No-Fear Technology: The Touch Screen
How many times have you tried a new technology and given up as soon as it started getting complicated? In those cases, did you ever go back and try it again? While there are some people out there that may be motivated by the challenge of navigating an overly complex system or technology, the reality is they are the minority. In most cases, if you have a bad experience with a product or find it’s too complicated or difficult to use, you move on quickly and just hope you never have to look back.
The golden rule in the development of technology intended for the masses: keep it simple and intuitive. This is what made the iPhone such an overwhelming success. The iPhone went beyond what we had come to accept and opened up a new era of expectation: no-fear, intuitive technology designed for the user. The cornerstone of the simplicity behind the iPhone came with the touch screen interface that allowed humans to interact with their phone through innate, natural gestures and hand movements.
Does this mean that our “old school” touch tone flip phones are soon to become a distant memory? According to Gartner, we could be headed that direction. A Gartner recent report predicted that the worldwide market for touch screen mobile devices will grow 97 percent in 2010; and by 2013, touch screen mobile devices will account for 80 percent of all mobile device sales in developed markets.
But what’s even more interesting is how touch screen technology is so rapidly becoming ingrained into other aspects of our lives. A recent New York Times article discussed this trend picking up with other consumer devices such as e-readers and digital cameras. But it’s not just in the consumer electronics sector that we’re seeing this. As touch screen technology becomes more pervasive and commonplace in the mobile ecosystem, consumers are increasingly demanding the same ease of use across other collaboration technologies – both on the personal side as well as in their work environments.
We’ve seen this growing demand with video conferencing and telepresence systems that feature inTouch interface, a first-of-its-kind user interface that simplifies the experience of video collaboration and makes video calls as easy as the glide of a finger. By incorporating touch screen technology that is purely intuitive and familiar, customers have been able to further drive usage and ensure they’re maximizing on their investment all while enabling a more productive workplace.
Driving the adoption of new technology with new users can be challenging. But if you’re faced with users that have had a bad experience or found a technology too hard to use, winning them back can be a monumental task. Which is why it’s so important for technology companies to design products that take the user experience into consideration from the onset of product development, rather than as an afterthought.
 “Forecast: Touchscreen Mobile Devices, Worldwide, 2006-2013,” Gartner, January 26, 2010