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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Preferred layout...
« Last post by iandoug on Today at 12:41:56 AM »
Interesting photo. The body looks vaguely similar to the tron keyboards from the 80s (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TRON-keyboard-OKI-front.jpg) and the keys seem to be arranged similar to an Iris keyboard; https://keeb.io/products/iris-keyboard-split-ergonomic-keyboard?variant=1302742761502.

https://keeb.io/collections/frontpage/products/fully-assembled-nyquist-iris-split-keyboards

Interesting solution to the tenting/feet problem... I've been scratching my head for months about how to solve it, did consider similar approach but without the "stuck on the sides" idea. Was looking at screw-in balancing feet like on some furniture, but hard to find something that looks nice, offers adjustability from zero to some distance, and still fits onto the keyboard without interfering with the keys. Ideally would like be be able to do tenting as well as positive or negative forward-backward slope.

Commercial key boards tend to offer zero or some preset angle only. Microsoft has published some papers about their design process for some of their "ergo" style keyboards, and even them, with their vast resources, opted for zero or fixed angles.
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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Preferred layout...
« Last post by iandoug on Today at 12:36:14 AM »
Interesting photo. The body looks vaguely similar to the tron keyboards from the 80s (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TRON-keyboard-OKI-front.jpg) and the keys seem to be arranged similar to an Iris keyboard; https://keeb.io/products/iris-keyboard-split-ergonomic-keyboard?variant=1302742761502.

Mm interesting.
I thought my designs (eg http://www.keyboard-design.com/layouts/ergo/75/x1-ergo-compact.jpg ) were original but I guess there's still nothing new under the sun... :-)
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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Preferred layout...
« Last post by mstacker on Yesterday at 07:12:06 PM »
Studies on Ergonomically Designed Alphanumeric Keyboards M. NAKASEKO, E. GRANDJEAN, W. HUNTING, and R. GIERER, 1985

Screengrab attached. Fig 5 and Fig 6 refer to sketches of actual keyboard in Fig 7. Layout is suspiciously similar to Ergolinear style although it has a numrow which we've done away with.

I note that "this model was the one preferred by subjects in the first laboratory study." ....
which gave me a warm fuzzy feeling... :-)

Interesting photo. The body looks vaguely similar to the tron keyboards from the 80s (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TRON-keyboard-OKI-front.jpg) and the keys seem to be arranged similar to an Iris keyboard; https://keeb.io/products/iris-keyboard-split-ergonomic-keyboard?variant=1302742761502.

Very cool. Where do you find these articles/studies, prey tell?

Matt
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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Preferred layout...
« Last post by iandoug on Yesterday at 03:03:30 PM »

Studies on Ergonomically Designed Alphanumeric Keyboards M. NAKASEKO, E. GRANDJEAN, W. HUNTING, and R. GIERER, 1985

Screengrab attached. Fig 5 and Fig 6 refer to sketches of actual keyboard in Fig 7. Layout is suspiciously similar to Ergolinear style although it has a numrow which we've done away with.

I note that "this model was the one preferred by subjects in the first laboratory study." ....
which gave me a warm fuzzy feeling... :-)

 
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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Monitors etc
« Last post by iandoug on Yesterday at 04:00:18 AM »
Sorry bit off topic about keyboards, but still about ergonomics etc.

Attached from A METHOD OF EVALUATING THE ERGONOMIC QUALITIES OF COMFUTER WORKSTATIONS, Paul D. Tynan , Ph.D (1981), diagram was borrowed from some Human Factors / Ergonomics guideline that he referenced.

In all my years of using computers I've never had things set up for those sort of angles.... I've always tried to have as close to zero angle (from horizontal) angle between my eyes and CRT or LCD screen.
Observations in various offices tend to show people sticking phone directories etc under monitors to raise them closer to eye level.

Back in the 80s when I was in the video game industry, then yes, we built the cabinets for those sort of angles, but that's because the player was standing, and we had to accommodate a wide range of user sizes, from little kiddies up to adults.

I'm guessing that by aiming at that angle they put the screen closer to the keyboard, and made it easier for the eyes to switch between screen, keyboard, and desk. And probably CRTs were such heavy beasts that advising to "put on books" was just tacky.

I have seen various setups (point of sale, financial services customer support) where the screens are embedded in the desks at an angle, but these are few and far between. It's more normal for the screens to be vertical.

So are the ergonomic experts a bit off here? Or was it just a fashion thing / limit of knowledge at the time?...

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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Last post by yellowedplastic on November 17, 2017, 02:43:38 PM »
With keyboards gravitating towards thinner designs (shorter key travel distances) it is important to understand how these short travel keyboards may affect typing performance, typing forces and operator comfort. Using 15 subjects (7 males, 8 females), we wanted to determine whether there were differences in typing performance when computer operators typed on three keyboards with the same activation force (0.6 N) but with different key travel distances (2.0mm, 2.5mm and 4.0mm). During a 15 minute typing session on each keyboard, typing performance (speed and accuracy), typing forces and perceived fatigue ratings were measured. There were no differences in typing speed (p = 0.39), typing accuracy (p = 0.33) or keystroke durations (p = 0.15) across the three keyboards. However, typing force differences were measured (p < 0.003) with the longest travel keyboard (4.0mm) having higher mean and peak forces compared to the shorter travel keyboards (2.0 and 2.5 mm). These findings indicate that there is no apparent detriment in physical exposure or typing performance when using shorter travel keyboards.

Abstract from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1071181311551198

And this:

Keyboards with shorter key travel are becoming widespread yet it is unknown whether there are any biomechanical differences in the typing forces when using these keyboards. If one keyboard promotes typing with more force, this may increase the risk for developing an upper extremity disorder. A total of 17 subjects typed on two short travel keyboards (<2.5 mm) and one long travel keyboard (4.0 mm). The magnitude and angle of the typing forces were measured in the x-, y- and z-axes using a thin, three-dimensional force platform. The aim of this study was to determine whether there were differences between the short and long travel keyboards in the magnitude and direction of the typing forces and the keystroke durations. In addition we wanted to determine whether there were typing force differences between key rows, hands, and fingers. Keyboards with shorter key travel resulted in less extreme angles and smaller magnitudes for forces applied in the x and y directions. Shorter travel distances were associated with smaller peak and mean vector sum forces and shorter keystroke durations. Although these results indicate keyboards with shorter key travel affect typing biomechanics, it is uncertain whether the small differences in keystroke durations and applied typing forces are physiologically meaningful and would reduce a computer user’s risk for developing an upper extremity musculoskeletal disorder.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1541931214581302
No doubt. What I mean, though, is that, FI, trying to simulate that kind of difference goes farther than the layout differences can really account for, and is just as likely to cause erroneous results as correct ones, if tried. IMO, it would introduce too much room for error, trying to get quite that detailed.
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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Last post by iandoug on November 17, 2017, 02:03:38 PM »
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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Last post by mstacker on November 17, 2017, 07:05:14 AM »
I probably could have worded that better. Problem with the net is you never know how much experience the person behind the handle has, and of course written text lacks the subtle nuances of face to face speech...

Cheers, Ian

Dude, you are fine. My bad. Totally agree. Keep posting. Look forward to reading them.

Matt
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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Re: Balanced Keyboard Layout
« Last post by iandoug on November 17, 2017, 06:11:17 AM »
That's where some of the arbitrary penalties can come in. On a flat keyboard, going below what is typically the home row usually requires either curling and extending middle or ring fingers, or hand movement, while the row above home just requires extending (the normal number row is going to vary a lot more). So, whether it's a board with standard 4mm switches, or 1.5mm scissor switches, that relative difficulty remains. Rather than specifically try to work out distances involved down to the keypress distance, make it substantially more of penalty to go to the lower row than the upper one, and similarly follow that for other areas that will tend to need more work to reach. IoW, tweak the effort grid, and weighting of results like alternation, rolls, etc., rather than try to get the analyzer or optimizer to go too low level.

With keyboards gravitating towards thinner designs (shorter key travel distances) it is important to understand how these short travel keyboards may affect typing performance, typing forces and operator comfort. Using 15 subjects (7 males, 8 females), we wanted to determine whether there were differences in typing performance when computer operators typed on three keyboards with the same activation force (0.6 N) but with different key travel distances (2.0mm, 2.5mm and 4.0mm). During a 15 minute typing session on each keyboard, typing performance (speed and accuracy), typing forces and perceived fatigue ratings were measured. There were no differences in typing speed (p = 0.39), typing accuracy (p = 0.33) or keystroke durations (p = 0.15) across the three keyboards. However, typing force differences were measured (p < 0.003) with the longest travel keyboard (4.0mm) having higher mean and peak forces compared to the shorter travel keyboards (2.0 and 2.5 mm). These findings indicate that there is no apparent detriment in physical exposure or typing performance when using shorter travel keyboards.

Abstract from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1071181311551198

And this:

Keyboards with shorter key travel are becoming widespread yet it is unknown whether there are any biomechanical differences in the typing forces when using these keyboards. If one keyboard promotes typing with more force, this may increase the risk for developing an upper extremity disorder. A total of 17 subjects typed on two short travel keyboards (<2.5 mm) and one long travel keyboard (4.0 mm). The magnitude and angle of the typing forces were measured in the x-, y- and z-axes using a thin, three-dimensional force platform. The aim of this study was to determine whether there were differences between the short and long travel keyboards in the magnitude and direction of the typing forces and the keystroke durations. In addition we wanted to determine whether there were typing force differences between key rows, hands, and fingers. Keyboards with shorter key travel resulted in less extreme angles and smaller magnitudes for forces applied in the x and y directions. Shorter travel distances were associated with smaller peak and mean vector sum forces and shorter keystroke durations. Although these results indicate keyboards with shorter key travel affect typing biomechanics, it is uncertain whether the small differences in keystroke durations and applied typing forces are physiologically meaningful and would reduce a computer user’s risk for developing an upper extremity musculoskeletal disorder.

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1541931214581302
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Keyboards and Other Interfaces / Pinky crowned champ
« Last post by iandoug on November 17, 2017, 03:46:31 AM »
1990 paper by Lachnit and Pieper, Speed and accuracy effects of fingers and dexterity in 5-choice reaction tasks

They took three groups of people (controls, typists, pianists) and gave them some tests using five coloured buttons on a custom keyboard, and measured reaction time and accuracy.

Screengrabs of reaction time (RT) and accuracy attached. I stuck my screen ruler on the RT chart just above Typist Pinky bar, for easy comparisons.

Crux of their findings:

Quote
There were clear speed differences between the fingers of the preferred hand; thumb
and little finger showed significantly shorter RTs than those of the other three fingers,
while there was no difference within the two groups of fingers. These effects were
independent of dexterity. Pianists were faster than controls and typists, but there was
no difference between controls and typists although the latter might have been expected
to have greater skills. These results were not confounded by differences in speed accuracy
trade-off between groups. The independence of finger differences and
dexterity suggest that the faster RT of the pianists must be due to an overall
enhancement.
Analyses of accuracy showed a clear superiority of the little finger in all groups, it
was also the most reliable and showed the lowest rates of false alarms.

So while the pinky may be "weaker" it clearly has other skills (reaction time and accuracy) to compensate. Not sure how this will impact current BEAKL theory... :-)
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