My colleague faced an issue where he suddenly saw 4 new icons on the right side of his outlook reading pane. There was also an increase in space between the folders on the left side navigation pane.
He is using Outlook 2013 and Windows 8 on a laptop without a touch screen.
Solution: This happens when the touch mode is switched on in Outlook 2013.
Click on the down arrow on the Quick Access Tool Bar (Customise Quick Access Tool Bar) and select touch mode.
This will add a new button to the QATB. Click on the new button to toggle touch mode.
Hope this resolves your issue.