Mechanical vs. digital interface article

Hey, I saw this article comparing physical and GUI interfaces for products. Take a look over here:


Interesting article, still not quite sure where I stand on the issue of touch screen displays. On the one hand they provide a very literal user interface, you simply touch the option that you want. They also allow for an ever changable user interface which can be optimised for the particular application, which is great for convergent devices that provide multi-functional use, as well as reducing the number of buttons, keypads etc…

On the other hand, they lack tactile feedback, we are used to getting physical feedback from the things we touch, it can communicate so much. Our sense of touch is already under-appreciated and I think that whilst the iPhone may be beautiful, nice to hold (tactile appreciation there!) and wonderful to use its lack of tactile feedback through the touch screen is a compromise. And not forgetting it completely alienates those who are blind or visually imapaired.

yeah its always a though balancing act between direct physical controls and soft flexible touch controls.

In regards to touch feedback take a look over at

They do a Hapic feedback system for touch screens. Its works by floating the screen on actuators which produce various ‘effects’ to simulate the on screen controls…such as the click you feel when you push a button.

The university of Glasgow is also doing some research in this area. Take a look over here:

Great article. I’m saving it for future meetings;)