Want to sell a lot more computers?
Put a second mouse button on your laptops. No, cmd-click or shift click doesn’t cut it.
A real button.
I like having a second button on my PC mouse. However, is it clear that the general population actually uses the second button? I’ve acted as tech support for a lot of family and friends who use computers but are not enthusiasts. Their mental model of computers varies widely and is often entirely unrelated to your model or mine. The mere distinction between single clicks and double clicks causes more trouble than you might guess. One relative’s solution is to triple or quadruple click when in doubt. I realize that nowadays there is more exposure to computers at an early age so that young people are generally much more adept. Perhaps we’ve reached the stage when a second mouse button is of interest to enough people.
You might be amused by Raymond Chen’s anecdote about how some people view computers. His story is very similar to my own experience.
Actually, the general population is very used to the second mouse button. When I went to the BayCHI talk by Microsoft on their new UI for Office 2007, they talked about the right mouse button specifically. They recorded the user interaction of all of the users who opted into their user experience program. They also compared that data to their original studies that they have done since the 95-97 time frame. Here are the results:
In the early days, people didn’t use the second mouse button.
In the recent era (2000+), people use the right-mouse button ALL THE TIME.
Microsoft’s UI has become so cluttered and complicated, it is so much easier to right-click on an object to instantly understand what you can actually do with that object.
Once you understand this you will understand why the right mouse button is so important and how the ribbon interface came to be.
I agree completely. I just bought a new laptop two weeks ago-I considered the Macs until I remembered the frustration I generally experience when using my boyfriend’s Power Book. Maybe I could get used to it, but I just don’t have that kind of patience. I ended up getting a non-Mac laptop with two buttons and a kick ass touch scroll bar built in.
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