Monday, January 02, 2017

One button mouse is bad design

NPR Radio reports:
Design Thinking Could Help Those Who Want To Get Unstuck
Listen · 6:46
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January 2, 20175:04 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
Shankar Vedantam

Psychologists and self help gurus have advice for people who feel stuck. If you're looking for new ways to reboot your life as you enter the new year, you could also turn to the tech world.
This is a regular source of dubious research. Today's story brags about the "design thinking" that convinced Apple to use a 1-button mouse, instead of 2 buttons.

No, that was bad design, it came from a bad design ideology. Apple is all about constraining the user. Another company would have just make both kinds of mouse, and let the user decide. Or make the 2-button mouse, and let the user use just one, if he wants.

Simplicity is good, but the 1-button mouse is not simple. To make the Mac work with it, Apple had to introduce double-clicking, triple-clicking, and shift-clicking. Furthermore, it had to add a bunch of other shift keys to the keyboard with goofy symbols on them. I have a keyboard with the usual "Ctrl" and "Alt", but Apple maps these in inconsistent ways, so I have to guess which one will work.

Apple seems to realize that the 2-button mouse is better, as the system lets you use such a mouse. But Apple won't admit. It goes against their religion to do what the customer wants.

For another example of how NPR Hidden Brain distorts the research, see this.

1 comment:

Matthew Cory said...

The reason for the one click is Jobs' Indian influence. The religion is what Peter Jones calls oneist. It's regressive narcissism of the "death instinct." It aligns with collectivist thinking. New Age BS.