mice nest

mice nest

Above is a photo collage I put together of my current mouse collection.

Applied learning: Fitt’s Law:

Fitts’ Law is a model to account for the time it takes to point at something, based on the size and distance of the target object. Fitts’ Law and variations of it are used to model the time it takes to use a mouse and other input devices to click on objects on a screen.“(1)

T = k log2(D/S + 0.5), k ~ 100 msec.

T = time to move the hand to a target
D = distance between hand and target
S = size of target

My Law: Need + Adoption Phase + Fitt = Use/Non-Use

Our reading from Bill Moggridge’s Designing Interactions this week encompasses the design history moving from desk to palm and an understanding of user adoption. In addition, we have biographical teasers; both Henry Dreyfuss and Paul Fitts. As much as I would like to dive into Dreyfuss and the study of universal symbols, I will park that for a possible final paper topic. From desktop to palm only interest me a little, I fall into the “possibly never to adopt” portion of the PDA market. Instead, I chose a subject near and dear to my heart, hand, arm, shoulder and ability to sleep…Fitt’s Law and my ongoing quest for the most harmless mouse.

Need: Harking back to the Palm, I did actually own one. In fact, I bought two. My co-working cousin had just helped me troubleshoot a fast delivery infrastructure project, I was a highly paid, hotshot consultant and I was feeling …generous. So, he convinced me how much better off we both would be and I bought us each one. This was the last model before the color one, but it was synchable with MS Outlook, which was on our work CPU’s at work, was supported by IT and beamable to each other. I hoped to scam his address book because it was full and highly organized. However, though he went on to use his for several years, mine stayed in the box and I eventually got rid of it. See, I only need names, phone numbers and calendar reminders. Thus, my cell phone was of better use and FITT in my pocket. I’m a gal, I have small pockets and women’s shirts don’t have the convenient shirt pocket the right size for those PDA’s. My husband on the other hand, who comes to me for all sorts of technical help, has been using his PDA since the Trio came out (not the colorful one). As a businessman who travels and goes to lots of meetings, a PDA both fits in his size 42 jacket and holds his extensive contact list, is used for email, phone, text messaging, the calendar and distraction (he doesn’t use the camera). Fitt’s formula doesn’t really have anything to do with Fitting a device in a pocket, but his studies in motor research factor heavily into my mouse adoption history.

My sister and I attended Mouse 101 via MSN’s early Paint program. We are both proud of the fact that we could draw portraits of each other on our computer with our two button balled mouse that came with my Gateway PC. Until last year, most of my computing was text based. Thus the inclusion in my collection of the black and solid gray Logitech, both balless but vision improved-optical mice. Both three to four buttons and a central scrolling wheel. The gray one is definitely for the right handed and the black an equal opportunity design. They both serve the function well.

Last year, in my first Flash class, a classmate encouraged me to try a roller ball for drawing. He swore by it. The result was the roller ball mouse you see above. Unlike the others, it sits still and my fingers, thumb or palm spin the orb. Lousy for fine detail. This worked out better for surfing when I was on a smaller screen. Now that I have a 20″ monitor, it takes multiple spins to get across the screen.

The infamous white hocky puck came with my Mac. As you can see it holds the same special place in my heart as the PDA did. Still in the wrapper. Which mouse gets to play? The little battery powered Logitech red Ferrari top left, that has neither ball nor tail. Why? It FITTS my hand(S), the pointer is swift(T) and accurate(D) in Photoshop. But I am still looking!

(someday when I’m a big girl, I’m gonna get me a Watcom tablet pen and pad)

read: “no wonder your arm aches…”

(1) u1 http://www.usabilityfirst.com.


About ifarmurban

Project Manager residing in sleepless Seattle.
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