May 27, 2005

Das Keyboard
Am I being overly-critical if I say this sounds like a totally stupid idea?

Source: [New York Times: A Keyboard That Lets the Supremely Confident Show Disdain for Qwerty]


Ron said...

Actually, it would make for a good teaching tool to learn to type or to increase typing speed. Don't typing classes use such keyboards still?

Lyle said...

I could see this helping with basic keys like A-Z, space, enter, etc. But some keys give little or no visual feedback (e.g. scroll lock, print screen, and the obscure "pause" key). Then there are the little used keys. Quick, without looking, hit the ^ key, now try the F11 key, now the ` key. Now the | key (not the lower case L (l), or a capital I, or a one (1), but the pipe (|) key. Note that all of those last characters might look similar depending on the font/resolution being used.

A better design might be to imprint faint letters on the keys (the labels are usually silkscreened I believe), so the user can see the labels if they look closely, but that wouldn't be so visible as to be a "crutch". You could further allow the labels to wear off after a certain amount of usage (learning).

The whole thing just smacks of an egotistical user thinking "key labels!? I don' need no stinking key labels!" and buying into a gimmick / conversation piece.