Touchy Subject: Touchscreens on Laptops

Research Findings Challenge the Conventional Wisdom about PC Touchscreens


TouchLaptop01.jpgParticipants in the study were given a laptop with a simulation of the touch-friendly Windows 8 environment. (Flickr photo)

Touch made smartphones easy to use. Touch turned tablet computers from a novelty into a multi-billion-dollar market. But touch on a laptop? That’s a touchy subject — if you listen to conventional wisdom kahoot downloaden pc.


Tapping away on a vertical screen all day could be “painful,” causing users to develop aching “gorilla arms,” some experts warn. Even the late Steve Jobs once said Apple had no plans to add touch to its laptops: “Touchscreens don’t want to be vertical,” he said at the MacBook launch in 2010. “It’s ergonomically terrible.”


Yet conventional wisdom didn’t stop Gary Richman and his team at Intel’s PC client solutions division from diving deeper into the concept of bringing touch to laptops fonts sicher downloaden.


“A Gut Reaction”


“I just thought that touch on a notebook might be kind of cool,” Richman said. “It was a gut reaction on my part.”


That feeling grew as the team grew to understand that Microsoft’s focus for its upcoming Windows 8 operating system was “touch first, touch first.”


“People were getting more and more accustomed to touch on phones and on tablets, yet here everyone was saying ‘we all know’ that touch on a vertical plane didn’t make sense,” Richman said.


So he enlisted team member Daria Loi — a user experience manager — to test the “no touch on laptops” rule in the real world series netflix laptop.


“We felt that if we don’t explore this and challenge the conventional wisdom, years from now notebooks will end up being your grandfather’s PC,” Richman said.


Testing the No-Touch Rule


Loi set up focus groups in Chicago and Milan in her native Italy. The focus group members were ordinary computer users from all walks of life. They were given regular laptops that had been outfitted with touchscreens and a simulation of the touch interface of the Windows 8 “Metro” OS old music for free.


Over a couple hours, the participants were told to go through a number of common computer scenarios, including formatting a picture, creating a PowerPoint presentation and even resetting the Wi-Fi connection. They had the option of using the touchscreen, the mouse, the track pad or the laptop’s keyboard. Participants were allowed to make whatever choice best suited their needs.


“We weren’t doing it to prove whether one mode was better than another,” Loi said. “We had no preconceived ideas.”


But the results were “astonishing,” she said herunterladen. More than 77 percent of the time, the focus group participants chose to use touch for the various tasks assigned to them.


“As soon as I reviewed my tracking documents, there was no ambiguity about users’ strong preference for touch — I was blown away,” Loi said.


A Hit with Focus Groups


“Wow, this is easy!” said “Pamela” from Chicago. “It’s almost reading your mind,” she said of the touch interface. “You think of it and you do it. Just touch it.”


Another tester, “Betty,” said, “I like the scrolling because you can just kind of flick your hand and go quicker.”


Loi recalled that one user, an older man, said he had never used a touch interface before avg antivirus kostenlos herunterladen chip.


“He was telling me how long it had taken him to learn how to use a mouse and a trackpad,” Loi said. “It had been a very frustrating experience for him to learn how to use these devices. ‘This is so easy,’ he said. ‘I’m amazed at how quickly I’m learning.'”




In her studies, Loi said people approached the touchscreen in a variety of ways. They didn’t try to touch a “vertical” screen, but instead adjusted the laptop screen so that it was at a comfortable angle. They often held the screen with two hands, using their thumbs to touch buttons on the bottom and sides of a screen spiele kostenlosen vollversion deutsch solitär. It was almost as if the laptop was a giant cell phone.


TouchLaptop02.jpgParticipants in an Intel user experience research study enjoyed using touch interfaces on a laptop. (Flickr photo)

One woman in the Milan focus group said that interacting with the notebook via touch was “simpatico.”


“I found this very telling,” Loi said, noting that “simpatico” is a term used in Italy to describe a level of affinity between people, not between person and technology.”


In practice, it meant that touch had turned a boring, run-of-the-mill laptop from a “work” device to a “play” device that encouraged people to interact with it in a variety of ways.


What about the dreaded “gorilla arms?” When asked about fatigue, no one said that was a problem.


“I believe it’s actually healthier for your wrist,” said “Heidi” from Chicago ebook forum. Pointing at the touchscreen she said, “Here you are moving other muscles. I think that’s good for the body.”


Worth the Higher Price, Testers Say


Though touch was rated overwhelmingly positive, Loi noted that didn’t mean the participants were ready to ditch all other forms of interaction. Most of the testers preferred to enter text on a keyboard, for example.


One last point: When informed that a touchscreen would add to the price of a laptop, most of the testers said they’d be willing to pay “substantially” more for the feature.


One Chinese tester said that he would love to be the first in his office to have a touch Ultrabook, saying it would make him look tech-savvy and cutting edge kostenloses antivirus programm herunterladen.


Changing Intel’s Plans


Encouraged by the results, Loi went back to the field and ran the study in Brazil and China — each with familiar results; the majority of focus group participants loved touch on a laptop.


Intel’s Mooly Eden referenced the study in his keynote address at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.


“People naturally use touch to swipe, expand and manipulate pictures and images directly on screen,” said Eden, now president and general manager of Intel Israel ulead photo express 5 se kostenlos downloaden deutsch. “And, so, touchscreen Ultrabooks will begin showing up in the market this year.”


Armed with these new findings, Intel is now stressing that touch can actually be a competitive advantage on Ultrabook devices — and the industry is listening.


Erik Reid, general manager of Intel’s mobile client platforms said, “This research was very valuable to Intel’s larger business objectives. It enabled us to talk to OEMs about a new compelling usage for Ultrabooks.”



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