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 might only have a small subset of characters.

I know there is extensive research about the smallest sized touch buttons (Apple , Google, Motorola , Microsoft all have guides on this) , but what I am asking is what about putting say p/o on the same button or using the keyboards of the 9 button phones on screen.

Are there any instances where it would be wise to show a non traditional keyboard on the screen? (I am aware of the split keyboards but I am talking phones, and novel layouts of the keys / eliminating certain things.)

1 Answer 1


Most users hate typing on mobile. See Mobile Usability

That being said, you should make typing as comfortable as possible. I would not go and change the expected behavior by switching the keyboards unless it helps preventing critical errors.

Almost all devices offer context-sensitive keyboards. These will e.g. display digits if it's a digit-only field and prevent the user from entering forbidden characters.

The user might also have installed a different keyboard, so who are you to force him to use yours? ;-)

  • users cant install different keyboards so far on iOS. its a borderline "security" feature apple says Sep 19, 2013 at 21:58
  • @Bob that's true, but you also tagged your question with "android". it wasn't my main point anyway.
    – Lovis
    Sep 20, 2013 at 4:55
  • your right totally forgot Sep 20, 2013 at 19:01

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