Originally Posted by perfectblade
i'm not saying it won't be useful in some applications. but for office apps? there are definitely instances you need something more precise. and yeah i've used an ipad and even for basic stuff like browsing the internet, sure it works, but it's less efficient than a laptop. one of the nice things about mouse and keyboard is that you are not restricted by physical limitations as much. therefore you can use smaller icons etc and fit more info on screen at once, while the general rule for touch ui seems to be to layer info more so that you can have larger icons that fit touch better. and typing on a touch screen? sure it is doable, but not efficient by any means
ipads certainly have their place, but i think their is virtue in keeping traditional and touch computing seperate
Like I eluded to earlier, keyboards will probably be around forever. I think the tactile feedback of a keyboard is far superior and more valuable than touching glass.
You are still thinking in terms of current applications that have hundreds of icons on the screen. But is that really necessary? I think in most cases, this is due to the improvements over legacy products we have made over the years, resulting in more and more icons on your screen (think toolbars and menu items etc.). However, if we redesigned these products from the ground up with touch in mind while maintaining all features, do we REALLY need all the hundreds of icons on the screen at once - or can we organize them more efficiently and have them contextually available where it makes sense?
For example, take a word processing application:
You always have Edit -> Cut
and Edit -> Copy
on your screen (along with associated toolbar icons). However, you can't click on these unless you have something selected or highlighted, yet they take up screen space regardless.
Instead of that, what if any time you select or highlight something in a document, a contextual popup shows up with the available copy/cut/whatever options. When nothing is selected or highlighted, the popup or whatever is not available and cannot be seen.
Doesn't that make more sense than being bombarded with hundreds of icons/toolbars at all times, only which some of the time it makes sense for them to be available?
I believe "Metro" versions of the Office suite were announced and are due later this year. It should be interesting to see what they do with those. Hopefully they do it right.