Designing for gestures

Gestures are the very basis of how you interact with your mobile devices. Look at them as two-parters: the touch mechanics and the ensuing touch activities. Touch mechanics are what a user’s fingers do on his screen. For example, if you tap (one of the most basic gestures) on a menu item, you’ve performed a touch mechanic.

Touch activities are the results of the preceding touch mechanics. For example, if you typically double-tap on a section of written content, the mobile screen will zoom in on said content.

Touch activities can result from combinations of different touch mechanics as well. For example, before you find a section of written content that interests you enough to want to zoom in on it (second touch mechanic), you’d have to first scroll down the screen by performing a swipe (first touch mechanic).