While many input devices allow interfaces to be customized, increased directness distinguishes touchscreens. Touchscreens are easy to learn to use, fast, and result in low error rates when interfaces are designed carefully. Many actions which are diffi cult with a mouse, joystick, or keyboard are simple when using a touchscreen. Making rapid selections at widely separated locations on the screen, signing your name, dragging the hands of a clock in a circular motion are all simple when using a touchscre en, but may be awkward using other devices. This paper presents recent empirical research which can provide a basis for theories of touchscreen usage. We believe recent improvements warrant increased use of touchscreens.