Touchscreen technology is revolutionizing the way in which we control devices and equipment. From consumer-grade tablet computers and smartphones to industrial human machine interfaces (HMIs) and control systems, it’s found everywhere. And while physical control methods aren’t expected to fade anytime soon, touchscreen technology offers a viable alternative that many users prefer.

Of course, the defining characteristic of a touchscreen device is that it supports user input via touchscreen panel. Rather than pressing a button or typing on a keyboard, for example, the user taps his or her finger on a digital icon displayed on the device. The device identifies the user’s touch and responds with the appropriate command. While all touchscreen devices share this basic design principle, different users control them in different ways.

Hold With One Hand, Tap With the Other

One of the most common ways in which touchscreen devices are used involves holding the device with one hand and using a single finger on the opposite hand to tap the display. You might hold a touchscreen tablet computer with your left hand, for instance, while using your right hand to tap icons and control it. This otherwise simple position is both comfortable and efficient.

Two-Thumb Tapping

Another common hand position when using a touchscreen device is two-thumb tapping. As the name suggests, this involves tapping the device’s touchscreen display with both of your thumbs. To do this, you’ll first need to grab the touchscreen device with both hands, after which you can extend your thumb in front so that you’re able to touch the display. According to one study, only about 1% to 3% of all touchscreen commands involve two-thumb tapping. When typing, however, this number increases to 41%. This means 41% of the time that someone types using a touchscreen device, he or she uses the two-thumb tapping position.

Single Hand

Finally, there’s the single hand method. This method involves holding and using a touchscreen device with a single hand. You can hold a device with your palm, for example, and use the thumb of that same hand to tap the touchscreen display. It’s a simple and easy way to control a touchscreen device that doesn’t require the use of both your hands. The downside to using the single-hand method is that it only works with small, lightweight touchscreen devices. For large tablet computers, other methods are preferred.