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Summary: WF2, mice and arm pain


Summary: WF2, mice and arm pain

Thanks for the many replies I had on this topic, the most I've had on
anything.. There were even more replies than "Out of Office" messages for
once 🙂

The responses I got ranged from dismissive or skeptical, to informative and
all the way to "we're having this issue too".

Rather than cut and paste replies I'll try to summarize all the responses
in my own words.

1. Training:

Several people asked what training we've had on Wildfire2. We did have
on-site WildFire 1 training here for about 1/2 of our core users last year.
The training helped us all, (some more than others) and has proved to be a
good investment as far as I'm concerned. We didn't have specific training
on WF2, but we had a demo for all our users before we officially launched
it. We also have CADTrain's 2001 to Wildfire 2 and Wildfire to Wildfire2
update on our intranet for reference.

2. Wildfire 2

It was pointed out to me by a number of people that our users were probably
not taking advantage of the new GUI features. A number of replies described
using the right-click menus to give you direct access to the sketch, etc.
It was also suggested we create special mapkeys to handle some of the
goofier situations.

I talked to a number of our users and found that some of the guys were very
familiar with the new functionality while others had forgotten a lot of
what they were shown in training. I sent out an email to our internal users
reminding them about the some of this new functionality.

In my opinion, Wildfire 2 is very much a work in progress. It is still
inconsistent in design and operation. More GUI/workflow changes are
promised for WF3 according to PTC so it'll be interesting to see where that

3. Arm, neck and hand pain.

A few people suggested that the users were just complaining too much: when
you get complaints from "the usual suspects" its easy to dismiss them, but
when you get them from people who don't gripe about things, then you take
heed, especially when its many at the same time.

This is also an issue which I have dealt with personally, and one which I
don't take lightly. I developed a swollen disk in my neck which pinched a
nerve going to my arm some years ago and it was excruciating. There is no
doubt in my mind that the many hours of CAD work I was doing played a role
in it: humans aren't designed to sit still in front of a monitor all day
long. I changed a lot of things to try and overcome it: a different chair,
more breaks, exercises, a height-adjusting table (we make them so it was
easy to get one :-)), etc. Luckily it eventually went away and I haven't
had to deal with it since.

4. Mice:

The design of the mouse we're using does seem to be part of the problem. It
has side buttons that lie directly under the thumb and little fingers of
users with large hands, forcing them to "pinch" the mouse between the thumb
and little finger instead of being able just to rest their hand on it. I
had some good suggestions and recommendations from other users about
different mice, trackballs and using a Spaceball (we have 1).

We're going to test different brands / styles mice: some Microsoft, some
Logitech and other brands as well, for those users that are having

One suggestion I got was to try the Evoluent vertical mouse. This one looks
really interesting:
We're also looking at the Perfit Optical mouse which is handed and available
in different sizes.