Let’s say you’re designing some way to send video from one device to another device (for example, from your phone to your TV), and you think “ah ha! instead of pressing a boring button, what if we made it so you could just flick the video off your phone’s screen up to the tv?”
I admit, it sounds neat at first. But it’s classic jetpack design, putting “wow” before “it just works”. In real world usage, the interaction falls apart.
FJP makes a great point. Just because it’s a touch screen doesn’t mean that you should automatically use a gesture instead of a button. Buttons are obvious and well understood. Clear is a great example of this kind of jetpack design. It’s a beautiful app, and clearly a lot of care went into, but I’ve found that it’s not terribly functional in real world use because it relies so heavily on gestures.
I think the author makes the argument more black and white than need be though. Gestures can be very effective if they are memorable and more functional than a button based equivalent. Pinch to zoom, two finger rotation, and swipe scrolling are examples that come to mind.