designing mobile interfaces that are both more fun and more intuitive. Along the way, discover why buttons are a hack, how to develop your gesture vocabulary, and why toys and toddlers provide eye-opening lessons in this new style of design.

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Josh Clark

Big Medium

Josh Clark is founder of Big Medium, a design agency specializing in connected devices, mobile experiences, and responsive web design. His clients include Samsung, Time Inc, TechCrunch, Entertainment Weekly, eBay, O’Reilly Media, and many others. Josh has written several books, including “Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps” (O’Reilly, 2010) and the forthcoming “Designing for Touch” (A Book Apart, 2015). He speaks around the world about what’s next for digital interfaces.

Before the internet swallowed him up, Josh was a producer of national PBS programs at Boston’s WGBH. He shared his three words of Russian with Mikhail Gorbachev, strolled the ranch with Nancy Reagan, hobnobbed with Rockefellers, and wrote trivia questions for a primetime game show. In 1996, he created the uberpopular “Couch-to-5K” (C25K) running program, which has helped millions of skeptical would-be exercisers take up jogging. (His motto is the same for fitness as it is for software user experience: no pain, no pain.)

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Josh Clark
10/18/2011 11:50am EDT

Thanks for the kind words and interest folks!

Here are the slides: PDF of slides, with comments

Vincent Visco
10/18/2011 11:12am EDT

are the slides from the New York Session on line anywhere?

Picture of Karin Tracy
Karin Tracy
10/12/2011 12:00pm EDT

I was really looking forward to this session and wasn’t disappointed. While my company hasn’t done any design for touch yet, Josh’s ideas were spot on for traditional screen interface design as well. High-energy and a downright fun session to attend!

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