Amish for QWERTY
Subject:   Why learn just one interface?
Date:   2003-07-11 10:43:18
From:   rzazueta
I see what you're saying, but I think there's one major problem: we're never married to a single interface. I think a lot of the struggle to adapt comes from a certain fear of new technologies and change. It's a mental bandwidth issue for a lot of folks - why should I go through the trouble of learning how to use my PDA when my Day Runner still works?

But learning a new interface for something we're already familiar with, i.e. entering alphanumeric data, requires far less bandwidth. Even less when you consider that the idea of spelling words with numbers on a keypad has been around since the early days of the phone. It's not a radical shift in how things work, like the shift between PDA and Day Runner (how do you flip pages in a PDA?), it's just in how the data is entered.

Most folks interact just fine with the various data exchange interfaces they come across on a daily basis. There's typing, scrawling, talking, body language, symbols and non-verbal sounds. All of these are exceptionally complex, yet we're built to memetically driven, so that won't stand in oru way. I think you'll get the hang of the new phone interface in no time. I know I have, and I'm a 28-year-old geek who's been married to the 101-key board since I was 10.

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  • Why learn just one interface?
    2003-07-14 00:10:41  anonymous2 [View]

    I've already learned Dvorak for full-keyboard PCs and two different input methods (Graffiti and TapType) for my PDA. My next PDA will likely have either one of those thumb-QWERTY keyboards (which I loathe; they are easily the worst of all possible input methods) or a Graffiti/Fitaly combo. I eschew the phone input not because I don't think I can master it -- what's to master? it's a phone keypad! -- but because trying to enter text on a phone kepad is inherently annoying and stupid. If I have to choose between replying to a message right this instant and waiting until I can reply using a proper keyboard, I will wait.

    Now if only I could get TiVo to listen to a wireless infrared keyboard rather than requiring me to spell out what I'm looking for with that obnoxious point-and-click alphabet, as if I were a paraplegic, life would be good.