Monday, February 26, 2007

Baseball-inspired mouse throws users a few curves

Would this mouse work for you? ...

"Microsoft's Hardware Group takes its work seriously. Most of the time.

For more than two decades, the money-making division is responsible for the seemingly countless mice, keyboards and now lifecams (webcams) that bear the Microsoft logo.

Its newest cutting-edge rodent, the Microsoft Natural Laser Mouse 6000 ($99) owes its striking shape to company resident ergonomist and user researcher Dan Odell.

Although Odell applied his engineering ergonomic know-how on the new mouse, his idea for its roundness came from an item he picked out from his cluttered desk.

"I grabbed this baseball and it kinda felt comfortable," he said, tossing aside a foam football candidate he had also tried.

"I cut the ends off that one but it didn't feel right."

The baseball-shaped mouse and seven other versions went through the usual rigorous design and testing gauntlet at the Hardware Group's labs from rough hand-sculptured forms to laser scanning, user testing and obligatory abuse.

"I had the data to support why the baseball was the right one because we had run several studies exploring it, so it wasn't like I picked that one out of the blue," said Odell whose doctoral dissertation explores the ergonomic issues of comfort and efficiency in computer input devices."    (Continued via Edmonton Journal)    [Usability Resources]

Baseball Mouse - Usability, User Interface Design

Baseball Mouse

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