Why are the keyboards on calculators and phones different?

  • 2 Replies

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 513
    • View Profile
Ellen Press  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Hi Naked Scientists,
Love the show...maybe you can figure this one out:
Why are the keypads on calculators and phones different?
Phones have increasing numbers from top left to bottom right, but calculators are increasing from bottom left to top right. As someone who uses both interchangeably throughout the day, I'm constantly making errors.
Ellen from Pittsburgh PA, USA  
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 11/08/2016 11:53:01 by _system »


Offline ProjectSailor

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 83
    • View Profile
Human Factors basically,

The way you dial on a phone is different to the way you use a calculator, and like the qwerty keyboard, studies were carried out on the best arrangment to make the normal operations easier (for qwerty it was the separation of the commonly used letters to reduce mechanical keys sticking)


Offline Colin2B

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • 2030
    • View Profile
The phone keypad was developed by AT&T and was based on the arrangement of the old rotary dial - 1st number = 1
Calculators were firstly mechanical and developed by companies making cash registers which had a different arrangement of numbers. The 2 groups didn't consult each other although AT&T did do some user research.
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.