On change

How the Mac hath changed.
“One of the most effective ways to steal back precious time—and reduce the likelihood of repetitive strain injuries—is to stop reaching for your mouse. All that clicking, dragging, and scrolling can seriously add up over the course of a day—time better spent knocking back lattes at the coffee shop.”
—MacWorld, Panther Secrets Declassified

“We’ve done a cool \$50 million of R & D on the Apple Human Interface. We discovered, among other things, two pertinent facts

  • Test subjects consistently report that keyboarding is faster than mousing.
  • The stopwatch consistently proves mousing is faster than keyboarding.

This contradiction between user-experience and reality apparently forms the basis for many user/developers’ belief that the keyboard is faster.
People new to the mouse find the process of acquiring it every time they want to do anything other than type to be incredibly time-wasting. And therein lies the very advantage of the mouse: it is boring to find it because the two-second search does not require high-level cognitive engagement.”
—Bruce Tognazzini, Keyboard vs. The Mouse, pt 1

OK, OK, I’m being completely unfair, and MacWorld journalists aren’t the people defining the HIG at Apple at all. I know this. And maybe Apple are right and Tog is wrong: is OS X more popular than previous incarnations? It seems that way from here, but that’s because I hang about with technical people, a lot of whom have turned to OS X. Don’t know whether other groups of people have turned to it, or even turned away, and I’m bloody sure that most of the figures on this topic will be biased in one way or another.
I’m still not buying a Mac, though. :)

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