Thursday, February 15, 2007

What Is The Correct Key?

Calculator vs. telephone keyboards ...

"I hope that this topic hasn't been covered (I did a search and nothing came up), but this is a question which has puzzled me for a while, and seems to have no definite answer. The question is this: why do the keypads on telephones go from 1-9 from the top to the bottom, whereas the keypads on calculators and keyboards go from the bottom to the top?

To me there is no logical reasoning behind it - the zero (which is probably the most used key in both telephones and calculators) is in the same place on both devices, so why is there a need for the other numbers to be changed? It seems to only be calculators and keyboards that have this layout, as other keypad devices, such as ATM machines, door entry systems, and alarm pads follow the telephone layout. I came across this web page which attempts to answer the question. It appears that there are four generally accepted answers:

1. The calculator layout was the standard for data entry before the touchpad for the telephone came into existence. Due to the fact that the operators were so efficient in using the keys in this layout, the telephone's technology couldn't cope with the speed in which the numbers were pressed. Reversing the layout was a measure to slow down the operators."    (Continued via User Centered)    [Usability Resources]

Keypad Layouts - Usability, User Interface Design

Keypad Layouts


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