As we have explored already, different people use their monitor setups in different ways. We must also realize that different user types fall into specific, and often occupational, categories.
1. The Office Worker
In my opinion, office managers should at least test whether or not dual monitors will increase productivity enough to actually save money. You ask how an office worker may use a second monitor in order to save time and be more productive? Well, there are several ways, including keeping communications (such as email and phone notes) on one monitor while keeping work on the other.
Could this be done using ALT-TAB or multiple virtual desktops? Perhaps. The idea is to see whether or not a second monitor would increase overall productivity. I think it would. However do you think it would be worth the investment monetarily?
If an office worker can convince his or her manager or boss that certain dual monitor uses will save them money, they deserve the monitors!
2. Social Media Type
Watching people such as Chris Pirillo use his monitors shows us just how useful such a setup could be to those who use social media extensively. If you know anything about live.pirillo.com you’ll know he is big on live streaming, chatting with visitors, and recording YouTube content. According to an article he wrote, he uses one for his work and email and the other for widgets (chatting, IM, feeds). Social media types really need to keep up on what is going on, sometimes in multiple places. Dual monitors can help organize everything.
Personally, I think I fit somewhere in here (I’m no Chris Pirillo, however I AM a corny dork in much the same way he is). I like having my keep-up-with-things on my top monitor (with a music player of some sort in the background) while having what I’m currently working on or reading on my laptop screen so I can see it better.
3. The Designer
From what I hear, many of the programs that designers make use of happen to take up a lot of screen real estate. I also hear that having the project open in one window and the controls open in the other makes work a bit easier. Also, there’s also the trick of keeping the preview of the project open in the second window (using a program such as XRefresh can make this easier).
I know so you don’t have to tell me that there are more user types. Those will have to make up another post:)
Until then, for your amusement I have included a BONUS dual monitor user type that does NOT make good use of his monitor setup:
Have you ever heard someone say that they have a dual monitor setup in their office or home just because it’s cool to have one? OK, I’ll hand it to them that it IS cool. I suppose if you’re looking for bragging rights then having multiple monitors can give them to you but if that’s the ONLY reason… you’re probably a wannabe!
You all know the wannabe type, right? They like to brag about this or that just so you know they are cool. In my world, if you have to tell people you’re cool and why, then you’re probably not. Cool doesn’t have anything to do with the amount of screen real estate you have. It comes from the type of person you are. My advice, don’t waste the money, it won’t work.
I need readers to weigh in if you fit into any of these categories of dual monitor uses (even the wannabes!) and let me know how you use your screen real estate in your specific occupation. This is because I obviously do not have experience in every job field out there. So, help us out a bit, will you?
Image credits: MorgueFile.com