Mice is everything,
Take a look at the modern three-button mouse, in which the wheel itself
acts as the third button.
Beautiful, versatile input device— constructed to accommodate thy hand
as well as possible. The mouse allows you to perform rapid, twitchy
motions and slow, deliberate scrolling with precision; this is only
possible due to its physicality, and is key— to understanding mice.
I use a five-button trackball mouse, Logitech Ergo M575.
The two extra buttons (Up and Down) provide little benefit, with only
but a few select computer programs capable of engaging these buttons,
and for the most part, I must say with tears in my eyes and sand in my
shoes, these two are used to go back and forth a page when browsing.
This is a massive waste!
In the 80s, they had Plan 9 from Bell Labs— an operating system made by
the actual godfathers of modern computer machinery, or plumbing. Plan 9
had many novelties, some of which were later appropriated by GNU/Linux
and others; it was 100% network-oriented and distributed— revolutionary
at the time, revolutionary still. Imagine being able to load CPUs, GPUs,
screens, mice, anything— over the network, as a file. This radical new
approach to operating system design, accompanied by genuine engineering
brilliancy— quickly made it a cult classic.
Plan 9 had this precious thing called Rio, a very heavily mouse-oriented
window system, in which windows were terminals by default, but once the
graphical program was commissioned to start— it would immediately claim
the window and appear in place of the terminal.
This is fascinating because modern window systems aren't remotely as
flexible, despite being much, much more complicated. You should diff-
erentiate the UX from the graphics, i.e. correct for accomplishments
that enable modern GPU hardware, and you will discover something very
similar, albeit much more limited— than what they had back in the 80s.
You could cut, copy, and paste text with your three-button PS/2 mouse,
open impromptu contextual menus and deal in countless other mischiefs,
all for the kicks of it, and it was fun.
What mouse now is only a shadow of what it could be.
Software designers of today don't dare think beyond the most rudimentary
mouse manipulations: point-and-click, drag-and-drop, fin. Not much can
be done apart from that. (I'm sending mad respects to the mad lads of
Apple who invented the force touch thing, it's a shame the IP situation
severely limits the application of this novelty.) This is fine for most
bureaucratic applications where input dexterity is not optimized for,
however, most work environments often require just that.
Think text editors, CAD programs, graphical tablets and joysticks.
You wouldn't want to use a touchpad for some heavy-duty blueprinting
work in 3D construction software, just as most people would prefer to
use a proper graphical tablet and a stylus pen instead of a mouse.
But the mighty touchpad can do gestures!
This feature is a little short of complete fucking revolution, but it's
severely limited by the fact that touch pads are mostly present in lap-
tops, and these don't typically optimize for proficiency.
https://atap.google.com/soli (radar in a microchip)
Now what I would fancy real hard is this: take a couple of these micro-
radars and stuff them in the usual trackball mouse frame, but do so in
such a way that would let the radars cover most if not all angles around
Now you can do gestures in 3D, as opposed to 2D gestures of a touchpad.
In any case, it is my belief that computer mice require more love and
care than what we're currently capable of. I commit fully to realise a
sophisticated mouse interface within Kripke— the graphical environment
In there it would serve perfectly for the purpose of voice input.
Most if not all voice input programs out there don't allow for it to be
corrected mid-utterance. This is very annoying, as even for the most
predictable discourses you would typically find the program at wrong
Don't get me started on slang!
The mouse is a perfectly fun analogous input device that is probably
unique in that the user is capable of operating it whilst talking no
This makes it a great pillar to rely on UX-wise.