physical interface for entering text character by character.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

82
votes
16answers
9k views

Is Google Instant good or bad UX?

For power users, it clearly saves time in some circumstances. It also jumps around alot and does things that are very different than before. One person said it is like a guy who finishes your ...
63
votes
4answers
5k views

Why do numpads on keyboards and phones have reversed layouts?

I came across this on the web. It's supposed to be funny, but we all know better :) So, why are the numpad layouts different, and what are the reasons behind each?
57
votes
7answers
5k views

Why does the Caps Lock not toggle upper and lower case for selected text?

In most word processors, you can easily toggle many text styles. For example: Ctrl + B - Will bold or un-bold selected text. Ctrl + U - Will italicize or un-italicize selected text. Ctrl + I - Will ...
46
votes
8answers
5k 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 ...
35
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
33
votes
6answers
4k 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. + ...
26
votes
6answers
1k views

What is the best way to get users to discover and learn keyboard shortcuts

In a mouse driven desktop application, with a ribbon style interface and which has no menubar, what is the best way for users to learn about the shortcuts and accelerators which can help a user work ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Why CTRL + C multiple times [duplicate]

I have recently noticed that I press CTRL + C more than once, even if I know that the file has been copied to the clipboard. But I press CTRL + X or CTRL + V only once. Why do I do this? Is this ...
23
votes
5answers
3k 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. ...
16
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
653 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 ...
15
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
696 views

Is Shift+Click for item selection a historical mistake?

I recently encountered a proof of concept demonstration which used the mouse to "drag and select" multiple items in a list. The current, widely accepted solution for multiple item selection is to ...
14
votes
4answers
402 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
454 views

What's the Best Interface for Entering Canadian Postal Codes on a Smartphone Keyboard?

Typical smartphone keyboards are modal. There is usually a basic QWERTY/Basic punctuation keyboard by default that can be switched to numeric/extended punctuation mode. This works reasonably well ...
13
votes
2answers
456 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 ...
12
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 ...
12
votes
2answers
867 views

Why do the iPhone and iPad keyboards use different shades of gray for the keys and background?

I noticed when working with iPhone and iPad keyboards that they are quite a significantly different colour: Is there any particular reason for this?
12
votes
1answer
310 views

How should keyboard mnemonics be localized?

Is there a standard approach to localizing (internationalize) keyboard mnemonics? For example, in Windows Notepad in English, if the user types Alt+E then P, the Edit menu opens and then the Paste ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Should we include a “Back to top” button for mobile websites?

When building a mobile web site that needs to be accessible — do you consider it to be best practice to include a "Back to top" anchor link in a footer menu for long pages? I'm thinking about those ...
10
votes
7answers
825 views

How should I indicate an added row of buttons above the iPad's keyboard is scrollable?

In my iOS app, I have an extra toolbar that appears above the keyboard, using the same style of buttons as the keyboard. This toolbar is horizontally scrollable. Currently, in all devices and ...
10
votes
3answers
332 views

Why do modern keyboards have Scroll Lock?

The Scroll Lock key is useless in the modern day, and some higher-end keyboards don't even have it: Same can be said for the Pause/Break key, but however it pauses the BIOS POST output on many ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Making mega-menus accessible for keyboard users

Here's the situation. A large corporate site has a mega-menu in the primary navigation. The secondary-level page areas are available from within this dropdown (in this example the secondary levels are ...
10
votes
3answers
470 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
445 views

Most intuitive keyboard shortcut for search & replace dialog

Extending the question on askubuntu what would be the most intuitive solution for the Search & Replace and maybe Find dialog? Ctrl H -- Gnome, Windows Ctrl R -- KDE Ctrl F -- Mac OS Which ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

What are the benefits of non-QWERTY keyboards?

I'm stuck with QWERTY, but have been tempted to try Dvorak. Dvorak advocates claim it's faster. Are there any studies that compare these two (main) keyboard layouts? Are there other layouts out there ...
8
votes
2answers
661 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
199 views

Is F1-F12 the same for every keyboard/language

I have little tooltip graphics, each with a picture of a keyboard shortcut. Sometimes, the picture is a F5, a F10, etc. I was wondering (for accessibility reasons) if everyone has a keyboard with "F" ...
8
votes
3answers
589 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?
8
votes
2answers
255 views

Is there any research into the cost of switching between using a keyboard and a mouse?

My intuition and own experience tells me keyboard shortcut keys can be faster than using the mouse. However, some tasks like browsing the internet or a folder hierarchy truly benefit from using a ...
8
votes
1answer
140 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
12answers
3k views

Why do physical keyboards still have built-in numpads?

Normally I use a wireless keyboard without a number pad and a mouse right next to it. Having started a new job, I was finding my right arm somewhat more sore. This was confusing until I realized: ...
7
votes
7answers
275 views

Will the future absence of the physical keyboard hurt the desktop User Experience? [closed]

With so many future UI designs focusing on 3-dimensional, hands-on interfaces, it appears clear that the physical keyboard is going to soon be obsolete. (i.e., John Underkoffler's presentation) ...
7
votes
5answers
503 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
370 views

Is it time to reevaluate what keys keyboards should have?

I just got my Google I/O Chromebook and one of the most interesting things about the keyboard layout is that certain keys have been replaced by Google with new ones that are more relevant for an ...
7
votes
3answers
215 views

How will multi-touch computer design impact the future of User Experience? [closed]

Today I came across a video for a multi-touch, large screen user interface prototype, designed by a company called "Second Story" in Portland, Oregon. I am excited about the direction this will go. I ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the reason behind the upper-case-lower-case behaviour of the Apple iOS keyboard?

On Windows and Android phones/tablets the case of the keypad letters alters when pressing SHIFT: But Apple seems to ignore this presumably useful feature. Does Apple really know it's better NOT to ...
7
votes
2answers
482 views

Hangman game on mobile - Qwerty or alphabetical keyboard

I'm building a hangman game as part of a bigger mobile educational application. As you know for hangman you select letters and see if they are part of the word or sentence. I'm trying to decide if I ...
7
votes
4answers
983 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
3answers
714 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
490 views

Why most websites don't use keyboard shortcuts?

I was wondering that why websites don't use keyboard shortcuts as often as desktop software tends to. I really like keyboard shortcuts in software, they makes me work more efficiently. But why don't ...
6
votes
4answers
210 views

Hide controls on a touch enabled device and only show them if someone uses a mouse?

We're building a responsive web site and we're having a discussion about how to display controls on a map. The theory is that people with touch-enabled devices do not need to see zoom sliders because ...
6
votes
2answers
520 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
873 views

Is there any research available about the speed of working with a mouse vs. working with a trackpad?

I ask this because of a friend who never hooks up a mouse to his laptop because he claims he can work just as fast with a trackpad as with a mouse. My personal experience is the other way around. I ...
5
votes
7answers
1k 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?
5
votes
1answer
504 views

Why would number lock be disabled by default?

There was a time that number lock was enabled by default (at least in a Windows environment). Then, after an update one day, all the sudden the Number Lock is disabled. Why the change? What is it ...
5
votes
1answer
428 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
285 views

Usability testing a Chorded Keyboard

I'm going to do user tests on a Chorded/Chording Keyboard. I would like to know, if there are any guidelines / tips for testing user-input (example sentences to input)?
4
votes
2answers
682 views

Why do keyboard keys have (most) letters in top left corner?

I was just looking at my keyboard (Logitech K200) for the millionth time and realized that the names of each key were "mostly" in the top left. The row of numbers at the top is just left aligned with ...