Homeadults with learning disabilitiesComputer Keyboard and Phone Keypad, Why?

Have you ever noticed how the phone keypad is the reversed version of the computer number pad?

Why can’t you be consistent?

I hadn’t, either, until my last out of the home job.

Now, I’m pretty shaky when it comes to dealing with numbers to begin with. I can’t keep more than three to four digits in my head for any amount of time, and when it comes to doing math without a pencil and paper? Forget it.

Part of what made that job so hard on me was that a lot of it involved entering the same numerical data multiple times into the computer while fielding phone calls.

When I first started, I couldn’t figure out why I had so much of a harder time keeping my numbers straight. I’ve been using phones for as long as I can remember, and I had pretty decent keyboarding skills, so what was the problem?

One day, I took a closer look at the two number pads.

They’re reversed! No wonder I had such a hard time switching between the two.

Who decided that was a good idea, and why did they do it? It’s bad enough that my learning disability makes numbers so difficult, but this kind of stuff just makes me want to introduce my head to my desk. Repeatedly.

Thankfully, now I only deal with numbers in finances or when I need to do something with accounts. So, they don’t drive me up the wall quite as much as they used to.

That frustrating experience has given me a bit more patience when speaking with customer representatives, though. Many of their jobs aren’t exactly wonderful, but if they have problems similar to mine? I feel their pain.


Computer Keyboard and Phone Keypad, Why? — 4 Comments

  1. I *might* know, why this is like this: The computer keyboard has grown out of the same tradition as the typewriter keyboard: With ease and speed in focus You will have letters not used as much in more hard to reach-locations. At least that is how I was explained. Also, 'blindtyping' is easier that way. Then, adding the 1 at the lower left corner felt logical, because that was a more used place, and placing the numbers in "frequency of use" patterns don't make any sense, so they just continued sequentially. I hated our old labelprinter, because the first letter on it was "A" and so forth. Because it was made for 'non secretary and other fasttyping peole'. If this is wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me πŸ™‚

  2. Interesting! That does make sense for the number pad.

    Do you have the QWERTY keyboard? I wonder if European and American keyboards are different.

    I know part of why the letters on the American keyboard are arranged the way they are is because the letters for "typewriter" are all on the top row. That's because when typewriters first came out, the sales person could type the word out while sitting across from the customer, and the customer could watch the word being typed out more easily. I guess it worked, because the typewriter became standard, and so did the QWERTY keyboard.

    This type of keyboard is actually a little counter intuitive, because the most used letters, like a, e and t are on the left side, which means the left hand actually does more typing than the right.

    Though, I think you are also right, because the more seldom used letters, q, z, x and punctuation are all on the outer range of the keyboard.

    Though, there are different keyboards out there, and some of them would actually work better than this one.

    I just wish the numbers on the keyboard and the ones on the telephones weren't reversed. πŸ˜‰

  3. Oh, I did not know that about the "Typewriter" πŸ˜€ Now I cannot unsee it as they say πŸ˜€

    I was told, the left hand predomiantely does typing letters and the right one also does the teller numbers.and keyboard direction work, which is why it is used-letter-heavy on the left side.

    And yes, I have a Querty, with an Γ¦, ΓΈ and an Γ₯ at the right side. Also some special signs, like the tilde and the pipe are on different keys than the Americans. I also have auml-dots, because Danish keyboard also have to cater to Swedish and Norwegian. I use it to type German. When my German friend visited me, she crawled up the wall, because for her the letters Γ„, ΓΌ and ΓΆ are on seperate keys, where I create them by first pressing the auml-button, and then the vowel :o)

    (Now I hope, you can see all those Scandinavian letters πŸ˜› )

  4. That typewriter thing is pretty wild. πŸ˜‰ I might go hunting for various keyboards for a future entry.

    It does make sense that the right hand would have the directional/number jobs on the computer, especially since the left hand already had such a big letter load already. I think I'll take a closer look at typewriters the next time I'm in thrift or antique stores to see what else the right hand does on those.

    Hehe…I understand how your friend felt to a degree. There isn't much variation in American keyboards, but I use a split-letter ergonomic keyboard. That just means the letter pad is split down the middle, and the keyboard itself is a little raised to allow for more natural hand placement.

    Since I use this keyboard most of the time, I feel a bit lost on normal ones. Having different letters on seperate keys would drive me up the wall, too.

    Actually, typing on your keyboard would probably throw me off, since those special characters aren't on our keyboards at all. We'd need alt codes to create them.

    (LOL Yes, I could see the Scandinavian letters. I don't know how to type them without instructions, but I can see them!)

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