Is bigger (monitor) better?

There is a lively discussion around an Apple-sponsored study that conteds that 30-inch monitors make people more productive.

The productivity gains, he said, occur because workers using larger monitors can avoid repetitive tasks such as switching between overlapping application windows. Instead, they can have more windows open side-by-side on a larger monitor.

I am not quite sure.

Lets see – I am not built like an American (polite way of saying that I fall in the short category) and as a result, when sitting behind a big screen I find myself completely overwhelmed by the size of the screen. A friend of mine has a 30-inch screen, and I always find myself turning my head left to right or vice versa, when looking, reading or performing a task on his machine.

Sure I can have multiple windows open on the screen, but they in fact act as a distraction most of the time. My personal home office set-up is a 20-inch iMac, and a 20-inch Apple Display. I have Parallels installed on the machine, which allows me to run Windows on one screen, and Mac apps on the other. Since I don’t use the Windows apps as often (just to make sure the various sites are running well on the other browsers etc.) I can focus on Mac-only screen.

I tend to minimize most of the apps, and only keep the application (hence the task) that needs my most immediate attention open. It is easier to focus if the computer screen space is more defined, and in fact constricted. I find that I write better when I use a laptop, sitting with just my YoJimbo open.

What is your take on this argument?

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