It is simple – if you want to make a touch screen anything, for it to be successful, the experience must be intuitive. And if you want to make it intuitive, here’s a few suggestions:
1. Look at what Apple has done
2. Look at your mobile device(s)
3. Look at your favorite websites
4. Watch children interact with them
That’s right. Children. The key to making successful touch screen experiences might just lie in the children.
Watch how my daughter (6) works through this experience that we came across at the Dallas Zoo:
And, now, watch how my son (3) works through the same experience:
Both, intuitively know what to do – press a picture or a button. In my daughter’s case (who has had computer training), her first instinct is to look for the pointer and drag it to the button or picture. Im my son’s case (who has only had phone/iPad training), his first instinct is to press the colorful thing(s) on the screen. This particular experience was laid out in a very simple format and flow. Simplicity certainly helps.
I found it interesting that they both instantly wanted to interact with these screens. I did see a few adults interacting with the screens, but the children that I saw just wanted to touch it and play with it. I think they might liken anything touch screen to games, but their curiosity drives their wish to interact.
Isn’t it funny that our curiosity becomes much more selective as we grow older, specifically around new technology? How can we capture the curiosity of a child for an everyday, grown-up experience? We have to continue getting creative, continue pushing. But we also need to get back to basics and create things that are simple and intuitive.