Touch-screen terms

Subject: Touch-screen terms
From: Michael West <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- net -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 09:23:57 +1000

I'm revising instructional material for
users of a touch-screen based interface.
I'm attempting to standardize some
inconsistent procedural language, including
the use the following verbs as synonyms:

I want to pick one and stay with it.
My reasoning follows this path--

1. It's a "touch" screen, so we "touch"
it. It isn't a "press" screen.

2. "Choose" is a possibility because it
is portable across other types of hardware
(e.g. mouse-based). The only way to
"choose" something on a touch screen is
to touch it, so it seems unlikely to be
a point of confusion.

3. "Select" has a distinct meaning that is
sometimes useful: we select an item in
a list and then choose an action to perform
on it. Using "select" for both the list item
and the command seems to remove a useful
distinction -- but is it worth preserving? It
is only a conceptual distinction, not procedural.
You touch one thing and then you touch the
other thing.

Comments invited.

Mike West
Melbourne, Australia


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