Windows 8: Semantic Zoom versus Optical Zoom

imageWindows 8 is full of groovy nuggets of innovation. One of my favorites is the Sematic Zoom. This control is a container of two other controls – usually list controls. The first declares the UI when zoomed out. The second declares the UI when zoomed in. Simple.

Easy and Intuitive

To use Semantic Zoom, users performs a standard two-finger pinch-zoom. This manipulation is the natural gesture for touch users desiring to drill in or back out. The two-finger pinch-zoom originated in image applications, but there it was performing an Optical Zoom.

What about the mouse?

Everything that works for touch in Windows 8 works for the keyboard and mouse. This is a common concern when users see a touch demo – and it’s a great answer to offer them back, there’s a no-compromise experience for keyboard and mouse. Semantic Zoom is CTRL + Mouse Wheel.

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