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ALA: Adapting to Input

By Jason Grigsby

Published on July 19th, 2016


Today, A List Apart published a little something I wrote entitled Adapting to Input. It is truly an honor to be an author for such an esteemed publication.

One thing I wanted to include, but didn’t make sense for A List Apart, is the following video by Boris Smus. The video contains three experiments that have shaped the way I look at input.

The first experiment shows that adapting the user interface based on detecting touch or mouse is a step backwards. Instead of simply tapping on a button, Boris has to tap once to let the page know he wants to use touch and then a second time to select the button.

I will admit that the idea of adapting the interface based on detecting certain types of input is a dead end path I pursued early on in my research.

The second and third experiments demonstrate multiple types of input used together. As I wrote for A List Apart:

At minimum, we need to ensure that our web pages don’t prevent people from using multiple types of input.

Ideally, we would look for ways to take advantage of multiple inputs used together to create better experiences and enable behavior that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

Go read Adapting to Input at A List Apart. After you’re done, check out Four Truths About Input for more background on input.