Re: Touch-screen terms?

Subject: Re: Touch-screen terms?
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2003 09:16:39 -0400

"Hart, Geoff" wrote:

> Michael West is looking for help standardizing terms for a touch-screen
> interface:
> <<It's a "touch" screen, so we "touch" it. It isn't a "press" screen.>>
> That's true enough, but both verbs focus on the physical action (i.e., the
> mechanics of the interface) rather than the goal the user has for that
> action. You touch the screen or press a button on the screen to achieve some
> action, and that's what your word choice should focus on--the user's goal,
> and how they think about the task. As well, don't forget that your word
> choice governs how users will think of the action: "touch" means to make
> contact, whereas "press" means to make the screen respond (by depressing a
> button) and do something. See the distinction?

Every now and then I have to disagree with Geoff. I do not think the word
_press_ belongs ANYWHERE in documentation for a touchscreen application.
Consider the concrete thinker, who will see that word and will press, too
forcefully, and potentially cause physical damage to the screen or injury to the
operator. That metaphoric button on the screen needs only to be touched, not

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Touch-screen terms?: From: Hart, Geoff

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