Mouse Ergonomics

While searching for a more ergonomic mouse, I ran across an interesting article:

Liu, C.-H., & Fan, S.-C. (2014). Ergonomic design of a computer mouse for clients with wrist splints. American Journal
of Occupational Therapy,
68, 317–324. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.009928

Here is the abstract of the paper:

OBJECTIVE. We explored effects of cutaneous feedback and hump position on efficiency and comfort in
mouse use with a splint. We also analyzed the relationship between anthropometric measurements (width of
hand and length of hand, palm, and index) and the task performance.
METHOD. Thirty participants performed a computer task with two forms of mice (front hump and rear hump)
and two kinds of wrist splints (dorsal and volar). Movement time and satisfaction scores were recorded.
RESULTS. No interaction effect (Hump Position · Splint Type) was found on movement time. Movement
time was shorter for rear-hump mouse users than for front-hump mouse users. Movement time was also
shorter for wearers of dorsal wrist splints than for wearers of volar wrist splints. Limited differences existed
in the satisfaction scores. Participants with a longer index finger had shorter movement time.
CONCLUSION. Both dorsal wrist splints and rear-hump mice are recommended. Length of index finger
positively correlated with task performance.

Here is a Figure from the paper illustrating "front-hump" vs. "rear-hump" mice:
mouse-hump.jpg

Left: Front-hump mouse; Right: Rear-hump mouse

Because this paper dealt with people wearing wrist splints, the conclusions do not necessarily apply to those not wearing wrist splints. However, in my own case (and I do not wear wrist splints), I have preferred the feel of the few mice I have been able to find that have a rear hump; unfortunately, these usually had some issue that was a deal-breaker for me. In addition, it seems that most mice that I have looked at thus far have a hump that is closer to the middle of the length rather than toward the rear.

Do any of you have recommendations for rear-hump mice? One that is in this category is the Zowie ZA series, which comes in three sizes: ZA11 (large), ZA12 (medium), and ZA13 (small). However, I prefer a right-handed mouse and the ZA series is ambidextrous with side-buttons on both sides. I've also seen several reports about bad scroll wheels on this and other series of Zowie mice. About a year ago, I tried the Zowie EC1-A, and I didn't like the feel of the plastic on the main body of the mouse.
Last edited by Hypersphere on 19 May 2017, 18:09, edited 1 time in total.
Hypersphere
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Unread post19 May 2017, 14:35

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Really? Most mouse I've seen are rear-bump. My all time favorite is g303.
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Unread post19 May 2017, 17:36

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need wrote:Really? Most mouse I've seen are rear-bump. My all time favorite is g303.

Interesting; maybe we have been looking in different places. Because I don't have objective data at hand on the placement of the high-point relative to the length, I've revised my post as follows:

...

"However, in my own case (and I do not wear wrist splints), I have preferred the feel of the few mice I have been able to find that have a rear hump; unfortunately, these usually had some issue that was a deal-breaker for me. In addition, my recollection is that most mice that I have looked at thus far have a hump that is closer to the middle of the length rather than toward the rear, but I haven't collected data on the placement of the high-point of each mouse relative to its length."
...

I haven't tried the G303, but I recently tried the Logitech G403 and I like it. This surprised me, because it is one of the smallest mice I have tried, and I usually prefer larger mice. The shape feels right and the build quality seems good.
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Unread post19 May 2017, 18:23

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I've seen plenty of "rear-hump" mice but most of them were lousy obscure budget mice.
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Unread post19 May 2017, 18:44

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There might be a real gem lurking in the obscure budget space, but it could be difficult to determine, especially with the large number of high-end gaming mice being advertised.

Some of the wireless options that seem to be aimed at the business market look like interesting possibilities, but I prefer a corded mouse -- especially with my 3-computer, 3-monitor setup. I've often wondered why the wireless models are usually not accompanied by a corded version of the same model.
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Unread post19 May 2017, 19:51

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Hypersphere wrote:There might be a real gem lurking in the obscure budget space, but it could be difficult to determine, especially with the large number of high-end gaming mice being advertised.

Agreed, seems the mouse-market is even more saturated than the keyboard market.
Hypersphere wrote:Some of the wireless options that seem to be aimed at the business market look like interesting possibilities, but I prefer a corded mouse -- especially with my 3-computer, 3-monitor setup. I've often wondered why the wireless models are usually not accompanied by a corded version of the same model.

I'm sure these days most users prefer wireless, I know people who generally find a corded mouse antiquated. These are "regular" non-gaming / non-mech users though.
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Unread post19 May 2017, 19:56

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I tried out the Zowie ZA11. This is a "high profile" "rear hump" mouse and the largest of the 3 in the ZA series.

It seemed like a good shape and size for me, although after using it for a while, i had a bit of a cramp in the center of my palm.

The surface is fairly smooth with no rubberized side grips, but the sides have subtle ledges that enable picking up the mouse easily -- it is also light for its size.

Unfortunately, the surface of the shell gets sticky after just a few minutes of use -- a problem for me with many of the mice I've tested. This issue seems to be minimized with the Logitech G403, Steelseries Rival 300, and Razer Deathadder Elite.

The ZA11 is an ambidextrous mouse with side buttons on both sides. As a right-hander, I thought the buttons on the right would be an issue, but they did not get in the way.

I had heard negative things about Huano switches, but they were not difficult to press and they were not too loud. I liked them as much or perhaps more than the ubiquitous Omron switches found in most gaming mice these days.

There is no software and no LEDs except on the bottom of the mouse to indicate the DPI setting, which is controlled by a toggle switch on the bottom of the mouse. I like the simplicity, but I must admit to getting accustomed to some degree of LED lighting, and I think that software could be helpful with making settings.

The deal-breaker for me with the Zowie ZA11 was the scroll wheel. It is fairly noisy in both directions but more so when scrolling up (moving the wheel forward (away) from the user. In addition, the wheel has 16 notches instead of the more standard 24. Although I could adjust the scrolling speed in my OS settings, the 16-notch wheel just didn't feel right to me.

I've now tested 20 or so mice, including most that were recommended for above-average sized hands and a palm grip. With its pronounced high arch located toward the rear, I had high hopes for the Zowie ZA11, but for various reasons cited above, this mouse is not going to work for me.

At present, all things considered including ergonomics, my favorite 3 mice are the Logitech G403, Steelseries Rival 300, and Razer Deathadder Elite.
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Unread post22 May 2017, 21:07

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Very good Hypersphere, I've read mixed things about Zowie mice but I intend to give them a try sometime. My old Razer Deathadder is still the best choice for me although I have not tried as many different options as you.
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Unread post22 May 2017, 21:18

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Hypersphere, thanks for writing it down, thats interesting. Did you tried out ergonomic stuff as well? (rollermouse, trackball, vertical mouse)?

of the 3 favorites of yours: which in your opinion has the best price/perfomance?
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I think lots of mice are rear-bump? I don't have one to check currently, but Razer Krait/Diamondback as well as Mionix Avior I think are all rear-bump. Might just be my penchant for ambidextrous mice.
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Unread post23 May 2017, 02:30

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I was going to give the Roccat Kone EMP a try, but I changed my mind. This is because I have tested the very similar Kone XTD, and the EMP still has the illuminated "racing stripes" that are made of a different plastic from the shell. This plastic has a sticky feel that ruins the grip for me.

After seeing several recommendations for the Logitch G403, I tested it and it is definitely a keeper. This surprised me, because it is a bit smaller and lighter than other mice I have tended to favor. However, I found the size and shape ideal, and the low mass makes it easier to move the mouse quickly (less inertia). The surface does not get as sticky with use as some mouse surfaces do, the switches and sensor are excellent, and it has one of the best notched scroll wheels I have encountered -- just the right amount of feedback and virtually silent.

At present, all things considered, including sensor, switches, shape, size, ergonomics, feel, scroll wheel, switch and scroll wheel sounds, glide, software, LEDs, and aesthetics, as I said in a previous post, my favorite 3 mice are the Logitech G403, Steelseries Rival 300, and Razer Deathadder Elite.

These three finalist mice are all excellent, and it is difficult to choose a winner among them. Aesthetically, I regard the DA Elite as the best-looking and the Rival 300 as the least attractive, but other attributes are closer across these three. However, at present, the one that is staying on my home-office desk is the Logitech G403, and I've ordered another one for my work office.

@Phenix: Regarding best performance for price, current prices on Amazon Prime are: G403, $59.99; DA Elite, $67.90; and Rival 300, $40.99. I regard the performance of these three mice to be about the same, so the Rival 300 wins as best value for the money. However, overall personal preference makes the G403 worth the extra money for me, and if I were giving high weight to aesthetics, I would go for the DA Elite.
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Unread post24 May 2017, 17:27

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If I need another mouse I will follow your result - the logitech g403 - as I am sure that you did some good research, and I respect and trust int that.

A question: Can the logitech software do 'layers'? The Roccat software does. (I mean: hold one mouse key down to trigger Layer1 - this nearly doubles the amount of keys, and is damn comfortable)
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Unread post24 May 2017, 18:25

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@Phenix: Selecting a mouse is a very personal matter. It is possible to get some ideas from the reviews of others, but in the end, there is no substitute for trying out a mouse for yourself.

I haven't paid much attention to mouse software. I use the default button assignments, and all I need to do is select a comfortable DPI setting and adjust the LEDs to my liking. Having said this, I have noticed and appreciated the fact that Roccat offers linux versions of its software for some of its models of mice.

I just took a quick look at the Logitech software -- it offers a multitude of choices for programming each button, including using them for keystrokes and keystroke macros. One of the options is called "G-shift"; I think this might be the layer feature you have asked about.
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Unread post25 May 2017, 00:31

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Indeed, mice are a personal thing: however If I am going to get a new I like to start with one liked by others, exspecially if someone try and error went into his final choice.

Thanks, g-shift dhould be the layer-thing.
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Unread post25 May 2017, 10:21

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