In the Build keynote, one of the key takeaways was that the next version of windows was a touch first interface. They even made the claim that in a few years, screens without touch would seem antiquated, which shows that touch is really a big deal for the next version of Windows. Now, that’s not to say that things don’t work great with a mouse and keyboard, but looking at the Metro UI, there’s no denying that the large buttons and tiles are built with touch in mind.
With that being said though, what makes a great touch system? One mantra that kept being repeated at Build was “Fast and Fluid’. In testing, users tended to be much less tolerant of unresponsive touch interfaces-touching something required a much faster response than clicking something. There are also new challenges in interacting with the system, especially in cases where you no longer have the luxury of starting from scratch (i.e. desktop applications). A right click, which is perfectly natural on a mouse, turns into a click and hold, which is much slower, and even a double click often fails because of a lack of precision. Thankfully, Metro doesn’t suffer from many of these issues, largely because of conscious design decisions by the team. There are no right clicks, no click and hold, and a standard set of gestures that perform system tasks.