By Bill Moggridge

A pioneer in interplay layout tells the tales of designers who replaced the best way humans use daily issues within the electronic period, interviewing the founders of Google, the writer of The Sims, the inventors and builders of the mouse and the computer, etc.

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Somebody, I can’t remember who, attached the name “mouse” to it. You can picture why, because it was an object about this big, and had one button to use for selection, and had a wire running out the back. ” someone said. Soon all of us just started calling it a mouse. The recognition that this idea might be important for interaction came from the tests that compared the mouse with other possible input devices; it was the people who used it in the tests who proved the point. The designers came up with as many alternatives as they could that seemed plausible, built prototypes and created tasks in the relevant context, and then ran the tests.

He has always wanted to create designs that enhance human performance and is not interested in ease of use for the novice. He grew up in Oregon, and his electrical engineering studies were interrupted by service in World War II. During his stint in the Philippines as a naval radar technician, he came across an article by Vannevar Bush in the Atlantic Monthly9 and was inspired to think of a career dedicated to connecting people to knowledge. This idealistic ambition led him to the Ames Laboratory (later NASA Ames Research Center) on the edge of the San Francisco Bay, where he worked on wind tunnel research, and then to the Stanford Research Institute, where he invented the mouse and built up the Augmentation Research Center (ARC) with funding from ARPA.

The light pen had been used by radar operators for years and years, and that seemed to most people would be the most natural way to do it. I couldn’t see that, but why argue with them; why not just test and measure? The time it takes to grope for it and lift it up to the screen seemed excessively large, so it didn’t do well in the tests. For the test we had naive users coming in, and we explained everything that would happen so that they weren’t surprised. We asked them to put their hands on the keyboard, and all of sudden an array of three-by-three objects would appear at an arbitrary place on the screen, sometimes small objects and sometimes large, and they had to hit a space bar, access the pointing device and go click on it.

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