Is the mouse dead?

20 Jun 2010 - 5:54pm
4 years ago
14 replies
705 reads
elvenmuse
2010

The pointer is far from dead, but with the recent wave of MultiTouch devices and almost 3 years of using a Wacom tablet instead of a mouse... I'm left wondering if the mouse is dead. It isn't very ergonomic (for prolonged periods of time), and mobile computers (with "touch pads") are becoming the most sold computers... if we don't include "smart" phones.

Comments

20 Jun 2010 - 6:18pm
Ethan Bond
2010

I don't think so, and I don't think it's close to its death either.

Plainly because it does its job. Everything on the web is designed for mouse+keyboard. If people started designing for other things (touch displays), then I think it'd die pretty quickly. Also, mice are comparatively cheap and universal. If you put a Wacom at a hotel computer terminal, people wouldn't really spend too much time on the computer because they wouldn't really get used to the feel of it (took me a week or so to get used to mine).

Should it be dead? Yes. Is it dead? Not even close.

20 Jun 2010 - 9:05pm
willdonovan
2009

For penguinstorm,
can you please post a link to the video you are referring to?
William Donovan





21 Jun 2010 - 9:19am
penguinstorm
2005

http://personal.penguinstorm.com/2010/05/edward_tufte_beautiful_evidenc.php

About 3:50 seconds in. He follows up that comment with some thoughts about PowerPoint which are... succinct.

29 Jul 2010 - 11:05am
David Scharn
2007

Perhaps Apple's Magic Trackpad is a fatal blow.
http://www.apple.com/magictrackpad/

20 Jun 2010 - 11:05pm
elvenmuse
2010

I think that this days, computers are designed more as "pointer+keyboard" than as "mouse+keyboard" products... the MT and Touch displays simply merge pointer, keyboard and display (although I prefer dual MT and "standard" displays).

Ergonomically, pen-style pointers (tablets) are much, much better.

> I don't think so, and I don't think it's close to its death either. > > Plainly because it does its job. Everything on the web is designed for > mouse+keyboard. If people started designing for other things (touch > displays), then I think it'd die pretty quickly. Also, mice are > comparatively > cheap and universal. If you put a Wacom at a hotel computer terminal, > people > wouldn't really spend too much time on the computer because they wouldn't > really get used to the feel of it (took me a week or so to get used to > mine). > > Should it be dead? Yes. Is it dead? Not even close. > >

20 Jun 2010 - 6:27pm
penguinstorm
2005
It is not dead, but someone's certainly set an awful lot of traps. You can find a video of Edward Tufte talking about how much more dynamically people interact with data on a touch screen. Do it for a few months then go back to a mouse and it will feel intensely unnatural.
20 Jun 2010 - 11:05pm
elvenmuse
2010

I struggle with mice... and hamsters (wireless mice) aren't much of an improvement.

> It is not dead, but someone's certainly set an awful lot of traps. > > You can find a video of Edward Tufte talking about how much more > dynamically > people interact with data on a touch screen. Do it for a few months then > go > back to a mouse and it will feel intensely unnatural. > >

20 Jun 2010 - 11:05pm
Dan Weese
2006

While it may not be the best way to interact with applications, at least I don't have to clean fingerprints off my monitor all day like I do with my touch phone.

Dan

-----Original Message----- From: elvenmuse [mailto:vincenzi@lavabit.com] Sent: Sunday, June 20, 2010 7:32 PM To: dweese@caelumtechnology.com Subject: [IxDA] Is the mouse dead?

The pointer is far from dead, but with the recent wave of MultiTouch devices and almost 3 years of using a Wacom tablet instead of a mouse... I'm left wondering if the mouse is dead. It isn't very ergonomic (for prolonged periods of time), and mobile computers (with "touch pads") are becoming the most sold computers... if we don't include "smart" phones.

21 Jun 2010 - 6:06am
Brian Pirie
2008

While I don't think the mouse is dead, nor will be any time soon, I think that's missing the big point: The days in which the mouse was the dominant pointing device are long gone. When you consider the predominance of laptops with touchpads, the rapid rise of touch-interface devices like phones, iPads, touch-enabled computers, and less common devices like Wacom tablets, the mouse is no longer king.

This means that designing a web application or other product that will be used on multiple devices, assuming the user has a mouse, is a recipe for failure. The implications range from the obvious like avoiding words like "click" and "mouse", to the far more subtle but significant, like not relying on mouse hover behaviour, and not making hit areas too small to reliable touch with the finger.

21 Jun 2010 - 9:05am
Erico Fernandes...
2009

This project of MIT it's a good way to think about mouseless... http://www.pranavmistry.com/projects/mouseless/
It's the same mental model of interaction with a mouse, but it's good to think our relationship with objects.
Cheers

√Črico Fernandes Fileno, M.Sc.
Senior Interaction Designer @ CESAR
IxDA Curitiba - Interaction Design Association

On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM, Brian Pirie <brian@sensinct.com> wrote:

While I don't think the mouse is dead, nor will be any time soon, I think that's missing the big point: The days in which the mouse was the dominant pointing device are long gone. When you consider the predominance of laptops with touchpads, the rapid rise of touch-interface devices like phones, iPads, touch-enabled computers, and less common devices like Wacom tablets, the mouse is no longer king.

This means that designing a web application or other product that will be used on multiple devices, assuming the user has a mouse, is a recipe for failure. The implications range from the obvious like avoiding words like "click" and "mouse", to the far more subtle but significant, like not relying on mouse hover behaviour, and not making hit areas too small to reliable touch with the finger.

(
21 Jun 2010 - 9:05am
Dave Edelhart
2009

Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 21, 2010, at 5:30 AM, Brian Pirie wrote:

> While I don't think the mouse is dead, nor will be any time soon, I
> think that's missing the big point: The days in which the mouse was
> the dominant pointing device are long gone. When you consider the
> predominance of laptops with touchpads, the rapid rise of touch- > interface devices like phones, iPads, touch-enabled computers, and
> less common devices like Wacom tablets, the mouse is no longer king. > > This means that designing a web application or other product that
> will be used on multiple devices, assuming the user has a mouse, is
> a recipe for failure. The implications range from the obvious like
> avoiding words like "click" and "mouse", to the far more subtle but
> significant, like not relying on mouse hover behaviour, and not
> making hit areas too small to reliable touch with the finger. > >

29 Jul 2010 - 10:19pm
.pauric
2006

Brian nails the issue with his insight.  As someone who's tinkered with redesigning his hids http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4046/4389850366_8a94f7dcdf_o.png I can report that I still go back to a mouse (actually a trackball) on the desktop, yet, whenever I see a photo on someone else's mobile device I want to pinch/strech it even though I know that functionality isnt available.

It's not about whether a particular hid is dead but about the expansion of technology in our lives and the ways we interact with it.  The 'fixed restful pointing device' will always be around but we must now, as desingers, consider more carefully our work within the context of use of our users. 

/pauric

21 Jun 2010 - 9:22am
penguinstorm
2005

I think it's worth noting, by the way, in response to the original post that Wacom tablets have failed to make a significant dent in the input device market. They've remained a niche product with a very small market share. Whether this is due to their cost, or the fact that they've never been bundled with computer hardware they remain the province of professional illustrators and photographers. (I keep contemplating buying one, until I look at the price tag.)

21 Jun 2010 - 1:08pm
elvenmuse
2010

Indeed, even for its niche market (art and design) the best option is probably the Cintiq (I didn't went "all digital" after getting a Wacom tablet)... which is too expensive.

However, from an ergonomical POV "digital pencils" are the best input device for pointers that I have used... by far. Maybe the functionality can be "emulated" - in a way that can compete with tablets directly - with MultiTouch?

> I think it's worth noting, by the way, in response to the original post > that > Wacom tablets have failed to make a significant dent in the input device > market. They've remained a niche product with a very small market share. > Whether this is due to their cost, or the fact that they've never been > bundled with computer hardware they remain the province of professional > illustrators and photographers. (I keep contemplating buying one, until I > look at the price tag.) > >

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