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Redesigning the Web For Touch Screens


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Technology Review

Last week, in an essay criticizing Adobe's Flash platform, Apple CEO Steve Jobs drew attention to, among other things, its lack of support for touch--something essential to the experience of an iPhone or iPad. "Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers," Jobs wrote.

But Flash is hardly the only Web software that wasn't designed to handle touch, and the advent of touch-based devices "is almost asking the entire Web to change its behavior from what's been built up over 20 years," says Raju Vegesna, evangelist for Zoho, a company based in Pleasanton, CA, that produces a suite of complex online Web applications.

Individual problems are often small, but they add up to something more significant, Vegesna says. For example, roll-over interactions are common on many websites, but these don't work on touch devices. Other common tricks, such as hovering over a link to see the connected URL in the status bar, have to be adjusted before a user can perform the same function.

From Technology Review
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