WHAT’S WITH THE BIG SCREENS?

SEC­OND SCREENS AND LARGER DIS­PLAYS ARE CHEAP, EASY WAYS TO GET MORE FROM COM­PUT­ERS. BILL BEN­NETT EX­PLAINS THAT IT'S ALL ABOUT PRO­DUC­TIV­ITY; SEE­ING MORE IN­FOR­MA­TION AT THE SAME TIME.

NZ Business - - CONTENTS -

Sec­ond screens and larger dis­plays are cheap, easy ways to get more from com­put­ers. Bill Ben­nett ex­plains that it’s all about pro­duc­tiv­ity; see­ing more in­for­ma­tion at the same time.

In some jobs it’s com­mon to see peo­ple work­ing on two or more large com­puter screens. Fi­nan­cial traders are an ob­vi­ous ex­am­ple. They of­ten have a few help screens on their desk in or­der to make split­sec­ond de­ci­sions. The ex­tra screens let them to see large amounts of in­for­ma­tion at a glance and they don’t need to switch between win­dows or ap­pli­ca­tions. That’s some­thing that no amount of in­no­va­tion has made eas­ier. Like­wise, de­sign­ers, engi­neers, doc­tors and nurses of­ten have more than one desk­top dis­play. They seem to be essen­tial for video pro­duc­tion folk and soft­ware de­vel­op­ers. You’ll see many dis­plays in front of seats on a ship’s bridge or in a net­work con­trol cen­tre.

It’s also not un­usual to see desk work­ers in large cor­po­ra­tions with more than one screen, and you don’t need to look far to un­der­stand why. More screen area makes for greater pro­duc­tiv­ity. Re­search ev­i­dence shows that for many tasks two or more screens im­prove a worker’s per­for­mance. A 2008 Univer­sity of Utah study found peo­ple with more than a sin­gle screen could get 10 per­cent more work done. They make 33 per­cent fewer er­rors, and this was af­ter just a sin­gle hour of train­ing.

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