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71 votes
Accepted

What's the point of deactivating Num Lock on login screens?

Some compact keyboard layouts don't have a numpad, so those keys are mapped to the right-hand side of the letter section: If NumLock is on, then a user typing the password kill, will actually type ...
ralien's user avatar
  • 1,600
69 votes

For a command to increase something, should instructions refer to the "+" key or the "=" key?

Uhm, sorry. You refer to a =/+ key. But there is none on my keyboard. I think you should add a locale tag, and make sure your users only work within that locale.
knallfrosch's user avatar
  • 2,088
47 votes
Accepted

Why do most smartphones not have a physical keyboard?

While space is an obvious part of the equation, it's not the main one, you could simply have a sliding physical keyboard just as previous generations of smartphones and be a happy camper. However, ...
Devin's user avatar
  • 38.1k
35 votes

Why do most smartphones not have a physical keyboard?

What caused this decline in the use of physical keyboards? The iPhone What is the impact on the UX of mobile devices? This is a pretty deep question and is tough to answer objectively. I would ...
tbolt's user avatar
  • 679
31 votes
Accepted

Should plus move item in a tree structure up or down?

The plus key is very arbitrary and does not map well with the intention of moving up/down. Also it is mostly used to expand the tree node (i.e. windows explorer). I would suggest a different key ...
DesignerAnalyst's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

For a command to increase something, should instructions refer to the "+" key or the "=" key?

Based on conventions elsewhere, it is probably best to refer to it as the plus or + key. The +/- dichotomy is used in other apps and more likely to be encountered by your users before they use yours ...
Nathan Rabe's user avatar
  • 8,878
23 votes

Why do most smartphones not have a physical keyboard?

The main reason is versatility. A keyboard in software can be easily adapted to different layouts, different character/symbol sets and different cultures. In addition, custom keyboards such as Swype ...
Stonetip's user avatar
  • 737
16 votes

Keyboard shortcut keys for Tabs?

Most IDEs, Web Browsers, and other TDI software use CtrlTab for switching tabs no matter which UI element currently has focus. References: Chrome keyboard shortcuts Mozilla Keyboard shortcuts ...
dotancohen's user avatar
  • 1,169
15 votes

Why do we have both backspace and delete keys on most keyboards?

The functionality is not the same. The delete key keeps the cursor position in the same place. Backspace moves the cursor as it deletes. Without both keys, one would need to position the cursor to one ...
Rob's user avatar
  • 2,833
12 votes
Accepted

Why are keyboard numpads on the right-hand side?

Numpads are on the right-hand side to make basic calculations faster for majority of the population. Numpad is redundant part of the keyboard, added to make basic calculations (addition / subtraction ...
krychu's user avatar
  • 1,331
10 votes

Why do we have both backspace and delete keys on most keyboards?

First of all they perform slightly different functions. The delete key erases text to the right of the cursor and the backspace key erases text to the left of the cursor. Also the delete key is ...
DesignerAnalyst's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Converting DOS application to Web

This is what I spend the majority of my time on: building web apps for internal clients who are used to a DOS type interface. It will be a major paradigm shift for your users. There is no going ...
Mayo's user avatar
  • 6,641
9 votes

What's the point of deactivating Num Lock on login screens?

It's a bad UX practice primarily because the user is not expecting this to happen. Users will attempt to do an action and will not be able to do so.
Juan Jesús Millo's user avatar
8 votes

Should I use the name "Enter" or "Return" key?

Return and Enter are different keys. Return often found as the main key, and Enter for the numeric key. Few software makes a difference between these. In Adobe Photoshop while editing text, Return ...
Liggliluff's user avatar
8 votes

Why don't mobile keyboards have a delete button?

If I'm understanding the question correctly, we're looking at why there is no Delete key (those above the arrow keys on a traditional physical keyboard) while there is still a Backspace key, I can ...
marley's user avatar
  • 173
8 votes

Should plus move item in a tree structure up or down?

The Windows TreeView control uses the '+' and '-' keys for expanding/collapsing the currently selected node by one level (it uses '*' for expanding the entire tree below the selected node). I suggest ...
Roger Lipscombe's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Why do the Western European countries use the AZERTY keyboard? What is the historical origin of this layout?

How did the keyboard layouts develop historically? Did you have a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AZERTY#History and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY ? In the beginning, there was not a ...
Ángel's user avatar
  • 388
7 votes

Should plus move item in a tree structure up or down?

I suppose using mouse and drag'n'drop is not an option in your application, is it? If only keyboard input is allowed, then it might be tricky if you can't use up/down arrows (which would seem natural)....
Jaroslav M's user avatar
7 votes

Should plus move item in a tree structure up or down?

It's often educational to see how other people do this. I see a few general trends. Up and down arrows on every row. This is horrible and should in my opinion be avoided, since it handles multiple ...
Dewi Morgan's user avatar
7 votes

Inform user to press escape key

How about a tip next to the elements? This will help the users learn the keystroke.
paucc's user avatar
  • 91
7 votes

For a command to increase something, should instructions refer to the "+" key or the "=" key?

If your software does not already map the + to a function, then just use both for this purpose, and only document the + in order to keep the established, familiar dichotomy. This is a great example of ...
jsejcksn's user avatar
  • 687
6 votes

Which event type is preferable for keyboard interactions, "key up" or "key down"?

A good rule of thumb is to consider whether the action in question would be desirable to repeat without lifting your finger from the key. For your examples, if I wanted to see a slide that was much ...
Benjamin Jex's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Can modern personal computer users do without a tab key?

No—I would definitely recommend keeping the tab key. Tab keys are important for people with motor impairments, as these people often can't use a mouse and navigate around web pages using the tab key ...
Chloe's user avatar
  • 553
5 votes

How should I handle the Esc key in a "Press any key" screen?

If I design a "Press any key to X" screen You probably should avoid doing this in the first place. Consider the following. For most ordinary people using your software, "any key", taken literally, ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
5 votes

Why do most smartphones not have a physical keyboard?

Most probably because of 2 trends in the smartphone industry. Phones get thinner and thinner, and losing a physical keyboard makes a phone a lot less thick. Screens on phones kept getting bigger, and ...
MJB's user avatar
  • 2,204
5 votes

Should I use the name "Enter" or "Return" key?

The Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) of the operating system of your program might give you a hint or the answer. There are HIG for Windows, macOS, Android and some more. For Linux things are a bit ...
John Doe IV's user avatar
5 votes

Why are there no arrow keys on most mobile on-screen keyboards?

Mainly space. Android deals with this issue by allowing you to us a gesture dragging along the Spacebar to place the cursor right and left retainer to its current position. Not obvious, but it works ...
Tom Engh's user avatar
  • 683

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