Monitor setups for IT helpdesk workers: a comparison study

Whalley, Sarah Marie
Carter, Philip
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Master of Business
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Auckland University of Technology

In the hectic world of an IT helpdesk with an ever increasing number of applications and tasks on the go, managing the intricacies of how to navigate these is a cause of frustration for helpdesk workers. I had noticed while working on a helpdesk that the workspace area - particularly the monitor setups that IT helpdesk workers have to use - makes doing their job difficult. The number of applications open, the number of tasks on the go at once and the added pressure of customer contact, all call for applications and data to be accessed quickly - but the set up of the users workspace generally does not allow for this. The main objective of this research is to compare the difference between the use of a single screen, a dual screen and the new Multi-Layer Display (MLD) and the complications of having multiple applications and multiple monitors operating at one time for IT Helpdesk Workers. This research looked at how the users' monitor setup influenced the performance, efficiency, satisfaction, ergonomics and learning of the participants.The research showed that there was a clear dislike of the current set up of single screens; all participants felt that the single screen setup limited what they could do at once and it rated the least favourite of all. The dual and MLD screens showed positive outcomes for increasing multi-tasking abilities and raising users' perceived performance and satisfaction levels. The added screen real estate of both the dual and MLD over the single screen meant that users consistently had more information available to them 7which enabled them to complete tasks quicker, monitor other applications for incoming jobs, easily transfer data from one application to another and multi-task more effectively. While there were some minor ergonomic concerns and learning difficulties with the unique features and utilities of the both the dual and MLD monitors, participants still preferred to use these setups over the single screen.

IT personnel , Computer monitors , Dual screen , Multi Layer Display , Job performance , Ergonomics
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