I’d like to throw my mouse away.

Strange thought but hear me out.

I am not really serious. The whole world is too attached to their mice, but this is what I would like to achieve: to be able to drive all applications from the keyboard with out having to resort to moving my right hand 15 cm to the right to grab the mouse to have to click on a button or menu item because there is no other way to activate the action.

As I mentioned in my recent UI Musings post there should be several ways to achieve the action I want to achieve: Menu item, button and shortcut key.

This is all very easy to achieve and it annoys me when applications don’t provide shortcut keys. It annoys me even more when the same action has a different shortcut key for the same action on a different screen.

This is even achievable even with a web application. Look at Google. Reader, gmail, calendar and a host of others provide shortcut keys for the most frequently used actions. This makes for ease of use and enjoyable user experience. Granted some of these shortcuts take a little while to learn but once you get them down it makes for faster navigation.

Some of the banking sign in applications I use have nice little JavaScript code to automatically move the cursor from one field to the next when the 2 characters it is expecting are filled. This simple thing make using those applications a joy.

These things are the 20% that remains after the 80% that matters has been completed. They are ‘nice to have’ but they sure do make applications easier to use.

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7 Responses to “I’d like to throw my mouse away.”


  1. 3 ewH Sunday, 7 January 2007 at 19:50

    I agree, Nigel. I have even found myself addicted to the IBM laptop keyboard with the Trackpoint aka “eraser head” mouse. I love being able to use the mouse without having to even move my fingers off the home row.

    I have even been contemplating buying the Lenovo USB keyboard with built-in Trackpoint. The design is the same as the regular laptop one except it has the numeric keypad separate, which is really nice. http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/catalog.workflow:item.detail?GroupID=38&Code=31P8950

    Most people I talk to either hate the eraser head or can’t live without it. As for me, I now hate when I have to “resort to moving my right hand 15 cm to the right to grab the mouse to have to click on a button or menu item”

    -ewH

  2. 4 Michael Koch Wednesday, 7 February 2007 at 15:04

    I don’t know how many meeting hours I have been trying to convince stakeholders that client or web based applications benefit from user-friendliness. In my opinion, users that enjoy using an app due to its usability will use it again or use the app with more care and thought, ie get a better experience from it. But as already indicated, too often these sort of issues are axed due to budget restrictions.

    A good book I read on this is Steve Krug’s “Don’t Make Me Think!” – http://www.peachpit.com/bookstore/product.asp?isbn=0789723107&rl=1

  3. 5 Michael Koch Thursday, 8 February 2007 at 12:31

    Funny how things keep on hitting home once you’ve read something…

    Just found this:
    http://jeffnolan.com/wp/?p=866

    M


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