Most of the gadgets and electronic devices we use today rely heavily on smart design philosophy that makes it easy to use with touchscreen fingertips.
Ever since the original iPhone proved that a touchscreen could be an effective way to interact with electronic devices, people have an expectation that through a series of intuitive taps, swipes and motions they can do anything they need to.
Most of the time, that is the case, especially with modern versions of iOS and Android to take design notes from. However, there have also been some truly awful touch interfaces that have also provided lessons to learn from.
Nokia’s flagship mobile interface is a footnote in the history of smartphones, rather like the former telecommunications giant itself, known more for being the root cause of the infamous “Burning Platform” memo that signalled the end of Nokia as we knew it.
Symbian was the last platform made with the pre-iPhone world in mind, being difficult to program and designed more as a PDA interface with intuitive design and functionality a much lower priority.
By the time the last Symbian flagship phone came out in the form of the Nokia N8, the iPhone had taken over with a wave of Android phones taking second place. Symbian was seen as the worst part of Nokia’s best phone, and it made a move to Windows Phone and later Android inevitable.
The Tiger Game.com is somewhat infamous for being the first ever touchscreen game console in 1997 and doing such a poor job of showcasing why touchscreens can enrich the video game experience that it would take another seven years for someone else to try.
Part of the problem was a terribly designed touch interface that did not take full advantage of the resistive screen’s advantages and disadvantages. For example, quitting a game required pressing a button, tapping yes on the screen before tapping “OK” when only one of those steps was needed.