Multi Touch Screens Vs Mouse Driven Screens – Sample Paper


Computer technology has for a long time revolved around the use of a number of input devices to  initiate a command. These devices include mouse, keyboard, track ball, and joy stick, among others. However, the recent development of touch screen driven input device has completely changed this technology, such that previous input devices such as mouse and light pen are no longer very essential. The use of multi-touch screen technology has extensively be used not only in smart phones, tablets, and laptops, but also in TVs and ATM machines. This paper evaluates the two technologies  to establish difference in the experience of users in the two technologies during the interaction.

Read also Multi-Touch Screens and Mouse-Driven Screens – Comparison Essay

Metaphors Employed in the Design of Applications that Run in each Kind of Monitor

There are various metaphors employed in the design of applications which run in every kind of monitor. The most common metaphors in used in multi-touch screen design include tapping, sliding or dragging, sensor, touch controller and a touch sensor. On the other hand, most common metaphors used in mouse-driven screen include button which include two buttons, clicking, and dragging. A mouse contains two buttons that include right side and left side button. A right side button is normally used for right clicking while the left button is used for left clicking. On the contrary, a touch screen requires a sensor which allows the user to tap. The finger pressure disperses the LED light where this is used to transmit the command  by use of a screen sensor. This is transmitted through the screen controller that transmit the command to the system by use of screen drivers. On the other hand, when a mouse button is clicked a command is sent to the PC computer by use of communication bus. This result to command execution and sending of the feedback through the screen (Norman, 2005).

Mouse Driven Screen
Mouse Driven Screen
Multi Touch Screen
Multi Touch Screen

A mouse is normally allowed to communicate with the other parts of a computer by use of an operating system which allows the flow of commands from the mouse which is an input device to the processor and the result is displayed on the screen. On the contrary, the command flow from the screen to the processors and the results are displayed back into the screen. A mouse in mouse-driven screen is normally connected to the PC computer by use of a serial or USB communication port. However, a mouse in a laptop is inbuilt and normally employs a touch pad or a touch pad and a ball to enhance mouse operations.

The two different monitors contain similar screens. However, the touch screen contains special screen sensors installed in it that make it different from the mouse-driven screen. Multi-touch screen design is more concerned on concentrating all the operations on the screen while in a mouse driven screen, the design is done independently where the screen, mouse and the PC are designed separately but integrated later by use of serial or/and USB ports, while in a laptop internal cables are used to integrate them. On the contrary, a multi-touch screen involves the development of a comprehensive product will all its components integrated to form a small and a more portable device.

Differences in Interaction Types and Styles in the Multi Touch Screens and Mouse Driven Screens

There is a significant difference between mouse-driven screens and multi-touch screens. However, this does not necessarily mean that the two employ different technologies in communication and initiation of commands. According to Gersh et al. (2005) the two interfaces are based on the same three primary cognitive functions. This include viewing, locating and acting (clicking or taping). In the mouse-driven event, a user identifies the required item on the screen, positions the mouse to the identified item and then clicks the mouse. Similarly, in multi-touch screen, the user identifies the right item on the screen, position a finger and taps or touches the item. This taping is similar to the left-click of the mouse in the mouse-driven event. However, there is a huge difference in locating and taping or clicking. Locating in a mouse-driven event needs a horizontal plane movement translation to the screen vertical plane. On the contrary, location in a multi-touch event is more direct since one just need to move a hand toward the identified item. Action taking with a mouse or clicking simply entails mouse clicking, while in touch screen it entails touching the screen with adequate precision degree.

Conceptual Model in Design of the Multi Touch Screens and Mouse Driven Screens

A multi-touch screen contains three major components which include a software driver, a controller and a touch sensor. Since a touch screen in this case acts as an input device, it requires to be integrated with a PC and a monitor to develop a complete touch system of input. Touch sensor are various touch screen  technologies today in the market. Each sensor employs various techniques to sense touch input. Normally, these are glass or plastic panel put under the LCD screen bezel. The touch controller is a minute PC card that links between the PC and the touch sensor. It is normally installed in the touch monitor. The touch monitor will contain an extra cable link on the back , normally serial or USB that links to this board directly (Touchscreen Solution, 2015).

The touch controller transfer information from  the touch sensor and decodes it into information which can be understood by the PC. Beside this, the touch screen kiosks and monitors are normally offered together with software drives for touch screen which permit the touch screen to emulate the mouse’s left button click. Touch screen implemented with driver software operates as the same as the mouse on the screen at the same point. This permits the touch screen to operate with a huge amount of mouse driven pre-existing software. This also permits for simple growth of new applications since no extra knowledge or code is needed to create software that can be utilized with the touch screen. New applications of touch screen can be created in a similar manner as mouse driven software. The touch screen can imitate dragging, double-clicking, and left-clicking. Once the screen is touched, it behaves in the same manner as it happen when a mouse is used to move the pointer to the right position and left click the mouse button.

Read also User Interface Design Techniques – Hover Controls, Controls on Demand And Icons Instead of Text

In mouse-driven screen, the operation requires a mouse connected into a PC and a computer screen either separated in the PC or inbuilt in a laptop. The user identifies the item in question, moves the mouse which uses either an LED mouse or a roll-ball mouse to locate the identified item by making horizontal or vertical moves through dragging. The user then left-clicks the mouse. The only difference between a touch screen and a mouse driven monitor is that the touch screen does not have left or right click. It only allows taping once. However, mouse-driven screen has left-click, right-click and double-clicking with all giving different commands. These different commands are basically executed using a tap in the touch screen, with execution of one procedure taking more taps as the touch screen tries to effect what is done via right click using a tap. Thus, a complete procedure of performing a certain act may involves more taps as compared to the same act in mouse driven case (Sears et al., 1990).


The touch screen directness as an input device makes direct manipulation interfaces desirable. This is because users directly control the computer environment by use of touching the suitable object simply by use of a finger. Multi-touch screen contains a product which permits a mouse to be substituted by a touch screen permitting users to touch application to chose them as well as dragging files by use of fingers to the waste basket. Direct manipulation also gives extra techniques to acquire user’s input. Any task which can be carried out by simple selection of the button  can be considered as direct button manipulation. Nevertheless, selection of the tradition button employed extremely little touch screen information  as a real input. Touch screen technology was introduced to enhance the human-machine interaction. It simplifies the device to ensure that a device is easily portable and more interactive to human being (Sears et al., 1990).

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