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AltMOUSE: for less use of the mouse

Reducing mouse use has two major advantages. It reduces physical stress and increases productivity. The greatest challenge to achieving this, however, is memorizing and actually using the shortcut keys.
Download PDF Comfort & efficiency
VDU workers spend a good 53% of their time using the computer mouse. This makes an ergonomic mouse a must for every VDU worker. At the same time, it would be even better to reduce mouse use. This is because mouse use consists of many short repetitive movements which put a strain on certain muscles. What many people don’t realize is that using a mouse also interrupts their work on the keyboard.

The alternative to using a mouse is using the shortcut keys. The use of shortcut keys distributes the physical effort over two hands and ten fingers instead of just one hand and usually two fingers when using a mouse. You also don’t lose your train of thought because your hands remain on the keyboard. This makes using shortcut keys healthier, more comfortable and more efficient than the frequent use of the mouse.



The challenge
Shortcut keys thus have a number of major advantages over the computer mouse. So why do we keep on using the mouse so much? Many people still find learning to work with shortcut keys a difficult step to take. And it really is a job to memorize all those key combinations such as Alt + F4 and Ctrl + S. At least, if you use old-fashioned learning methods: a traditional training activity, a “cheat sheet” or a shortcut key reminder strip on your keyboard.

The disadvantage of these training methods is that they are time-consuming. In addition, these traditional methods teach employees far more shortcut keys than they really need (and are often hard to remember anyway). Constantly having to look up the right shortcut key while working also gets in the way of getting the job done. When time is of the essence, reaching for the mouse instead seems like a faster solution. However, the good news is that there’s another way to learn to use shortcut keys!



On-the-job

AltMOUSE, that stands for “alternative to the MOUSE”, tells employees which shortcut keys will save them themost time - and does this while they are on the job. At the time a user is reaching for the mouse for a specific operation, the software displays the shortcut key that will achieve the same. The software avoids the need to learn more shortcut keys than necessary by first analysing which ones will save the employee the most time. These are then included in a personal learning list. As soon as the user gets used to using a certain shortcut key, it disappears from this employee’s personal learning list and a new one takes its place. With AltMOUSE, employees learn manageable bits of information that they can apply straightaway. And they learn step by step and at their own speed.

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