Why staggered?

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  • #38468
    v6ak
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    As far as I can see, the original Livermorium keyboard mod had a non-staggered layout, i.e., all the keys in columns. The same as BlackBerry and Sony Ericsson keyboard phones.

    The Fxtec Pro1 however has a staggered layout. Why? The staggering on computer keyboard is actually a relict from typewriters. I see this relict affects all mainstream compouter keyboards. OK, it is hard to be the first to make a change. But I wonder what is the reason for doing this change on a phone keyboard.

    #38472
    EskeRahn
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    Well as you wrote: That is what we are used to.

    If you start arguing staggered is not ideal, you could also say that “QWERTY” isn’t, it was developed to reduce the risk of entanglement of neighbouring arms, which have not been an issue for about half a century…

    So you could answer your question by answering why PC keyboards are (still) staggered QWERTY.
    There has been a HUGE number of attempts with other layouts, but the majority still use the old typewriter based one.

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    #38486
    Craig
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    True history.

    But for thumb typing, isnt it more ideal anyway? When you’re pressing on one key, the top/bottom of your thumb are overlapping between keys, not on them…

    #38488
    EskeRahn
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    True history.

    But for thumb typing, isnt it more ideal anyway? When you’re pressing on one key, the top/bottom of your thumb are overlapping between keys, not on them…

    You got a point there, and as the keys are curved, the keys of the neighbouring rows are lowest where the keys meet, reducing the risk further.

    #38505
    jason
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    True history.

    But for thumb typing, isnt it more ideal anyway? When you’re pressing on one key, the top/bottom of your thumb are overlapping between keys, not on them…

    You got a point there, and as the keys are curved, the keys of the neighbouring rows are lowest where the keys meet, reducing the risk further.

    I have to agree I’ve got a keyone and keys been in line does not help typing make more mistakes I think it is more natural been staggered even though its an old hardware issue.

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    #38513
    v6ak
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    Well as you wrote: That is what we are used too.

    Well, that’s true for computer keyboards. For phone keyboards, columnar layouts are quite common, maybe even majority, see https://www.google.com/search?q=phone+qwerty&client=ms-android-alcatel-rev1&prmd=isvn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj_wdvd2onlAhVLYVAKHZNTAgkQ_AUoAXoECBAQAQ&biw=486&bih=649 .

    Note that you can also see various oddly staggered phone keyboards. This also holds for virtual keyboards. For example, such mass-targeted product like iPhone aligns the “S” key with “Z” key.

    At least, we cannot consider staggering something that has a strong tradition on mobile phones (opposed to desktop computers).

    If you start arguing staggered is not ideal, you could also say that “QWERTY” isn’t, it was developed to reduce the risk of entanglement of neighbouring arms, which have not been an issue for about half a century…

    You are right. But changing a layout makes much more difference than changing the staggering. For example, mass-targeted iPhone

    So you could answer your question by answering why PC keyboards are (still) staggered QWERTY.

    But my post is not about PC keyboards…

    #38515
    EskeRahn
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    EskeRahn wrote:

    So you could answer your question by answering why PC keyboards are (still) staggered QWERTY.

    But my post is not about PC keyboards…

    No, but the ‘answer’ would be the same. We are used to a specific layout, and thus we can use it without looking (much).
    I’m not claiming that staggered QWERTY is optimal, just that it can be used directly as we are used to it.

    I’m sure there are other print arrangements and other key arrangement that would be faster to use once learned, but none of them could be used with zero learning from day one. But you can type text immidiately on the Pro1 if you are used to a PC. Well that is for the QWERTZ you can. I’m not a fan of the shift of the letter part only of the QWERTY. And this requires some getting used to. And for me at the least causes typos when I change between the early units I have tried and a PC.

    #38514
    v6ak
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    On accidental pressing multiple keys: This is quite more complex. Proper key shape and key spacing can help. But it also depends on holding the phone and on angle of your thumbs. (I assume people usually type on phone keyboards with thumbs.) I have had various phones with physical QWERTY (SE Xperia X10 Mini Pro, SE Xperia Mini Pro, BlackBerry Priv, BlackBerry KeyOne, BlackBerry KEY2) and a different phone construction can imply different thumb angle when typing. The thumb angle can affect what keys you tend to hit – vertical neighbours, horizontal neighbours or diagonal neighbours.

    For example, I tended to hold the Xperias rather from bottom, because it allows me to reach the top row without hitting the screen frame. On BlackBerry Priv, I tended to hold it rather from the sides for two rerasons: First, I had to due to being a long phone and holding it at its very bottom feels like someone pushing your fingers by a level. Second, I could, because there was more space above the top row.

    Honestly, I am not sure about Fxtec Pro1. It is landscape slider, so there is not so much a lever effect as with Priv. There seems to be more space than the Xperias had. As a results, it seems to be possible to hold it in both ways, not sure which one is more comfortable.

    #38518
    EskeRahn
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    Honestly, I am not sure about Fxtec Pro1. It is landscape slider, so there is not so much a lever effect as with Priv. There seems to be more space than the Xperias had. As a results, it seems to be possible to hold it in both ways, not sure which one is more comfortable.

    Yes, the balance point is almost exactly where the screen part meet the base when opened (see images here), so both ways are possible.

    I guess it will be a matter of thumb length. If your thumbs are long enough, it is quite comfy to support the phone on your middle fingers, place the index fingers on on the almost vertical support plate, and the corners of the phone in the centre of your palms.

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    #38569
    jason
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    Honestly, I am not sure about Fxtec Pro1. It is landscape slider, so there is not so much a lever effect as with Priv. There seems to be more space than the Xperias had. As a results, it seems to be possible to hold it in both ways, not sure which one is more comfortable.

    Yes, the balance point is almost exactly where the screen part meet the base when opened (see images here), so both ways are possible.

    I guess it will be a matter of thumb length. If your thumbs are long enough, it is quite comfy to support the phone on your middle fingers, place the index fingers on on the almost vertical support plate, and the corners of the phone in the centre of your palms.

    That’s how I used to hold my N97 obviously a lot smaller!

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