Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Dec 2005 14:51 UTC, submitted by Henrik Nilsen Omma
Gnome "GOK is the GNOME On-Screen Keyboard. As the title implies, it is a keyboard that appears on the display as an alternative for those who are not able to use a regular keyboard. This report highlights some general usability issues with GOK as it appears in Ubuntu (5.10). Some of the issues highlighted here may be bugs (In which case I will file them), while others will be design features that I have not grasped the purpose of (most likely in support of hardware that I do not have). Some of the issues highlighted here will relate to the general GNOME a11y infrastructure and some may be related to the way things are set up on Ubuntu."
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Not quite.
by leos on Mon 12th Dec 2005 18:42 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

Decent review, but the reviewer obviously has not worked with disabled people very much or at all. The whole concept of a non-qwerty keyboard being confusing is mostly bogus. The only reason a qwerty keyboard is not confusing to us is because we're used to typing on one and know where all the letters are. For someone who has never used a keyboard before, Qwerty represents a random distribution of letters. Alphabetical makes more logical sense, and a frequency distribution makes more sense in terms of efficiency.

Also, regarding his mockup. The colours would do absolutely nothing to make keys easier to hit. They just confuse users. Why are some keys differently coloured even though they're all letters (I know why, but users wont)? Even if they do know what the letters mean, it won't help them finding a letter in the least bit. Colours should be used to differentiate keys of different groups (like numbers, letters, or control keys).

Also, the Dvorak layout, although at first it seeming like a good idea, is terrible for on-screen keyboards. A lot of the efficiency of the dvorak layout is based on maximizing key alternation between hands when typing words in the english language. If you're hitting the keys with a mouse, you're forced to continually alternate between sides of the keyboard and your average distance between keys goes up.

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