Touch’em All…….

My friends and co-workers all know that I’m huge Minnesota Twins fan. When I’m not able to go to a Twins game, I’m happy to listen to the game on the radio. John Gordon is retiring this year after doing Twins radio broadcasts for 25 years. John’s signature call when a Twin hits a home runs is, “Touch’em all (player’s name)”. Unfortunately he hasn’t said this much in 2011.

“Touch’em all” is a phrase that could be used when we think about changes in technology in the last few years. I recall reading a prediction several years ago that touchscreens would become the dominant way we interface with technology. Well, that time is here. The rapid rise of smart phones and tablets with touchscreens has dramatically changed the way we interact with technology on a daily basis.

Touchscreens, provided they have good software interfaces, are much more intuitive and natural for most of us to use. Properly implemented, touchscreens can dramatically reduce the time it takes a user to begin using new technology. About 3 years ago my wife and I bought a new range. While the top burners are operated with mechanical dials, the oven is controlled through a touchscreen. We were both a little hesitant to purchase the range because of this, but within a few days we were touching the screen with confidence. Not only is the touchscreen cool, the interface is well designed and simple to learn.

According to IDC, we’ll soon reach a tipping point where more people in the U.S. will access the Internet through their smart phones and tablets than through desktop PCs. What this means is that most people will soon be navigating the online world through touchscreen devices.

If your organization is trying to build relationships with supporters online, you can be assured that many of those people are reaching you through their touchscreen device. If your website is not optimized to work well with touchscreen navigation you will want to consider making changes, especially with your navigation. If you have a touchscreen phone or tablet (borrow one if you don’t) spend some time on your website with the device. If you’re having trouble navigating the site you can be sure others are. If people can’t find what they’re looking for on your site they’ll leave and you’ve lost a chance to engage them in a relationship.

Every Onward –

Chris Hanson
The Fortunate Technologist and thedatabank CEO