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The Challenge

Create the first ergonomically designed mouse.

Impact

Created enormous consumer appeal that replaced all earlier versions, and sold more than two million units in its first two years.

The Outcome

The now-famous “Dove Bar”–shaped mouse.

Microsoft Mouse 2 D58

In 1987, the three companies that would later form IDEO worked together with Microsoft to create the world’s first ergonomically designed mouse. IDEO’s human factors research suggested a small but significant change: Moving the location of the mouse ball forward, from under the palm to under the fingertips, enabled more precise control and resulted in measurable performance differences compared with earlier models.

The industrial design effort examined and tested dozens of shapes in comfort and aesthetic studies that led to the famous “Dove Bar” form, a significant advance over the boxy mouses prevalent at the time. The resulting clean appearance, enhanced control, and improved reliability created enormous consumer appeal that replaced all earlier versions, and Microsoft sold more than 2 million units in its first two years.

Microsoft Mouse 2 D59 Ball Pstns Copy