I Have Trouble With Touch Screens.

We're starting to use tablets at work now. Currently we're getting used to the Blackberry Playbook which will be turned over to the floor staff for the various log books required for our stores to maintain. Management is getting an iPad.

With these new additions, most of the functions required of me at work now involved a touch screen. Even the printer/fax machine is touch screen. This morning I had to hit the copy 'button' eight times before it 'took' my command. This is the single most annoying thing I hate about my iPhone, the tills and now the tablets at work. Apparently they are so simple even an orangutan can use them but I have a great amount of frustration getting them to recognize me.

Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a reason for it? I checked online and someone said it's because touch screens don't work with fat fingers. Seriously? First, I don't have fat fingers and second, how does fat play into it? If fingers are big enough, and that doesn't necessarily mean fat, I can see the fingertip hitting more than one key at the same time and causing the computer to to receive conflicting messages. 

[Related Digression alert]
Re: fat fingers. I once worked in a jewellery store and had to size a couple's fingers for new wedding bands. It was going to be their gift to each other for their golden anniversary, which is fifty years I think.  Anyway, the man's finger came in at a whopping 15 which is pretty much the size of a napkin ring. He had been a farmer his whole life. He was tall, thin and slightly stooped and he had NO fat anywhere on his body. He just had big hands. So go to hell, whoever suggested fat fingers was the problem.

My boss said some people get angry fingers with touch screens. If it doesn't work the first time they tap harder which also doesn't work. Then it escalates from there. No, I've already figured out it isn't how hard you tap that makes the button work. 

When I'm taking orders at a till, I have to use a pen, pencil or stylus of some sort. I have to hit buttons several times on my phone to get to the functions I want. Some of that might be impatience, or even because I'm in the habit of having to repeatedly hit buttons that I scramble the phone's brain for a few seconds by inadvertently sending multiple commands.

None of this is a problem, I work around it, but I'm finding the sphere of gadgets on which I am required to do my job has pretty much enlarged to include touch screens entirely. I feel like some serious blockades are in my way now. I feel inept when I hit the print button repeatedly and nothing happens and then when I tell someone, they hit the button and get immediate results. Yeah...heh heh, really I did that and it didn't work...

Is this an issue that a small group of people are experiencing? I did find this information from this website:
Why Don't Touch Screens Work for Me?
...The problem is quite simple.  Don't drag your knuckles  :)  Yes, its usually that simple. 
I noticed that people would point with their index digit, however the remaining 3 fingers were not tucked away, they would drag the screen ever so slightly.  Thats it, I swear.  If you have issues using a touch screen, pay attention to your final 3 digits.  :)   Even though you may not "feel" then touch the screen, they likely are firing a touch point. 
Remember the two most prevalent touch screen technologies today are capasitive and optical (Lets just forget resistive   :P  ).  Without going into details of how these work, you don't really need to "touch" the screen.  You can try this.  Slowly move your finger to a touch point on a screen and notice that the touch point will fire jjjjjjjjuuuuuusssssstttttt before your finger touches.  :)
Your remaining 3 digits are firing touch points on the screen without your knowing and causing the issues  of a touch screen not working for you.  :) 
Very interesting! I didn't know this and it makes a lot of sense. It might help your habits but I don't use my index finger. I use my middle finger tip and tap it gently. All of my other fingers are raised up and out of the way. So...I dunno. I guess I'll analyze my fingers and knuckles and the way I interact with the screens in my life and see if I'm doing something to fire those touch points. Other than that I have found nothing to indicate that some people are just ghosts as far as touch screens are concerned.


Angie said...

I have a similar problem. I cannot have a touch screen phone because I cannot get it to scroll properly.

Unknown said...

It has nothing to do with "fat fingers" or dragging extra fingers. My wife has great difficulty with touch screens, most significantly with the tiny iPad - clearly other fingers aren't the issue. Strangely, when I hold her hand and touch her finger to the screen it works perfectly. There seems to be something about body chemistry at work.

Elizabeth Stein said...

Some touch screens are really heat sensors and if you have cold hands then you won't be able to work it. But I have the problem with scrolling. :(

Frimmy said...

I actually have noticed I have more issues when my hands are cold.

Unknown said...

Google Zombie fingers. :-)


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