Touch interaction is becoming more ubiquitous and often the only option. Should we be designing for touch first or even touch only?
What are the ramifications of taking this approach?
As someone that is always thinking about UX and HCI I found the discussion on alternatives to “hover” on touch-based devices and other similar posts to be very interesting. However, it felt that this was very much trying to shoehorn a cursor analogy into a touch situation and was simply a bad work around.
Should we be avoiding design choices that rely on a cursor driven interaction? For example hover button states and tool tips (feedback information) or 'hover for options' such as hovering over a table row to show edit button, delete button, etc (action items) or even things like drop down menus (should we only change them on click and not hover or both).
Even on this site I notice that once you take hover states out of the equation then a huge amount on functionality/information is removed (try seeing just how much content on this page relies on a hover state).
Would a better approach be a type of 'progressive enhancement' where certain base functionality is presented which is applicable to both touch and cursor and additional functionality is added when a touch device is detected (allowing for pinch to zoom, multi touch points or even multi user) or a cursor is detected (hover states, tooltips, extra precision).
It is important to note that this applies not only to web design but application design, OS design and HCI in general. This is also not a question about 'mobile first' but rather 'touch first'.
So, should we be designing for touch first or even touch only and what are the ramifications of doing so?