The Clickwheel Must Die

As someone who’s long felt that the iPod’s clickwheel violates Fitts’s law, I was delighted to read this Gizmodo article asserting that the iPod’s clickwheel must die. My choice quote:

Quite simply, the clickwheel hasn’t scaled to handle the long, modern day menus in powerful iPods.

Fortunately Apple recognized its mistake on this one and fixed the problem in its touch interface. Though, to be clear, the problem was not inherent in the choice of a wheel interface, but rather in the requirement to make gratuitously precise selections.

Now I’m waiting to see someone fix the tiny minimize/maximize/close buttons in the upper right corner on Windows, which I suspect have become the textbook example of violating Fitts’s law.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.