gorilla arm

Computing Dictionary

gorilla arm definition


The side-effect that destroyed touch-screens as a mainstream input technology despite a promising start in the early 1980s. It seems the designers of all those spiffy touch-menu systems failed to notice that humans aren't designed to hold their arms in front of their faces making small motions. After more than a very few selections, the arm begins to feel sore, cramped, and oversized - the operator looks like a gorilla while using the touch screen and feels like one afterward. This is now considered a classic cautionary tale to human-factors designers; "Remember the gorilla arm!" is shorthand for "How is this going to fly in *real* use?".

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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