A 2010 study on computer ergonomics by researchers at DePaul University found that selecting menu items using keyboard shortcuts was more efficient than doing so with a mouse. However, many organizations routinely erase some of the short-term memory stored on their employees’ computers. For these workers, adding custom “hot key” shortcuts is essentially futile because they get erased when users log out of the network.
That was the situation Brian Potts, an environmental and energy attorney, found himself in early last year while working at the Madison, WI, office of the firm Foley & Lardner. Inserting symbols that appear frequently in legal briefs—section (§), copyright (©), and pilcrow (¶), to name three examples—required a time-consuming sequence of pointing, scrolling, and clicking with the mouse. Read the full story here.