For most computer users, using a mouse plays an integral role in their user interface, and as technology has progressed we’ve gained more functionality with this tool. Not only has the mouse itself evolved into much more than the basic right click, left click we now have swiping and scrolling capabilities along with Bluetooth. However, over the last few decades many artists in the graphic design community have broken away from the traditional desktop mouse and opted for a tablet and pen/stylus.
Making the Switch
I made the switch to a Wacom tablet 10 years ago and never looked back. Embracing the nostalgia of pencil or pen, my current tablet allows me to work more with pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition to allow greater control over each stroke. Other notable features include multi-touch, ExpressKeys and a Touch Ring that allows even more functionality by programing application-specific shortcuts and more importantly the pen/stylus acts and operates as my mouse. Not to sound like a sales pitch for Wacom, but all of these features help me be more creative and efficient with my workflow. I’ve been using my tablet for so long, the touch and feel of a regular mouse almost seems foreign.
4 Out of 5 LF Creatives Agree…
No this isn’t an ad for sugarless gum. Four out of the five designers in the LF office utilize a tablet. So what’s the deal with the fifth guy? It’s simple really — the odd one out has over 25 years of success in the game and for him it just seemed weird switching. Old habits die hard, right? While Joel has branched out with modern day trackball, he ultimately went back to a mouse. In Joel’s favor, many of the design programs have evolved over the years as well, and most desktop publishing projects don’t require the fine art functionality that a pen/stylus might provide.
Your Design, Your Choice
Whether you use a trackball, trackpad, mouse or tablet, it all comes down to personal preference. Maybe in the future we will have gesture/proximity tracking and it will eliminate the other choices altogether? Until technology catches up with science fiction, how you will you sc’roll? (See what I did there — that’s a mouse joke.)