When Hover Becomes a Drag

Over at Roughly Drafted is a very interesting article about the UI issues of having Flash on a touch screen device.

I pretty much slapped my forehead when I read this, since it is actually very obvious once you think about it, but most of us haven’t had a chance yet to experience Flash on a touch screen, so the issue hasn’t been in our face enough… and the issue is that many Flash experiences on the Web use mouse hover all over the place. Now imagine trying to use that on a touchscreen. Exactly.

Now to be fair, this is not just a Flash problem, the same is true for many websites where we use hover states for additional information and easy option selectors. We will have to come to terms with the fact that there are more and more touchscreen devices with excellent web capabilities, and we will have to start designing sites accordingly.

The article implies that this is one of the main reasons that there is no Flash on the iPhone or the new iPad and I’m not so sure that’s the case, but the absence of Flash on the iPhone has definitely prolonged the detrimental behavior of all web designers and developers to assume that there is always a mouse cursor.

We will have to let go of the mouse cursor. It’s an interesting experiment – look at your most recent web project (if that’s what you do) and see if it can be used without a mouse. And if not, can you fix it?

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