A UX enigma


#1

I’ve always wondered why the space bar has nothing written on it. Every single other key on the keyboard does. For the sake of continuity, surely the space bar should too?


#2

That’s a really good observation, I never really noticed that! My guess would be that the other keys can possible change, but the spacebar always tends to be in the same position, and have the same function. Does anyone else know why?

On an unrelated note but still to do with keyboards… getting used to the fact that my macbook doesn’t have a numlock key. Didn’t seem to be a problem until I found out I couldn’t set shortcut keys in illustrator because it requires the numlock key to be on first. Googled around and found that it you don’t have a numlock key, you can’t do it! Great experience with that one :p.


#3

Ah yes, that makes total sense!


#4

My ergonomic soft touch keyboard is so annoying! I have to have a separate number panel so I can put it on the other side but my main one still has numbers printed above the letters. The numlock function requires me to press three keys to disable it and every time my computer shuts down or restarts it defaults back to on! It’s also hard to tell if it is switched onto numlock or not because the light up panel has thick plastic and is angled away from the user so much that I have to pick the stupid thing up! :mad:


#5

I started writing some Dad joke about a mystery being wrapped in an engima but it fell flat.

This post did however prompt me to read a bunch of different articles about the origin of the QWERTY layout, and it’s debated whether the layout resulted from a desire to deliberately slow down typists to prevent keys jamming, or whether it was actually iterated and optimised over time. It does seem clear from my reading that the keyboard was not designed with first-time users in mind, but existing typists, so that may explain the “of course that big one is the space—it’s so obvious it doesn’t need a label”.

I suppose it’s one of those things that has a very short learning curve. You only need to hit it once to discover what it does, and then you’ve got it.


#6

How does that differ from the other keys though (bearing in mind that this dates back to well before you could change the function of some keys).