When you think about technological developments over the past century, what comes to mind? We all know that computers have come leaps and bounds (they used to take up entire rooms), and we have unprecedented access to information like we never have before. But one thing that often goes unrecognized is how far telephones have come from their earliest incarnations in the 1900s to the touch screen devices we use today — and one detail that certainly goes overlooked is the telephone keyboard. It seems simple enough: Some numbers, a pound sign, an asterisk. But like any consumer product, a lot of effort has been put into researching the best possible keyboard designs and layouts, and the process was a lot more complicated than you might think. Not only that, but there’s the matter of the calculator keyboard to think about — it’s different, but somehow, we’ve never seemed to notice. Learn about these subtle differences below.Instead of buttons, the numbers on the telephone were holes from 1-9, and then 0. The idea was to stick your finger in the hole and spin it around to dial each number.
However, with this new technology came some new questions about where the numbers should be placed on the phone for dialing simplicity, comfort, and easy.
Besides comfort, the main goal was to reduce dialing errors to make the keypad as intuitive as possible.
But later, researchers realized that it wasn’t necessarily required to keep numbers in this order for people to use the phone with ease.
Do you find that you’re punching in things any more or less incorrectly when you use one of those?
The buttons were inspired by the desktop adding machines that had order from 7-8-9 on the top row.
They found some serious differences in the number combinations people preferred, both for calculators and phones.
Two lines of numbers, in order, was a combination that many felt was the most comfortable for a phone.
Surprisingly, you don’t see a lot of keypads like this today.
Phones and calculators, the two most common things we use with keypads, are basically opposite one another — but it doesn’t seem to affect the overall usage or convenience of either.