My friends at A List Apart published a chapter excerpt from my new book Designing for Touch. The article, How We Hold Our Gadgets, takes a look at how we grip different devices, revealing the ergonomic demands of touchscreen interfaces:
Where do hands and fingers fall on the device? This question is the linchpin for every form factor this book examines, and the answer tells you how to design your layout for comfort and efficiency. Since we hold phones, phablets, tablets, and laptops very differently, it’s no surprise that each of these touchscreen variations has its own UI needs.
Yet these devices also share many consistencies, especially in the crucial role of thumbs. Whether we’re tapping away at tiny phones or jumbo tablets, our thumbs do most of the walking. That fact helps us establish sturdy cross-device guidelines. This chapter looks at why the thumb is so important, and reveals fundamental “rules of thumb” based on how we grab screens of all sizes.