Gesture Based Interfaces

As much as gesture based interface feel like the future, I think that some care needs to be taken in making sure that gestures fit the context.

There has been a recent influx of apps, especially on the iOS platform, that require gestures to be used for nearly all interactions.

Don’t get me wrong, I love gestures in apps, and I use them often. However like all good design, I think that they need to be well thought out if they are to improve the user experience. It’s all to easy to let new interaction methods be implemented as gimmicks, rather than as good design.

I know this from experience, as I prototyped a note-taking app that was gesture driven. It was visually appealing, and I really liked the concept. However, when I stepped back and considered what the gestures added to the experience, I found that it was mostly extra work for the user.

Like most design problems, using the right amount of gestures is extremely context specific, so there is not a sinle solution that fits every problem. However, it is definitely worth giving it the careful attention that it deserves.


Hi, I am Austin Birch, a software developer, design enthusiast and entrepreneur.

At the moment my focus is client-side & server-side JavaScript, though I write Ruby too, and I am currently learning functional programming with Clojure.

If you want to get in touch, or just want to talk, you can send me an email, or just say hello on twitter. I am also on GitHub and BitBucket.