Re: [Usability] Mousetweaks usability discussion

I definitely like the mockups -- nice work!

Regarding the mouse keys settings, one needs to take into consideration that the target users of this are people with differing physical abilities who may need finer control over the parameters. This might possibly result in more knobs and dials, but they could be the thing that allows someone to use the computer for their job.

If we're going to redesign the UI, we should engage the target users in a discussion about their needs and create the UI for them. We have contact with a number of users, so getting real input shouldn't be too hard.

If I recall correctly from the AccessX implementation in XKB, there are a number of settings for mouse movement. This is just for background, by the way; I'm not proposing a knob/dial/button for each thing:

* The values on the key itself - these are performed whenever the user
  first presses a key associated with mouse movement (and mouse keys is

  * x, y:      pixel values

  * noAccel:   boolean specifying whether acceleration ("autorepeat")
               should be used or not

  * absoluteX, boolean values specifying whether or not the x,y values
    absoluteY: are absolute screen coordinates or relative to the
               current mouse position

  The de facto values in the typical XKB keymaps set these values to
  a relative movement of 1 pixel with acceleration.  I think there is
  an option to toggle acceleration at a global level, but I cannot

* Settings in the XKB extension that are used to manage movement when
  the user presses and holds a key:

  * mouseKeysDelay - just like keyboard autorepeat: how long in
    milliseconds before the 'acceleration' starts happening.

  * mouseKeysInterval - just like keyboard autorepeat: the time
    in milliseconds between movement events after the mouseKeysDelay
    had expired.

  * mouseKeysTimeToMax - this defines how quickly the mouse
    will reach maximum speed as the user presses/holds a key.
    If noAccel is True for the key, the maximum speed is kind
    of meaningless: the movement will just be the x,y value every
    mouseKeysInterval.  Otherwise, mouseKeysCurve and
    mouseKeysMaxSpeed will be used.

  * mouseKeysCurve - defines the shape of the acceleration.
    The actual values are a mystery to me, but a value of 0 is
    a linear acceleration.  A negative value results in an
    initially quicker acceleration which then decreases.  A positive
    value results in an initially slower acceleration which then

  * mouseKeysMaxSpeed - this defines the maximum speed of the
    mouse.  I'm not sure what the actual units of this are.
    For example, I'm not sure if speed is determined by keeping
    the mouseKeysInterval constant and changing the distance
    the mouse moves for each interval or if the distance the
    mouse moves remains constant and the interval changes.

Anyway, my main point is to ask real users about what tasks they typically want to accomplish with mouse keys. Then, figure out the best UI that provides the user with the ability to customize mouse keys behavior so they can accomplish these tasks efficiently. The reason I list the XKB/AccessX stuff above is that they provide the main technical constraints to can help/hinder providing what the end user really needs.


Caleb Marcus wrote:
Actually, after more experimentation, it seems that my last message is incorrect about the functions of the two sliders... and I've also come to the conclusion that I'll never get my mouse settings just right again. Yeah, this is definitely something that needs to be fixed, UI-wise.
On Wed, 2007-10-31 at 22:09 +0000, Thomas Wood wrote:
On 31 Oct 2007, at 13:54, Denis Washington wrote:

> On Wed, 2007-10-31 at 13:44 +0100, Rodrigo Moya wrote:
>> On Tue, 2007-10-30 at 19:20 +0100, Vincent Untz wrote:
>>> Le samedi 13 octobre 2007, à 14:25 +0200, Francesco Fumanti a écrit :
>>>> Hello,
>>>> I have made a mockup that integrates Mousetweaks settings into the >>>> mouse
> capplet:
> I hope I haven't forgotten everything. Comments?

Did we discuss combining acceleration and sensitivity at one point? I've never really understood the difference between the two (or rather, I've never decided how each one affects my own usage). Would it be possible to just have one slider that adjusts the two values in a sane way?


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