As a web developer, usability is something that we consider on a daily basis. When it comes to functionality that has become a standard, we don’t jack with it! For instance, we have long established that when you mouseover a link the cursor turns into a pointy finger. Can we alter that? Sure! But people would be confused and would likely miss some content in your application. See that navigation bar at the top of my page? I could easily move to align with the bottom of my site, but the result would lead to more confusion.
This leads me to a mini-rant about my new phone. A couple weeks ago I dropped my LG phone one too many times. It seemed to always think I had a headset plugged in, although I have never actually owned a phone headset. In addition, when I turned it on, it would randomly call my Mom and Dad. That one I still can’t figure out!
So, being a generally cheap guy, I stopped by the Cingular store to pick up the the next-to-the-bottom-line model for about 60 bucks and was on my way without paying too much attention. After unwrapping it and charging for the first time, I discovered something that baffles me. Check out this keypad!
What genius thought it would be a good idea to design the keys like that? After about 35 years of a consistent and well-defined pattern of telephone keypads, Sony/Ericsson decided it would be a good idea to alter that by offsetting the middle column. This serves no functional purpose either. You can see they could have quite easily shifted the middle column of buttons up so that they would be aligned. I am sure my fingers will get used to it, but dialing without looking at my fingers presents a new challenge. I suppose that is one of the costs of being cheap.