I believe that experience comes after perception. So UX can be defined as the user's learning towards a perception.

In the case of a web application, where user experiences mostly through sight, can you tell that the mouse's cursor is perceived by touch or is the cursor just an extension of the sight.

Here's the eye-tracking wiki as a reference.


I'm not sure I follow your argument, but to clarify things.


Perception is often defined as the conscious appreciation of sensation. Essentially, any input into the brain that hits consciousness (as opposed to your brain sensing that the CO2 in your blood is lower than normal).


There are quite a few definitions. The important ones:

  1. Practical contact with and observation of facts or events.
  2. An event or occurrence we encounter or undergo.
  3. An event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone

The third definition is somewhat problematic, as you can argue that people can experience something without it leaving a long lasting impression. The counter argument is the claim that the impression is left, only it is being overridden or simply lost within the neural network for being too weak.

User Experience

There is no agreement on what this means, but there are leading definitions:

  1. Anything that happens to users whilst using a system. This is the umbrella term definition.
  2. The emotional component of what happens to users while using the system.

Personally, I'm much in favour of the first option, and simply call the second Affectivity. It makes things much much easier when you try to build a coherent understanding of the topic. But some core textbooks favour the second definition.

The mouse

You use the mouse cursor as an input into the brain via the visual channel. It is true that you sense the mouse itself while touching it, but by all other means you are using it as an output device from the brain, through your motor system.

Thus, the mouse cursor is clearly perceived by sight - it is on the screen; the screen emits light, which goes through the eyes, retina, photoreceptors, and the optic nerves. That's how we perceive and experience it.

Even without touching anything, you will perceive the mouse cursor thorough your eyes.

  • Wow, this is a really constructing answer I will put more thought into it. Sometimes UX can become phylosofical by talking about emotions...
    – Gus
    May 16 '14 at 2:35

To answer your last statement the cursor through the mouse becomes an extension of sight for tracking. The mouse itself can be labelled generously as touch since you literally use your hand to touch it, however the real meaning of a touch interface is that you actually touch the UI. The mouse is not a UI element, it's an input device like a touch screen or touch pad. The confusion comes with gestures through which you manipulate the UI through a mouse such as an Apple Mighty Mouse, its closer to a touch device but not a true one as I think of them. But this still requires touch elements but acts more like a touch interface.

Your first statement is a contradiction, it should more accurately say that a users perception guides them to learn through experience.

  • Thanks for pointing the contradiction. I guess I misused the "towards" word, english is not my first language. Regarding your answer, it's interesting the fact about the Mighty Mouse, maybe if I control the "friction" on scrolling with JS, you could feel more like a "texture" on the UI.
    – Gus
    May 16 '14 at 2:39

I would suggest that the mouse is an extension of touch, as well as sight. If you take a look at how KLM-GOMS tracks micro-interactions, pointing the mouse and the mental preparation to touch the mouse are included in the operations. Part of the mental preparation would be that precognition step that identifies the images on the screen (Vision). Actually touching the mouse to drag it towards an object on the screen to interact with would be similar to that of interacting with an object in the real world (minus the mouse dragging part). But if the mouse is an extension of our arm, then it would count towards touch.

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