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Arc Touch Mouse


I designed the gesture set, haptic experience, and software experience for the arc touch mouse. Below are some examples of the process I used. Diagrams, business rationale, and haptic prototypes helped to convey the user experience.

Skills demonstrated: Product Design, Interaction Design, SW/HW Prototyping, Business Rationale and Consensus Building.

Defining the user need

Partnering closely with User Research and Product Marketing, I developed the What, Why and How of the Arc Touch Mouse. This overview helped to sell the overall concept of the touch strip and haptic feedback to the Hardware organization. The components for touch and haptics were an extraordinary cost, and it was essential that the business and the user need were aligned. 

This was important because. . . 


Apple had released the the Magic Mouse in 2009, Microsoft Hardware had yet to make the leap to touch devices. 


The capacitive touch strip and haptic motor were an exceptional cost to the product and needed complete buy-in and understanding from the hardware team.

Inspiration and explanation were necessary

Core Requirements

Using the core requirements, I extrapolated the experience needs from a systematic approach to help the team understand all the parts involved in delivering this new experience.  

In particular the new core requirement of "As an introduction to touch, any new scrolling behavior is easy to learn" was used to help to guide the user experience and engineering features.

How do we make something easy to learn?

Research is essential

By partnering closely with UX Researcher Sarah Fuelling,  we considered the way people use their mice and what types of interactions they perform frequently and we built the use of core features into the product.  By making gestures and actions natural, simple, and repeatable we create easy of learning. Pairing the action with a useful feature, like scrolling or window management for example also increases ease of learning and repeatability. Lastly, considering human nature and knowing that a sense of accomplishment is a positive feeling for most people, it is important to consider how the gesture and its resulting action can help to create a sense of satisfaction for a task performed or the joy of performing a task.

Touch Scrolling & Meaningful feedback.

Because we know from research that interactions and new behaviors are easier to learn when paired with meaningful and timely feedback, It was imperative to define this for the business. Clearly connecting the experience to engineering and development features.

Flat to pack spine

Was another defining experience feature that required very tight collaboration between Engineering and Design. Making sure the action felt amazing and also served as the on/off switch for the mouse was a months long collaboration.

Product Line Language

It was a privilege to partner with Industrial Designer  Young Kim on the Arc Touch Mouse. The product line language is a key part in the story of how we delivered Arc Touch Mouse to millions across the world.

Then we build and test until we meet our experience metrics.

Defining gestures, and haptics

Working with the engineering team to design and prototype the gesture input and haptic feedback was the highlight of this project for me. I ran small user studies out of my office to understand the average finger shape and size. I also worked closely with Microsoft Research to build and prototype the gesture & haptic response. Jonathan Westhues is responsible for the prototypes pictured below. Together we worked to define and execute the right sensation and output for the haptic motor and touch sensor in the first prototypes that would garner stakeholder investment. 

A prototype testing flick to scroll

It was important to achieve a natural scrolling experience both from the interaction with the physical device and the onscreen response. This required research to understand the right experience, and engineering to implement the design once we understood user expectations for scroll speed and response. 

Out of box experience

The product marketing team partnered closely with design and research to help deliver the end to end experience. From the design of the packaging, to end caps and the onboarding software experience, we ensured a consistent and clear product story for Microsoft's first touch and haptic enabled mouse that folds flat. 

I designed the software onboarding experience to help familiarize users with the mouse and its capabilities. 

After all of that. . . 

Ship it!

I could not resist going to Best Buy and visiting an end cap as soon as Arc Touch Mouse was in stores. 



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