Author Topic: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards  (Read 14019 times)

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Offline TheHardkaare

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Hello, geekhack!
I've been a long time lurker and avid fan of the world that is Mechanical Keyboards.
I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering, and we are undergoing 'business economics' on this semester.
As a result of this, we've been asked to do a project surrounding a product-idea, that may propose a solution to a problem in todays society - and with me and my group's fellow interests surrounding both gaming and mechanical keyboards, we thought out an idea of a traditional mechanical keyboard, that doesn't look like some controller to an alien spaceship, but merely is a slightly altered regular keyboard, but with ergonomic benefits. The idea in itself isn't that important for you to understand - however we are looking for a quantitative inquiry regarding some of the fundamentals of our project.
It really would help us a whole lot if you would help us gather information on these 10 short multiple-choice questions - we really need the assistance.

We've made a questionnaire for this purpose: https://da.surveymonkey.com/r/FXNXTJ7

I really hope this is allowed here, if not, we apologize for the inconvenience.
Best regards,
Desperate, procrastinating students

Offline Sintpinty

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #1 on: Tue, 14 May 2019, 20:33:01 »
Yes, this is allowed i think.

Thanks!

Offline TheHardkaare

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 01:01:27 »
That is great to hear - thank you for responding, it means a whole lot to us, as we are desperate for results!

Offline vvp

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 02:04:13 »
Your biggest problem is a "keyboard slightly different from normal". Such a keyboard cannot be ergonomic. You need at least a split design with adjustable angles and separation and thumb clusters and preferably also column staggering. And that is not only a slightly different. Your project has a contradiction right at the beginning.

Offline csmertx

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 02:39:34 »
Oh golly.. https://da instead of https://www?  Don't want to join the world wide web?  I see how it is  :'(
More
 / another 3d keyboard model thread / BSD thread / github / falotalt
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Offline TheHardkaare

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 03:04:44 »
Your biggest problem is a "keyboard slightly different from normal". Such a keyboard cannot be ergonomic. You need at least a split design with adjustable angles and separation and thumb clusters and preferably also column staggering. And that is not only a slightly different. Your project has a contradiction right at the beginning.

Hey, thank you for your reply - we have had issues with how to define this very sentence, and in our opinion, it is a 'slight difference', because we don't want a split keyboard per se, just that there's an angle in the middle - however, I understand your point and see what you mean. It is very difficult to be vague, yet still precise - again, we don't want a fully ergonomic keyboard, just one with 'slight' ergonomic benefits - in any regard, thank you so much for your feedback!

Offline TheHardkaare

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 03:06:39 »
Oh golly.. https://da instead of https://www?  Don't want to join the world wide web?  I see how it is  :'(

Danish pride!!
Sorry though, I think all surveymonkey versions don't include the www part, and this was created on the danish version of the platform :P - thank you for responding though, it really helps us a lot  ^-^

Offline iso

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 11:48:33 »
" long time lurker and avid fan of the world that is Mechanical Keyboards"  - What ?
" project surrounding a product-idea, that may propose a solution to a problem in todays society" - What ?
" traditional mechanical keyboard, that doesn't look like some controller to an alien spaceship, but merely is a slightly altered regular keyboard" What if the "alien design" is what it takes to create a better keyboard ?
" but merely is a slightly altered regular keyboard" - Alter a regular keyboard.
" but with ergonomic benefits" - You cant have a cake and eat it too. You either re-design to make it better no matter what it looks like or you you stay true to the rectangular shape.
" The idea in itself isn't that important for you to understand"  - Yeah, its not like you asking for advice.
" however we are looking for a quantitative inquiry regarding some of the fundamentals of our project" - What ?
" It really would help us a whole lot if you would help us gather information on these 10 short multiple-choice questions - we really need the assistance" - People`s time is very valuable, and you`re asking for free stuff, why arent you a nice person and post the questions in the forum instead redirecting to a website and no one else has access to what been done for free ?

1. When asking for technical help please stop trying to sound sophisiticated/convoluted for no reason, get to the point right away
2. images.google.com - Google "weird computer keyboard"  - Get inspired


Offline vvp

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 12:37:28 »
Notice it is for "business economics" class.
The keyboard itself is irrelevant. They need some more or less useless keyboard, estimate it's price from some vague BOM and compare with the answers to their most important question "How much would you pay for a somewhat tiny bit maybe ergonomic keyboard?" Of course, the results will be useless since the keyboard is not well specified and everybody will imagine something else under "somewhat tiny bit maybe ergonomic keyboard" :-D
The keywords "ergonomic" and "mechanical" are there so that they do not drop to the range of 10 standard rubber dome since then they would not have a reason for a "design" and the only option would be to buy from China, re-brand and hope marketing can hype it enough. And some minimal"design" is probably needed since the school is technical by nature.

@TheHardkaare: good luck with your project

Offline Chaselicious17

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 13:58:35 »
oops posted in the wrong thread
« Last Edit: Wed, 15 May 2019, 14:07:39 by Chaselicious17 »

Offline user 18

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 15:00:03 »
Merged threads. Please only create one thread per topic.
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Offline Findecanor

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 15 May 2019, 15:11:09 »
Your biggest problem is a "keyboard slightly different from normal". Such a keyboard cannot be ergonomic. You need  [...]
I disagree. A keyboard that is "too weird" is a keyboard that is not going to be used. That would be worse than a keyboard with only a couple ergonomic features.

I think that the most important ergonomic feature would actually not be about any kind of "optimum" hand configuration at all but about encouraging both hands to move around more during a work session so as to avoid static tension.
For a right-handed user, the typical mouse and keyboard setup encourages the right hand to shift between alphanumeric keys, arrow keys and mouse ... but the left hand is almost static, which could be damaging in the long run.
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
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Offline algernon

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 22 May 2019, 04:12:28 »
Your biggest problem is a "keyboard slightly different from normal". Such a keyboard cannot be ergonomic. You need  [...]
I disagree. A keyboard that is "too weird" is a keyboard that is not going to be used. That would be worse than a keyboard with only a couple ergonomic features.

Yet, the Azeron keypad continues to be fairly popular. For most people, a split board is too weird - yet, there are multiple businesses making a profit on split ergonomic mechs. Key wells? That's weird - yet, we have the Advantage, Dactyl, and so on. Tiny keyboards like Gergo are also used by a number of people, though having so few keys would be considered by many as "too weird".

Offline Findecanor

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 22 May 2019, 08:12:23 »
Your biggest problem is a "keyboard slightly different from normal". Such a keyboard cannot be ergonomic. You need  [...]
I disagree. A keyboard that is "too weird" is a keyboard that is not going to be used. That would be worse than a keyboard with only a couple ergonomic features.

Yet, the Azeron keypad continues to be fairly popular. For most people, a split board is too weird - yet, there are multiple businesses making a profit on split ergonomic mechs. Key wells? That's weird - yet, we have the Advantage, Dactyl, and so on. Tiny keyboards like Gergo are also used by a number of people, though having so few keys would be considered by many as "too weird".
That's great, but I'd think that most of the users of split ergo could be labelled as "enthusiasts". I was talking about the "normies" who we we gladly show our ergonomic keyboards to but who would never use them. Some of those normies might not necessarily be a stranger to using a Microsoft 4000, for instance.

How many out there are actually using the Azeron keypad (and not just admiring it) vs. how many are using the Microsoft 4000 and are avoiding future wrist injuries because of it? I fekking hate Microsoft, but I won't deny how significant the "Natural Keyboard" line has been.,

Keyboards with columnar layouts might be ergonomic in the way that they could enable you to type faster, but in my view that trait is not as important as ergonomic traits such as hand-separation and tenting that would enable you to avoid typing-related injuries.

(I am aware of people with existing hand-injuries who absolutely do need small keyboards and small hand movements for which columnar keyboards do help, but I would still say that they are in the minority)
« Last Edit: Wed, 22 May 2019, 08:37:00 by Findecanor »
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Offline algernon

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Re: Questions regarding a project about ergonomics in keyboards
« Reply #14 on: Fri, 24 May 2019, 12:19:09 »
Your biggest problem is a "keyboard slightly different from normal". Such a keyboard cannot be ergonomic. You need  [...]
I disagree. A keyboard that is "too weird" is a keyboard that is not going to be used. That would be worse than a keyboard with only a couple ergonomic features.

Yet, the Azeron keypad continues to be fairly popular. For most people, a split board is too weird - yet, there are multiple businesses making a profit on split ergonomic mechs. Key wells? That's weird - yet, we have the Advantage, Dactyl, and so on. Tiny keyboards like Gergo are also used by a number of people, though having so few keys would be considered by many as "too weird".
That's great, but I'd think that most of the users of split ergo could be labelled as "enthusiasts".

There's tens of thousands of split ergo boards in use today. They _are_ in use. Compared to "normal" keyboards, especially cheap rubber domes, the market share is non-existent. But compared to that, the mech market itself is incredibly small, and could be labelled as "enthusiasts" only. Mind you, you do not need a significant market share to be successful (look at the ErgoDox EZ, the UHK, or Keyboardio for example). If a keyboard is weird, it might not become the Next Big Thing, but it can still be successful and useful, it can still have enough users to be worth making it.