Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration

Curtis Franklin Jr., Executive Editor | 11/2/2012 | 15 comments

Curtis Franklin Jr.
Enterprises are concerned with the Win 8 big picture, but success may hinge on the little things. The very little things.

Last week at the Gartner IT Symposium, I watched a booth worker run a Windows 8 machine off into the weeds in thorough fashion. The booth had a number of touch-screen desktop systems set up running various applications and the staff was happily showing off how the new interface works. That included lots of touching, swiping, and moving things around on screen.

The demos were lovely, but they had an unfortunate side effect: finger prints on the large, lovely monitors of the systems. When those monitors met the mildly compulsive urges of one booth worker, things got interesting.

You see, bright shiny monitors with fingerprints all over the screens just weren't "right" for this individual. In an attempt to bring the world back to order, a cloth came out and the fingerprints were attacked. There was just one problem: The cloth was able to trigger the location tracking features of the touchscreen and just like that, applications, demos, carefully-constructed splash screens, and active tiles were all swept off into the depths of the new Windows interface.

Users familiar with the new interface were able to bring back the planned displays, but the incident (which was repeated while I watched) pointed out something that the IT department needs to take into account: screen cleaning cloths. A lot of them. And instructions on how to use them without destroying work-in-progress or disrupting carefully crafted application screens.

It's a small thing, but users moving to a touch-screen computer on their desk are going to need support if they're going to remain productive -- and help desks are going to have to be able to offer one- or two-step processes for getting back to a home screen from whatever accidental weeds the user has chosen to visit with a poorly-timed cleaning spree.

Another small fingerprint-related item to think about is the stylus or pointing device. I guarantee that some people will be so anti-fingerprint that they'll want to use a stylus to use on the touchscreen of their new computer. Unless you like the idea of permenantly etched lines on the screen from ballpoint pens, hat pins, hunting arrow broadpoints, and whatever other insane items users are apt to pick up and try, you'll research good stylus choices, make company-standard styli available to users, and impress on those users (in the mandatory Windows 8 training session) of the dire consequences that will follow from using anything except the official stylus (or a finger) on the screen.

There are plenty of big issues to think about, but if you want to get user buy-in and see productive results from your migration, you'll pay attention to the little things, too. Think of it as a branding opportunity: Give the migration project a great name, get screen-cleaning kits with the logo, and present everyone with a snazzy stylus when they get the new computer. It may sound cheesy, but the little things will add up to big wins when you move to Windows 8.

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batye   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   12/3/2012 12:03:09 PM
Re: Nice to know I'm not alone
I agree also, but technology changing and we should see new better quality touch screens soon ...
kstaron   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/6/2012 11:36:12 AM
Do they have an app for that?
Sounds like someone need to build a screen clean app which freezes the screen in place for 30 seconds so any touches don't effect it, so you can get in there wit a cloth and get those smudges off. Either that or we might have to *gasp* turn it off for a minute to get it done.

 
Anand   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/5/2012 10:10:29 PM
Re: Nice to know I'm not alone
'floating touch' technology seems like the next big thing for me

@Henrisha, I agree with you but the only disadvantage is that currently multi-touch is not possible using this technology. One more difference I find is there wont be any feedback to the user because he is not touching the screen.

Anand   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/5/2012 9:52:10 PM
Re: Nice to know I'm not alone
although I find it pretty hard to imagine how it would be executed.


@Henrisha, may be we can have small wiper which is at the corner of the screen and once you press the key its just swypes your screen. We can also explore to see if we can create nano-wiper using nano-technology.
LynnG   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/5/2012 1:03:19 PM
Re: Nice to know I'm not alone
If you try to use the Win8 Desktop on a touchscreen, you will quickly get fond of your stylus! Although Office 2013 has a touch mode, most other apps' UIs just aren't designed for fingers.

I'm with you on the wiping, BTW. I've seen toxic waste that less icky than some touchscreens (maybe device owners use it as theft prevention?).
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Henrisha   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/5/2012 9:05:33 AM
Re: Nice to know I'm not alone
I agree that sometimes, it's the little things that count or matter the most. This 'floating touch' technology seems like the next big thing for me, provided they manage to make it work. Again, it might seem hard to visualize but it's interesting all the same. The link @rdv provided is specially helpful for those who want to know more about it. Thanks for sharing!
Henrisha   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/5/2012 9:04:04 AM
Re: Nice to know I'm not alone
Having a screen wiper for screens is interesting, although I find it pretty hard to imagine how it would be executed. Wouldn't it be, I don't know, bulky or affect how the entire device looks? Regardless, I make it a point to wipe my screen shortly after usage but it's sometimes annoying when the smudges take a while to completely wipe away.
rdv   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/4/2012 11:51:22 PM
Re: Nice to know I'm not alone
@Anand, I was really excited about this technology but it needs to improve.  It works on the physics of the capacitance where in the self-capacitance of the touch displays are used.  I think the hardware remains the same, we just need an API to use this feature.  Wondering thing is even if you hover your finger anywhere upto 20mm above the screen we can interact with the device.  Highlighting drawback is it doesnot support multi-touch interactions.

  Read about this on the Sony site

 
Anand   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/4/2012 8:10:08 PM
Re: Nice to know I'm not alone
Sony has used the new Touch sensor technology called "Floating Touch" in its smartphones


@rdv, thanks for sharing this info. What kind of technology does this "Floating touch" use ? How is the performance of the "Floating Touch" compared to the capacitive touch which are wildly used these days ?
rdv   Little Things Count in Win 8 Migration   11/4/2012 12:55:32 PM
Re: Nice to know I'm not alone
Sony has used the new Touch sensor technology called "Floating Touch" in its smartphones, wherein the UI can be controlled by just hovering the finger over the screen.  This technology has to prove efficiently, but the day will soon arrive when we will see monitors incorporated such kind of technology.

 
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