Why Touchscreen Target Sizes Are Imperative To Mobile Web Design

Think about the last time you looked something up on your mobile phone – did you keep hitting the wrong link or button when you were trying to navigate the site? This is a clear sign that the designer or developer has little experience with mobile web design, as they have failed to take into account the fact that fingers need a large target size for clicking.

But how big do these targets need to be to ensure that touchscreen users can navigate the website in relative ease? Even though developer guidelines for these sorts of features do exist, these guidelines don’t seem to be consistent with each other. When Apple says that they expect a minimum target size of 44 x 44 pixels and Nokia says that they will accept a minimum of 28 x 28 pixels, you can see why there is a problem.

Would you be surprised to learn, then, that both of these recommendations are entirely too small for most fingers? The average index finger size is around 45 to 57 pixels square, whilst the average thumb is about 72 pixels square. If you are working to the recommendations provided by Apple, your users will probably find that they are still experiencing the same problems.

As mobile web design becomes more and more popular, it is imperative that you take into account the target sizes that you are using. When testing how the design works, ask yourself whether you would struggle to press links and use the navigation or whether you would find it fairly easy. If you think that you would still struggle, you should consider making targets bigger.

 

 

Stevens Greg