Factory productivity has improved by leaps and bounds, but the same is not true for the office. White collar salaries comprise the bulk of office expenses in Japan's manufacturing companies. They average 2 yen per second. An author who produces shoddy documentation that takes one minute more to understand needlessly costs the company 120 yen.
Most office work today consists of processing information on the personal computer, called, among other things, the PC. The PC, therefore, may be the key to improving productivity. It is involved in almost every job imaginable and its display is the window through which we view the information it processes. The display is the most important communication interface between humans and the PC.
Figure 1 shows the number of pixels for PC displays along with main memory size since 1980, when the PCs became a fixture in most offices. We see that the number of pixels hasn't increased at nearly the rate main memory size has increased. The graphic interface has been a common tool for a long time, but display development has lagged.
Figure 2 shows my personal solution to the problem. I am comfortable with this double monitor solution. Of course, a single display with many pixels may be a better solution if we ignore the cost. Some research papers indicate that larger displays are most beneficial for female users (Czerwinski, et.al , Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 51/06, pp. 499-507, 2000). I, a male user, want them as well.
Figure 3 shows a more efficient solution at less cost. Today, paper copies fill the role of still image displays. They are thin, easy to handle, have high resolution and span multiple pages. We also have the bonus of being able to add information in the margins.
The paper hardcopy is a key device in the office.
Figure1: Number of pixels for PC displays along with main memory size
Figure2: Double monitor solution (2800 pixels)
Figure3: The most practical solution (less expensive, free annotation,
combination of a monitor and handy paper, practically 8000 pixels)