7 quotes from Designing for Touch

Designing for Touch by Josh Clark outlines how ergonomics, evolving interaction paradigms and legacy desktop experiences affect design decisions for multi-touch devices.

The book didn’t cover a lot that was new to me, but it was still helpful to steep in the domain for a day. Of note, was the research data presented around how people hold various devices and the reality that the thumbs are the prevailing digits at play on both phones and tablets (optimizing layout around thumb placement and device size are crucial to delivering a comfortable experience). Josh also did a nice job of reviewing some nuts ‘n bolts design differences between iOS/Android/Mobile web that should be considered when designing an optimal experience for each platform. The book wraps with a couple chapters dedicated to gesture usage guidelines and tips for lowering cognitive load during onboarding.


  1. “As designers … Our job is to give users confidence.”
  2. “The best interfaces seem to translate intent into action instantly.”
  3. “Thumbs drive 75% of all phone interactions.”
  4. “Good design optimizes recurring tasks to make them as ergonomically efficient as possible.”
  5. “For phablet apps, place navigation and frequent controls at screen bottom.”
  6. “Size gestures to the hand, not the screen.”
  7. “The best learning takes place while doing, which is why help screens and FAQs let us down.”