physical interface for entering text character by character.

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53
votes
8answers
6k views

Why doesn't the space bar have anything written on it?

All the key on the keyboard have something written on them which more or less describes their functionality, except for, traditionally, the Space bar. Why don't the majority of keyboard space bar ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does the caps lock key have a down arrow as its icon?

The caps lock key has a downwards arrow like this as its icon on most keyboards: Isn't that hugely counter intuitive and inconsistent with the way the Shift key is designed like? One would imagine ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are keyboards, Mouses designed to make sound when pressed and clicked?

Why are PC keyboards designed to be audible when they are pressed? That, IMHO, is a totally unnecessary thing as it generates noise that might disturb a peer who is studying nearby. The other thing ...
3
votes
1answer
390 views

Show special keyboard view when entering a password on mobile devices?

Mobile operating systems typically show different virtual keyboards depending on context. The default keyboard might show A-Z, while a keyboard for entering a telephone number might show 0-9 (so you ...
7
votes
5answers
587 views

Unintuitive order of vi directional keys

Currently unix text editor vi has the following keys for navigation. h move left j move down k move up l move right On keyboard they aligned: Left, Down, Up, Right But while ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Tab sequence in dynamic forms

This question is about usable tab sequences in dynamic forms. Is it possible to exclude conditional fields from the tab sequence when they are hidden, and include them when they are visible? Assume ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

What are the proper keys for navigating multi-column “search as you type” results?

Given a search box that has a menu which opens after the user begins to type listing results in two columns, plus a "view more results" button and a "close" button, what are the correct keys for ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

Delay on keystroke when search as you type

I'm deploying an instant search on my windows app. At the first implementation, when the user type a key, the search engine make a query and return the results. I thought that that wasn't too much ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Should Keyboard and Mouse stay next to each other? [closed]

I am looking for some recommendations / papers that claim that a keyboard and a mouse should be placed next to each other. What about a case where the mouse is a used as an input device and the ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a logical alternative for the Escape key?

I have a game that can be played in your browser. It's a retro game (multiplayer snake) and the menus and your snake can only be controlled using your keyboard. Mouse input is ignored. I was using ...
18
votes
9answers
8k views

How to improve the smartphone keyboard layout?

I have loads of problems with the small keys on my smartphone as my fingers cover them completely. I guess most people have the same problem. The Qwerty keyboard layout was designed for ten-finger ...
30
votes
5answers
6k views

Are there any recent studies of the “Keyboard vs Mouse”-issue?

Back in the late 80's, Apple Human Interface concluded that the mouse is faster than the keyboard, objectively. But also that every test person subjectively thought that the keyboard was faster. ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Why are product keys always uppercase?

As the title says, is there a specific reason for why products keys are (almost) always in uppercase? Does it serve a purpose? Here's what I mean by a product key: ABCD-1234-EFGH-5678-IJKL Why ...
6
votes
7answers
6k views

Dedicated buttons for Copy/Paste on keyboards [closed]

Given that many people (myself included) use these functions a lot, wouldn't it make sense to have two keys that would replace Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V in modern keyboards?
3
votes
2answers
525 views

Is it okay to map the left/right arrow keys to a website's navigation?

When making a site accessible by allowing keyboard navigation is it OK to use the left and right arrow keys to move between columns (in addition to the tab key which traverses all of the column's ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Why Greek letter mu (μ) on European keyboards?

AZERTY-style keyboard layouts in France and Belgium have a dedicated key for typing the Greek small letter mu (μ). While not having a dedicated (μ) key, keyboards in Germany, Denmark, Finland, ...
4
votes
1answer
991 views

Why do some keyboards extend the Return key up into the backslash?

Most keyboards have a rectangular Return (often labeled Enter) key. Above it they have the \ key and above that is a rectangular Backspace key. Some keyboards, however, have a weird shaped Return key ...
50
votes
3answers
8k views

Why are keyboard keys staggered?

In every keyboard that I have used, the keys are arranged so that the keys are staggered a small increment to the left from the previous row. Q is above and slightly to the left of A, and A is above ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

What are the best ways to use a “start here” sign

I gotta show to the user where to start using a special virtual keyboard, what are the best ways to do it ? Where to put a button to close the sign ? What is the best positioning to it ?
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Should we bring back the user to the ABC mode on the SmartPhone keyboard automatically after they have entered some symbols/numbers/punctuation?

Should we bring back the user to the ABC mode on the SmartPhone keyboard automatically after they have entered some symbols/numbers/punctuation marks?
0
votes
0answers
69 views

Smoothly transitioning from mouse drag to text entry

I have an application I'm working on where a portion of the interface is very mouse-centric. You drag the mouse to create/manipulate regions, then assign properties to those regions. Below is an ...
3
votes
2answers
342 views

Why is the “Shift” key below the home row and not on the bottom row?

It is suggested that one should use only four fingers (index finger to little finger) to type letters and numbers, while the thumbs are only used for spaces and other keys in the bottom row. Also, it ...
38
votes
6answers
5k views

On a US keyboard why is + shifted but - isn't?

I am wondering why standard US keyboards allow you to type - by simply hitting the key, but the + button right next to it needs the Shift key. The default for that key is = and not a minus symbol. + ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Is multi-layer ESCAPE expected?

We design an application, containing a grid with an active filter search and inline-editable columns. Each row represents a record, of which multiple fields are editable. The application should be ...
0
votes
2answers
515 views

Why are the characters on the keyboard all capitalized?

Why are all the letters (A, B etc) and all the writings (Home, Page Up etc) on the keyboard, capitalized? Especially, the letters, because a new user could rightly expect uppercase letters to be ...
2
votes
3answers
267 views

Replace mode in a text editor, do we still want it? (Insert Key)

Most people are familiar with accidentally bumping the insert key, and then typing and finding that there text has been replaced. (overwritten with the new text they just typed.) I've used it maybe a ...
3
votes
2answers
280 views

How do you indicate an element is moveable by keyboard arrows?

I am building a drag and drop interface where elements can be moved by a mouse or by the keyboard arrows. How should I 'tell' the user these elements are moveable using the keyboard? Any idea or a ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

Best practices for hardware keyboard input on tablet

I'm creating a form Android tablet app that will be used connected to a physical keyboard. The goal is to help users quickly fill out forms while visiting our conference booth. The tablets will be ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

How to structure UI dependent on onscreen keyboards?

We are developing a Windows 8 tablet application but this should be applicable to every tablet OS. There are several textboxes which open up the onscreen keyboard when they get focus. In most cases ...
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Mouseovers should be activated using keyboard?

In usability.gov's Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guides in section 3:7, "Ensure that Scripts Allow Accessibility" says: Whenever a script changes the content of a page, the change must ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is white text on dark background better for usability on smartphone / tablet keyboards than the reverse?

Which is a better and usable Smart Phone or Tablet keyboard? White / light characters on Black / Dark keys on the keyboard layout. Black / Dark Grey text on the white / light grey colour keys ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it good to change keyboard's input language automatically in JavaScript?

In some websites and web applications, there are forms to be filled by the end user. In multilingual contexts, some developers try to change the input language of the keyboard, or hook to the field ...
1
vote
1answer
338 views

Chinese Smart phone keyboard

Do the Chinese Smart phone keyboard need a lot of keys on their keyboard compared to the simple generic iOS keyboard that we see currently? (iOS has less keys and its simple to look at. Compare it to ...
17
votes
4answers
906 views

Keyboard number row ordering

On a typical keyboard, why is the 0 in the number row next to the 9 instead of the 1? This seems like a question which should have a straight-forward answer, but the only one I could find is this ...
3
votes
2answers
260 views

Tablet/kiosk app - showing the keyboard by default

We have an iPad/Android Tablet input form with a single text input box on it. This is a kiosk app used by tourists and business men. We have two options Option 1) Form loads Input box ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

What type of users use exclusively the keyboard to navigate a site?

A little background first At the company I work for, we're working on an e-learning application, aimed (exclusively) at dentists and their teams. While trying to decide how important accessibility ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Keyboard shortcut for selection field

In our (desktop) application, we have two different families of selection fields. Some can open a dropdown dialog (combo boxes, date fields which open a calendar in the drop down), and the others can ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Merits of smaller less verbose keyboards for phones/mobile devices

Are there any merits to using a smaller and or possibly less verbose keyboard on mobile devices in certain scenarios? I was thinking possibly changing keyboards for logins or other areas where you ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Why dvorak's layout left home row is AOEIU?

I am trying to learn to type in dvorak keyboard, but I am having hard time with the vowels. I am ok with the consontants, but I am wandering why Dvorak didn't make it more simple to AEIOU for the left ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Tab to whole item group or button within item group?

This is my first post in User Experience, so hopefully this is the right place for my question. It's a question there may not be a definitive answer to, but hopefully someone might be able to help ...
1
vote
2answers
177 views

Is 'single click to select' list item wrong if its only used to show position?

For a PC messenger like application, in the 'Inbox' view, messages are arranged in a list. I have a mouse hover state and a selected state. the selected state is invoked by clicking once on the item, ...
8
votes
1answer
170 views

What are the costs of forcing a switch between mouse and keyboard?

If a user is entering text at a keyboard, then is forced to use their mouse for something (e.g. clicking a button in a modal dialog), what are the time and cognitive costs of that? Similarly, when ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the caps lock key often so big on a keyboard?

It seems that the caps lock key is not a frequently used key on a computer keyboard yet on all the keyboards I have used, it is afforded a significant amount of interface real estate, often as much as ...
13
votes
2answers
913 views

Should 'ABC' keyboard layout be used in single-purpose devices?

I have noticed, that some (well, quite many!) single-purpose devices (like: GPS for a car or some photo frames) use 'ABC' keyboard layout as default one, instead of the (local) standard QWERTY. And in ...
11
votes
3answers
798 views

Designing bidi text editing

Background. "Bidi" refers to the bidirectional text, that is a text where traditional left-to-right scripts are intermixed with right-to-left ones, such as Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Thaana, etc. Such ...
1
vote
1answer
408 views

Why F1 is the default help key?

Why F1 is the default function key of the keyboard used by many applications/operative systems to show help information to the user?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Behavior of the Enter button in a form

What is a better experience for a user if they press enter when using a form? Should it submit the form or move to the next field?
5
votes
2answers
572 views

Tab order for previous/next buttons in a form

We have a multi-step form that has 2 buttons (Previous and Next) at the bottom of each page. The Previous button is on the bottom left-hand side, and the Next on the bottom right-hand side. What ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Keyboard shortcut to sort columns in a table?

Clicking on column headers in a table to set the sort order (or toggle ascending/descending if already sorting by this column) is a standard UI technique. However, it is mouse-only. Is there a ...
6
votes
2answers
989 views

Keyboard shortcuts on non-QWERTY keyboard layouts

I've been using the Dvorak keyboard layout for a few years, and something that's always bothered me is keyboard shortcuts. On a QWERTY keyboard copy and paste are conveniently positioned as Ctrl+C and ...