Operating Force with Complex Actions during
Kentaro KOTANI and Ken HORII
Department of Industrial Engineering, Kansai University, Osaka, JAPAN
A mouse is now an integral part in almost all computer tasks due to the great popularity of PC-based software. Consequently, epidemiological study on the use of this point-and-click device is indispensable in identifying the risk factors of physical disorders caused by using the pointing device. However, recent researches on mouse use focus chiefly on usability issue, and only a few researches deal with mouse use empirically in terms of physical and epidemiological aspects ( Dowell and Gscheidle, 1997). Apparently, obtaining knowledge of such aspects must contribute to the improvement of the display design in determining an ergonomically risk-free size of buttons to click with and in arranging icons that ensures less stressful mouse movements. The objective of the research is to obtain empirical data on the operating force applied to the mouse in relation to the characteristics of such display layout as target areas and approaching angles to the target. In particular, the present report focuses on the results and their inferences of the relationship between the size of icons and mouse operating force.
A 5 mm-diameter force-sensitive resistor (FSR) was housed on the top of the microswitch inside the mouse for the measurement of operating force. The voltage signals were transmitted to a programmable A/D converter, controlled by a PC. Prior to the experiment, calibration testing was conducted and the regression equation with R2 of 0.999 was obtained for the relationship between FSR voltage and the force applied to the mouse.