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Useability of sliders on a resistive touch screen

  • Morning all,

    I'm currently building a Qt Quick 2-based 7" resistive touch screen device, with which users will almost always interact wearing thick gloves. The current design uses a number of QML Sliders to change parameters, but I'm concerned with the useability of sliders on a resistive touch screen. I won't have a test resistive touch screen setup for some time, so wanted to hear from those that have developed a resistive screen-based device before.

    If it's not feasible, I can swap out the sliders with buttons, but wanted to clarify prior to doing so.


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    It depends partly on what touchscreen you are using but IIRC, most of them are seen as mouse inputs by the underlying system and give the same kind of input.

  • @SGaist Thanks for your reply as always.

    I suppose it's quite hard to determine without testing the actual screen itself; my experience so far is that the majority of 4-wire resistive screens perform very similarly. If the use of sliders isn't seen as some absolute 'no-no' in the professional embedded world, then I'll happily wait to test the useability when the resistive setup has been developed.

  • @jars121 the resistive screen itself should not be the issue. (however as you say, it is hard to tell without testing the particular screen)
    You do get sliders on professional equipment, it's more about what makes sense for your case. Sliders are intuitive for showing linear control values and telling you how to change them.

    On a resistive screen, just make things big enough that people hit the right item. Nowadays everyone is so used to capacitive screens, that they poke softly with the fingertip.

  • Thanks @tekojo That's exactly my concern; given the sensitivity of modern capacitive displays, the use of relatively fine control UI elements like sliders might make the interface feel particularly clunky. I'll make the slider elements as large as possible to combat this. Unfortunately the operating environment of the device won't permit the use of capacitive or projected capacitive, so resistive will have to do. If it doesn't feel or function as desired in testing I'll revert to using buttons instead.

  • @jars121 I take it people will be using the screen with bare hands. Is it a peaceful environment (like a control room) or a factory floor? People behave very differently in different spaces.
    (I would expect a factory floor to be easier with a resistive screen, the assumption there is that things are more robust and need to be pushed more)

    I know it's not always possible, but optimally you could take a first prototype over to a user in a real environment and see if they get it right.

    Do you need exact fine grained control or just some steps? Buttons work when you need just some options, but the slider is so much better for a wide range.

  • @tekojo Unfortunately 90% of users will be wearing gloves, so the use of a resistive screen is a necessity rather than a design decision. I will absolutely be developing a prototype for use case testing in the target environment, so expect to discover any issues with the UI ahead of production, but figured I'd ask the question ahead of time anyway.

  • @jars121 gloves just make the decision easier :)
    I would say large touch targets and a slider work well enough with gloves. (what kind of gloves? rubber coated ones might be an issue... best test in the real environment)

    I know of one case where people always used gloves. The screen was essentially split in two touch targets, top and bottom half. It was a pretty extreme case where the work was done while moving and at high speed. The design was excellent in that it followed the work process so closely that only two actions were needed (possible) at any one time.

  • Thanks again for your input @tekojo. I'm not 100% sure on the gloves just yet, likely a mixture of synthetic, leather and suede. I'll keep the sliders for now, and will give them a thorough test once my hardware is setup.

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