The Ergonomics of Computer Pointing Devices

  • Sarah A. Douglas
  • Anant Kartik Mithal

Part of the Advanced Perspectives in Applied Computing book series (APPLCOMP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Sarah A. Douglas, Anant Kartik Mithal
    Pages 1-10
  3. Sarah A. Douglas, Anant Kartik Mithal
    Pages 11-36
  4. Sarah A. Douglas, Anant Kartik Mithal
    Pages 37-62
  5. Sarah A. Douglas, Anant Kartik Mithal
    Pages 63-84
  6. Sarah A. Douglas, Anant Kartik Mithal
    Pages 85-115
  7. Sarah A. Douglas, Anant Kartik Mithal
    Pages 117-152
  8. Sarah A. Douglas, Anant Kartik Mithal
    Pages 153-188
  9. Sarah A. Douglas, Anant Kartik Mithal
    Pages 189-217
  10. Sarah A. Douglas, Anant Kartik Mithal
    Pages 219-229
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 231-233

About this book


We first began looking at pointing devices and human performance in 1990 when the senior author, Sarah Douglas, was asked to evaluate the human performance ofa rather novel device: a finger-controlled isometric joystick placed under a key on the keyboard. Since 1990 we have been involved in the development and evaluation ofother isometric joysticks, a foot-controlled mouse, a trackball, and a wearable computer with head­ mounted display. We unabashedly believe that design and evaluation of pointing devices should evolve from a broad spectrum of values which place the human being at the center. These values include performance iss­ ues such as pointing-time and errors, physical issues such as comfort and health, and contextual issues such as task usabilityand user acceptance. This book chronicles this six-year history of our relationship as teacher (Douglas) and student (Mithal), as we moved from more traditional evalu­ ation using Fitts' law as the paradigm, to understanding the basic research literature on psychomotor behavior. During that process we became pro­ foundly aware that many designers of pointing devices fail to understand the constraints of human performance, and often do not even consider experimental evaluation critical to usability decisions before marketing a device. We also became aware ofthe fact that, contraryto popularbeliefin the human-computer interaction community, the problem of predicting pointing device performance has not been solved by Fitts' law. Similarly, our expectations were biased by the cognitive revolution of the past 15 years with the beliefpointing device research was 'low-level' and uninter­ esting.


Design Interface Joystick Standards Trackball computer ergonomics performance user interface virtual reality

Authors and affiliations

  • Sarah A. Douglas
    • 1
  • Anant Kartik Mithal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information ScienceCollege of Arts and SciencesEugeneUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag London 1997
  • Publisher Name Springer, London
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-19986-1
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4471-0917-4
  • Series Print ISSN 1431-1542
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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