Apple, Microsoft, and Google are fighting for market share. The battle has just begun. Apple, for the longest time, owned the mobility market through their iPod, iPad, and iPhone using a closed system. Google countered with the Android open operating system on smartphones and quickly gained traction. Microsoft finally came to market with Windows 8, which is their latest operating system that also includes Windows Surface, a touch screen system. Not to be left behind, in February, Google launched Google Chrome Pixel which is also a touch based operating system.
The common theme: All three operating systems use icons and tiles. The user merely touches the desired icon, tab or tile and the program opens. Of course, some of the efficiencies associated with icons and tile end right there because most programs are not designed with the touch experience in mind and websites are even harder to navigate using the touch experience. The large majority of them are not designed from the perspective of the touch interface.
Smartphone and tablet apps have an advantage over mainstream laptop, ultra-book, or desktop computing devices because their programs are designed from the start with the primary user experience being a matter of touch. Enter in the new era in computing.
It is our prediction that by 2015 all new computers shipped-from desktop devices to ultra-books-will be touch interface driven. Fingers are fat enough, but when you think of the touch interface and a drop down list box that has five different options, using the touch interface becomes problematic. Hence the challenge.
My company's website must confront this technology and morph or we will lose our relevance. We need to adapt our website to accommodate the de facto touch interface and accommodate the user experience expectation of our customers.
The message is clear--as technology evolves so should we. The touch interface is an important evolutionary step in the advancement of the computer-to-human experience and we should take note. Relevance is a requirement for continued survival. Failure to change is the first evolutionary step that will precipitate your ultimate demise.