First impressions of touch screen phone – finger smearing behaviourism

Once upon a very long time ago I think in 2001, I was involved with designing a touch screen friendly eHR application (not technical design, more around visual & navigation etc) for shiny new tablets which were going to be distributed to financial services field personnel across the UK.

In 2005 when I was working in egovernment for a local council & doing my CIW, briefly played around with the touch codes on CSS stylesheets and then used that to kickstart some discussions in local council about use touch screen technology in general – we started to look as part of an accessibility initiative at things like kiosks in the bus station / shopping centres, different technologies that could be used in a one-stop advocacy shop etc

Phonewise – we watched the growth of smartphones and PDA usage, the development of the first phones with touch screen technologies from Samsung etc . The first phone I can remember using more seriously with a stylus was the Sony Ericsson P990 (can’t remember if it was P990 or P990i) that was a great phone at the time.

As of yesterday I have an X10 mini pro (so its only half touchscreen and wonderfully, has a slide out keyboard). Touch screens of any kind are just so – icky and kind of – nothingy. They are not intuitive because humans did not evolve with fingers moving across sliding flat slabs to hunt down food or defend themselves and yet people still carry on developing applications for them as if this was a necessary improvement to human behaviour. Will attempt over next few months to try and look at it objectively. Maybe.

On the mobile front – still looking at SMS and discussions – a follow up post or something like it on that soon. I have been trying to find people who are interested in looking at how SMS can be used in discussions as per CCK09 posts a few months ago.

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