Motherboard’s Daniel Oberhaus recently spent a week without a mouse, using only keyboard shortcuts to navigate his computer interface.
Oberhaus found that it took some time to memorise important keyboard shortcuts such as pressing Ctrl + Tab to switch between browser tabs and Win + R to open the Run interface in Windows.
After these were memorised however, he discovered that keyboard shortcuts saved a lot of time compared to performing the same actions using the mouse. This was particularly true for navigating and organising Gmail.
However, actions such as navigating forums through hyperlinked text and editing images in Photoshop were made much harder without a mouse.
While the mouse has allowed everyday users to navigate computers more easily, using a keyboard is often the more efficient method of interfacing with a system, according to Oberhaus’ experience.
The computer mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart, who created the device as an easier and more natural way of interfacing with a computer in combination with a keyboard.
The result of Oberhaus’ experiment suggests that while the mouse won’t be going away any time soon – especially for gamers – most PC users will benefit from learning and using keyboard shortcuts to improve efficiency.