The Gippy Pages


Is it really that mighty?

Aug 3, 2005 | Computers | By Shawn Parker

So, this whole post might end up being 100% personal preference, but lets explore the new mouse from Apple, the Mighty Mouse. I have to wonder just what is going on over at Apple and if maybe I’m the only one who sees fault in the basic design of Apple’s current lineup of mice.

I really haven’t enjoyed an Apple mouse since beige was done away as a case color. Ever since I thought that Apple has been messing with something that should be more ergonomic than they’ve chosen to make it.

An oval, to me, is not ergonomic. Consider the shape your hand makes when it is lightly cupped (like it would be when fondling, er, handling a mouse). It is not an oval, is it? Logitech has the right idea in its current lineup of mice – the mouse should be an asymmetrical shape that gently fits into the hand not something that the hand must adjust its shape and natural stance to accommodate.

Now, this issue was not as prominent, and maybe in some way actively reduced, in the old ADB mouse designs. Those mice tapered off at the front and had a bulbous area for the hand to surround at the back. This allowed for a feeling that the mouse fit into the hand.

Not so, at least to me, with the new mice. The constant width, or pill shape, doesn’t feel like my hand fits the mouse. The constant level of the mouse doesn’t feel right either. My hand wants to wrap around something, not straddle it. Straddling is uncomfortable.

So, now that my gripes with the shape are out of the way lets move onto the functionality of it. Not whether or not it is a multi- or single-button mouse but how the basic clicking action works. Pushing the whole mouse is awkward. There is nothing natural or intuitive about this to me at all. The motion of pushing down the entire hood of the mouse is counter to how I’ve been using a mouse for 21 years now. Holy crap, has it been that long? Anyway, that sounds like I’m unwilling to change but its not. It does not feel right and it does not translate into a good functionality for using the mouse in an environment where you have to pick it up and move it around to complete some actions. I have a very, very large mousepad to help deal with this but it inevitably still happens.

Now, I’ll applaud the idea of a two way scroll wheel but I’m going to have to check out the side buttons for myself to really understand them. And until the shape of the Apple mouse changes the Mighty Mouse will be less than mighty to me.

Tagged as: apple, design, mighty, mouse