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Clayton Andrews 4/6/08 The Keyboard
What is a keyboard? • A keyboard is a device used to communicate information to a computer by the user. • Physically, it is an arrangement of buttons with symbols engraved on the surface. When these buttons are pressed it sends an electrical signal to the computer.
Before Computers • The typewriter has a series of keys, that when pressed cause some action to happen.
Typewriters • The typewriter has a series of typebars situated in a semi-circle. • When you press a key, the typebar for that key moves to hit where the cursor is currently located. • One problem, if more than one key is pressed at a time, the typebars can jam. Especially if the keys are close to one another.
QWERTY • The QWERTY keyboard layout was designed so that commonly used letters were not next to each other, so typewriter jams would occur less often. • The name comes from the first 6 letters in the top-left of the keyboard.
From Typewriter to Computer • Typewriters' standard layout was QWERTY • To ensure typist could switch from typewriter to keyboard
Other Layouts • After the switch to keyboard, QWERTY was no longer needed. • Dvorak and, more recently, Colemak
Better than QWERTY • Dvorak and Colemak >= QWERTY • Common Letters + Right-handed = Dvorak • Common Letters + QWERTY = Colemak • Dvorak and Colemak require less movement of the fingers for the English language
Virtual Keyboards • A virtual keyboard is a software or hardware component that allows a user to enter characters without the need for a physical keyboard. • It is not a real keyboard with real buttons.
Virtual Keyboard - Hardware • An optically projected keyboard on a surface • Detects fingers or objects in the projected area
Virtual Keyboard - Software • A keyboard represented on-screen • Detects mouse clicks or touches
User Input • Most user input comes in through a keyboard • Knowing that QWERTY is the most common layout, you can arrange your keys to be the best for most people
Error Correction • People make mistakes while using keyboards • Most mistakes are not from lack of knowledge • The mistakes are from incorrectly using the keyboard • Most of these problems can be detected and fixed automatically
Spelling • A lack of knowledge contributes • Compare the word to a dictionary • Recommend the word or words that are closest • Sometimes the user meant to type that way
Double Capitalization • A user must hold shift to type an uppercase character • Sometimes a user will press another key before releasing shift • The result looks something like THis • This can be auto-corrected for the user, because it is an error more than intended • Allow user to turn it off
Future Keys • A user will sometimes hit a character before it is intended • One hand will be ahead of the other • The result looks something like thsi • “the” is very commonly spelled “teh”
Local Keys • A user will hit a character that is near the desired character • Slip of the finger • The result looks like thos • The IPhone actually adjusts for this
Summary • The Keyboard has changed • People still use the keyboard • Other layouts can be more comfortable • Users make mistakes • Try to fix these mistakes for them
References • Liebowitz, S. J., Stephen Margolis, and Peter Lewin. The Economics of QWERTY: History, Theory, and Policy. NYU P, 2002. • Stuart, Stuart K., Thomas P. Moran, and Allen Newell. The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1986. • http://www.virtual-laser-keyboard.com/ • http://www.apple.com/iphone/gettingstarted/keyboard.html • Keyboard Images • http://www.dansdata.com/images/a4input/keyboard500.jpg • http://nion.modprobe.de/bimg/keyboard.jpg • http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/8/88/200px-W-A-S-D.jpg • http://www.microsoft.com/library/media/1033/windowsxp/images/using/setup/tips/67448-on-screen-keyboard.gif
Questions • Why was the QWERTY layout created? • WHat is wrogn with this dentance?