Well, its been six good years since smartphones pervaded into our markets, hands and lives (in the same order)... I'm talking about the new generation touch smartphones here.
While we are using more and more of these devices and more importantly, as we are getting used to the smartphone keypad, I hope developers take note of that and bridge the gap between a desktop keypad and a smartphone keypad. Here is how and why...
1. Tap spacebar twice for period:
Haven't we got used to it enough? I've noticed so many times that I click the spacebar twice and expect the application to introduce a period (and capitalise the first letter after that). It is probably time.
2. Tap shift twice for Caps Lock:
Again, its just that I've got used to it so much on my smart phone. This could create space for a new key and what we do with that, I'll tell you next
3. A key to access emoticons or images:
This is what we do when we knock off that Caps Lock key. We are using emoticons and images more than ever, and we badly need some key to access that. We probably also need a key to launch Camera.
4. Magnification gestures:
We are utterly under utilising the up, down, back, next buttons. Let's think of ways to zoom in or out using these (or replacing these with something smarter)
5. Spelling suggestions:
I wonder why none of the desktop softwares (or for that matter, web applications) yet provide spelling suggestions the way mobile apps do... haven't they been for donkeys years on mobiles?
In the early generations of smart phones, we've seen the likes of Blackberry and Nokia (E series) trying very hard to emulate physical keypad on small form factors. As we moved on from that (essentially influenced by iPhone), we saw on screen keypads independently evolving and providing superior user experience compared to physical ones. I think now, its probably time physical keypads emulated on-screen experience... now that we nearly do half our daily typing on mobile screens!
What do you think?
Founder and CEO of Think Design, a User Experience strategist, Designer, Speaker and Educator. Think Design is a Leading Design consultancy with offices in Denver, New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru; and collaborates with visionary organisations to identify, build and materialise innovative products and services.