Touchscreens Vs Traditional Controllers In Handheld


This article compares a touchscreen-based controller and a physical controller. It demonstrates the superiority of controls with tactile feedback over a touchscreen. An iPhone is used to represent a touchscreen-based controller and the Nintendo DS is used to represent a physical controller. The game used to make the comparison is Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed.


1) I agree with the findings of the paper, which demonstrate that a physical controller is more effective for gaming than a touch screen. The physical controller was both faster and more accurate.
2) The paper mentions using back-of-device interaction as an additional medium of interaction for touchscreen devices. I think that this could make them much more effective and user friendly if utilized properly.
3) Stresses the importance of designing alternative control mechanisms for gaming rather than trying to emulate gameplay on other platforms.


1) The designers used only 1 level of 1 game for the whole study. I think they should have compared performance on more titles from different genres.
2) Users where given only one hour to practice the game before the trial. This is not enough time to learn the different nuances of a complex game like Assassin’s Creed. The results might have been different if they compared experienced gamers from both platforms in the study.