回到2019年秋天,我记得一群与计算机互动的中学生。这是Java课程中的第一类,他们应该安装几个程序,以便设置个人笔记本电脑,以便他们可以编译和运行Java程序。对我来说是什么令人惊讶的是,这些孩子知道如何使用计算机。他们都拥有智能手机,并在使用这些硕士学位,但是当它来在他们的笔记本电脑上切换任务或使用多个应用程序时,它们完全无知。他们似乎不知道他们可以并排地放置两个不同的应用程序窗口,并将来自两个来源的信息组合并痛苦地试图从一个应用程序移动到另一个应用程序。

Things may have changed in the era of COVID, with kids being forced to spend their school day in front of their laptops. It’s very likely that by now they have learned how to juggle multiple windows.

但他们在2019年的行为是由于single-window constraint on modern smartphones. 如今的大多数手机不允许在屏幕上同时显示两个不同的应用程序窗口。即使是在更大的屏幕上,比如平板电脑,从技术上讲可以分割屏幕,我们也很少看到用户同时使用两个不同的应用程序。

Part of the reason is that人们不会在小屏幕上做复杂的活动, and simple activities rarely require two windows. But it’s a chicken-and-egg problem: do people not engage in complex activities on mobile due to the single-window constraint or do they not need the multiple windows because they perform only simple activities on their mobile devices?

In the last few years, we have started to see mobile devices that afford multiple windows side by side. A prominent example is the Surface Duo device, which runs a custom version of Android.

Somewhere between a phone and a tablet, the Duo opens up like a book to show two screens side by side. The diagonal of a single Duo screen measures 5.6 inches (14.2 cm); with both screens combined, it reaches 8.1 inches (20.6 cm). The Duo seems to be focused onmultitasking, because, even though it is possible to show one app on both screens (and technically take advantage of the larger screen real estate), it’s practically not a great experience for the majority of the apps that have not been customized for it — when you maximize an application to take up both Duo screens, some of the content will be obscured by the spine in the middle. Whereas the lack of continuity is passable in portrait mode, it’s utterly unusable in landscape mode.

NNgroup.com网站上的Duo处于纵向模式(顶部)和横向模式(底部),如边缘浏览器所示:页面中间被Duo的脊椎“覆盖”。在纵向模式下,用户可以上下滚动以查看模糊的内容,而在横向模式下,用户无法查看该内容(除非他们放弃并在屏幕的一半上使用该网站)(请注意,该设备的脊椎并没有出现在与Duo一起拍摄的屏幕截图中,但是,为了捕捉用户体验,我们在文章中包含的所有屏幕截图中手动添加了它。)

同时使用多个应用程序

二人组似乎是最好的suited for working with multiple apps side by side. 如果任务要求用户引用外部信息源,他们只需在第二个屏幕上显示它。例如,将日历放在一个屏幕上,将邮件应用放在另一个屏幕上,可以方便地向同事提议新的会议日期。或者,如果你想解决《纽约时报》的拼字比赛难题,需要字典应用程序的帮助,你可以把它们并排打开。

两个应用程序(如日历(左)和Gmail(右)可以并排打开,允许用户在与另一个一起使用的同时轻松引用一个应用。
While solving The New York Times Spelling Bee puzzle (right) you can pull up a helper app or website (in this case Free Dictionary’s Word Scrambler — left) to help you find words.

Duo evenallows users to create pairs of apps that are always opened side by side。这一想法是,如果用户重复执行任务,他们将能够为该任务设置工作空间。遗憾的是,如果该对中的一个应用程序是浏览器,则用户无法指定应打开浏览器的页面。例如,如果您想将纽约时间与边缘浏览器配对上面的拼图使用情况,则无法指定Edge应用程序应打开的页面。纽约时报尚未在拼写蜜蜂页面上打开。因此,每次在执行该任务时,您都必须导航到兴趣的内部页面。

The NYTimes – Edge pair does not open to the pages usually used for the task the pair is meant to support, but, instead, the system shows the last pages visited in the respective apps.

Drag-and-drop can be used to copy-and-paste text between two side-by-side apps,但它通常只有在接收应用程序是Microsoft生态系统的一部分时才有效。例如,您可以将边缘窗口中的文本从边窗口拖放到另一个或其他Microsoft应用程序(如OneNote或Outlook)中,而不是Gmail等第三方应用程序。

Selected text from an app (in this case The New York Times, left) can be dragged to Microsoft Outlook (right) or another Microsoft app.

On the other hand, if you’re using the Microsoft OneDrive app, you can drag-and-drop files into Gmail to send them as attachments. However, you won’t be able to drag-and-drop a file from Google Drive into Microsoft Outlook.

可以将文件从Microsoft OneDrive(左)拖放到Gmail(右),但不能将文件从Google Drive拖放到Gmail或Microsoft Outlook。

Do you see a pattern here? I don’t and it’s likely that users won’t either. It’s hard enough to remember that you can only drag-and-drop when one of the apps is a Microsoft app; but to remember that for text the destination should be Microsoft and for files Microsoft needs to be the source is probably very unlikely, unless the person is a heavy user of the Microsoft ecosystem.

So, even though drag-and-drop is a nice feature, it will probably remain largely unused, because it is available in only a few apps. The only chance for一个新的手势抓住开启是指设备上的大多数应用程序都支持它。

Supporting Multitasking in the Same App

根据他们提供双屏的支持水平,DUO APPS落入3课程:

  1. 根本没有支持
  2. Multiple windows of the same app on the two screens
  3. 充分利用两个屏幕(注意中间的间隙)
  1. Most applications simply ignore the existence of two screens. 当用户打开一个应用程序,然后试图将其最大化以将其扩展到两个屏幕上时,响应性应用程序(如纽约时报或YouTube)通常会显示平板电脑版本,但其他一些没有响应性的应用程序(如亚马逊或Facebook)会显示移动Android版本。尽管我们通常建议所有应用程序都要适应屏幕大小,并在扩展应用程序时显示适合更大屏幕的版本,但事实是Duo’s spine in the middle makes the use of an app on both screens pretty unlikely, unless the app was specifically designed to take advantage of the two screens in an intelligent way(就像下面讨论的一些应用程序)。

    当应用程序最大化到两个屏幕时,亚马逊显示移动android版本放大以利用更大的空间。在实践中,中间的区域被Duo的脊椎遮挡了。
    当窗口大小最大化时,youtube等响应应用程序显示平板电脑版本。
  2. Some apps support multiple windows side by side.The Edge and Chrome web browsers允许用户打开该应用程序的新窗口on the second screen. This feature enables people to easily combine content in the two windows or refer to one window while performing a main task in the other. Each of the two windows become visible in the list of apps, essentially behaving as if they were two version of the same app running simultaneously.

    The Edge browser allows users to open two webpages in different windows and see them side by side.

    OneDrive also allows users to open different documents in side-by-side windows; each of these windows is present in theRecentappslist on the device. This is truly useful, as someone could work with, say, a PDF and an Excel file side by side. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem possible to open two files of the same type (e.g., two Excel files) side by side.

    Users could have a PDF and an Excel file side by side using the OneDrive app.

    Some other applications open new windows on a second screen — either by default or by user choice. In Gmail, the new-message view is always opened on the second screen, while in Microsoft Outlook, the user can long-press the撰写按钮来选择新的消息视图是出现在同一屏幕上还是出现在另一屏幕上。

    Gmail会在第二个窗口中自动显示新的消息视图。
    Outlook允许用户选择新消息是否显示在新窗口中或在同一窗口中。

    这两个窗口的行为几乎是两个独立的应用程序,但不是完全。例如,构成Gmail消息的用户可以决定在屏幕的左侧携带不同的应用程序(文章)。但两个窗户(Inbox景观组成信息View)对于Gmail和Outlook,在应用程序列表中不会出现两次,并且一旦用户已移至另一个应用程序,它并不总是清楚如何到达一个特定窗口。

    There is another problem with the two-window version of an application: when a second window is open, if the user taps the后退button at the top of the right screen, then the new-message window closes — an unexpected action different from the standard后退-按钮行为。

    Users can bring a different app on the left when they are creating an email (top). But if they tap the后退button the new-message window is closed (bottom).
  3. Some apps are fully adapted to the two screens.

    大多数应用程序运行在两人是Android应用程序that are in no way optimized for two screens. However, a few apps did get optimized for the Duo. Perhaps the app that works most impressively on the two-screen display is Kindle, which takes advantage of Duo’s book skeuomorphism. Using Kindle on the Duo feels, more than on any other Kindle or tablet device, like using a real book.

    Kindle on Duo feels like using a real book.

    While Kindle on Duo is impressive, its usability is not substantially improved by the two-screen device (granted, for textbooks or other image-heavy books, there could be a large benefit of seeing two pages at once). There are other few apps (usually created by Microsoft) that are tailored to the Duo and that attempt to use its two screens to improve usability. When maximized to the dual screen, these applications will present two different views at the same time — usually a main view on the left and an additional working view on the right. For example, the left screen could be a hub page such as a list of articles and the right screen could be a detail view of one of the articles. Or, the left screen could be an inbox view and the right could show a selected message.

    Microsoft News for Duo shows the navigation and a list of articles on the left screen; if the user taps on an article, it is shown on the right screen. The user cannot, however, show two different articles side by side.

    In general, being able to see two different pages in the same app could be beneficial to the user in multiple ways: (1) it could keep them oriented, enabling them to keep track of where they are in the app’s information architecture; (2) it could allow them to complete tasks that rely on multiple sources of information inside the same app (e.g., compose a new email while referring to an existing one or add a new calendar event while seeing the rest of your schedule).

    Microsoft日历应用程序允许用户同时查看事件的详细视图(右)和日程安排的摘要视图(左)。

    The problem with these apps is that Microsoft didn’t decide clearly当最大化到两个屏幕的应用程序时应充当单个双屏窗口或两个单独的窗口。The result is at times disconcerting.

    让我们以Outlook为例。如果用户首先启动应用程序,然后将其最大化,他们会得到一个单一的窗口视图,该视图分布在两个屏幕上,并有一个单一的、连续的导航栏,其中包含页面标题和其他一些元素。即使用户选择了一条消息并详细检查了它,单一的导航栏仍然存在-表示应用程序处于单一窗口模式。但是,用户实际上会看到两个单独的窗格:一个带有详细视图,另一个带有列表视图。如果下一步,用户决定撰写新邮件,应用程序将(意外地、不事先通知地)移动到两个窗口模式:选定的邮件将迁移到左侧屏幕(该屏幕现在承载一个单屏幕版本的Outlook),右侧将出现一个新的邮件窗口。关闭左侧的新消息视图将使该窗口消失,并留给用户一个单一的屏幕应用程序。然而,对于大多数用户来说,单窗口模式和双窗口模式之间的转换可能不会引起注意,当应用程序突然决定只使用两个屏幕中的一个时,他们会感到困惑。

    收件箱视图右边和细节视图中位数t are displayed in a single app window that is maximized to take up both screens.
    如果用户使用浮动按钮撰写新消息,应用程序将转换为双窗口模式:右侧将显示一个新窗口,右侧显示的内容将转到左侧窗口。左侧窗口是主应用程序。如果你关了门New信息view the app would still show on the left half of the screen, no longer maximized (below). Note however that for the user there are practically no cues to understand when the transition from a single-maximized-window to two side-by-side windows has happened. The untrained eye can easily miss the distiction between a single, continuous navigation bar in single-window mode (above screenshot) and two navigation bars with two different titles in two-window mode.
    当用户关闭新消息视图时,应用程序不再处于双屏模式,只能在左侧屏幕上显示。

Conclusion

通过提供两个屏幕,微软DUO试图通过提供两个不同应用程序可以并排显示移动设备的移动设备的多任务处理。虽然我们相信此功能将提高Mobile上的功能,但设备对多任务处理提供了很少的额外支持。大多数应用程序不适合利用Duo的两个屏幕。虽然一些Microsoft应用程序确实支持通过拖放拖放轻松地传输应用程序之间的信息,但用户难以记住此功能的可用且未何时提供。在同一应用程序内支持多任务处理也有限。即使是为DUO定制的应用程序也会在两屏幕,最大化的窗口和两个单独的窗口之间进行麻烦,并且在两种模式之间突然和不可突然过渡并产生混淆的潜力。

The real problem seems to be that it’s hard to come up with a few general principles for multiple-monitor design that will automatically improve usability across platforms with two (or more) screens. In many individual circumstances, one can design ways for specific applications to benefit from a dual display, but each such circumstance requires a separate implementation work. As long as this remains true, dual displays (or, in general, multiple monitors) will have limited usability benefits because most software providers won’t have the implementation resources nor the design talent to develop these optimized solutions.