Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 11th Nov 2007 15:52 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the fifth article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part V, we focus on modes.
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Doc Pain
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"It's a shame that today most keyboard manufacturers seem to lack creativity to do something different - other than sticking a few more media keys on the stupid thing."

Oh, there are a few, let men mention this one:

Or this one:

But what you see in the store is useless in most cases and will break after one year intensive use. I don't consider it normal use what most home users do - they usually don't touch the the keyboard unless it's completely unavoidable. The best keyboards I've used are the IBM 3270 style keyboards and their PC compativles, no stupid... erm "Windows" keys at all. :-)

"One thing I'd love is a split space bar so that I could use the right part of it as a space bar and the left as a control key or whatever..."

There are Dvorak keyboards with a split space bar, but I don't know if the two physical keys do return different signals...

"Of course it'd need a jumper to make it usable by left handed people - assuming that most right-handed people prefer to use their right hand to press the space bar like I do."

I think keyboard design did not take left handers into mind until today... Just imagine, Return on the left, and the numeric keypad on the very left. Interesting scenario.

"The function keys are great and all but there's not a snowball's chance in hell that I can reach them without leaving my home row..."

That's true, of course, but not intended as well. You might find the "Happy Hacking Keyboard" interesting because its concept of the Fn key for the function keys (layered on top of the number keys, I think).

A similar approach could be seen in the 70s before the 3270 (or kind of) by IBM, I can't tell you the model, it's down in the cellar. On this keyboard, there was an Alt button right next to the space bar which made 1..0 act as PF1..PF10.

Oh, and don't forget what Cherry (in Auerbach / Oberpfalz, Germany) offers: - see the G80-2100, G80-3190 and G80-5000, and maybe the G80-11900.

Actually, I'm typing on a Sun type 6 USB keyboard. No comparison to the IBM - -, but the programmable function keys on the left and top right indemnify a lot. Similar to this one - - but in german layout.

As an addition to one of my former posts:
This is where IBM put the caps lock key on the original XT keyboard.

Edited 2007-11-11 21:53

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