Touchscreens Have No Hand

Edward Tufte:

There is no such hand in touchscreen computer devices. The touchscreen has no texture variation, has no physical surface information, is dead flat, reflects ambient light noise, and features oily fingerprint debris when seen at a raking angle. Also the elegant sharp edges that encase many touchscreens require users to desensitize their hands in order to ignore the physical discomfort produced by the aggressive edges. Last year in Cupertino, I yelled at some people about touchscreens that paid precise attention to finger touches from the user but not to how the device in turn touches the hands of the user (and produces divot edge-lines in the flesh).

Beautiful little essay, but it’s pretty clear Tufte is not a fan of the iPhone 4(S) hardware.

Thursday, 17 November 2011