Design Proposals to Assist Older Adults in Using a Computer Mouse

Hirokazu IWASE

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E86-D    No.1    pp.141-145
Publication Date: 2003/01/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: LETTER
Category: Welfare Engineering
aging,  elderly person,  PC mouse,  performance model,  Fitts' law,  

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In this study, we developed a new performance model that uses an index of difficulty to predict the pointing time required for a pointing task when using a PC mouse. Forty-nine subjects were classified into three age groups: young, middle-aged, and elderly. Experimental factors were the target size, the target distance, and the approach angle to the target. The time for pointing and the coordination of the pointer (mouse cursor) were measured in all conditions. The pointing time was significantly longer for the elderly group than for the young and middle-aged groups. Moreover, the pointing time in each age group tended to increase linearly with an increase in target distance and to decrease as a logarithmic function with an increase in target size. Based on these results, we proposed a new model for measuring performance when operating a PC mouse. Our model received a higher rating for ease-of-use than conventional models. It was clarified that the performance model for elderly persons was different from that for other age groups using the proposed model.

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