We have seen some of our clients confused over how to create the best custom keypads. They want to offer many features in their devices but don’t want to create complex controls that will be hard to use. We’ve found that in most cases, the simpler the control scheme the better the product is received by the public.
Ease Of Use
When your device has dozens of controls, operators can become frustrated. New users are overwhelmed by complex custom keypads and have trouble learning the controls. Experienced users may know where things are, but find themselves hitting the wrong buttons from time to time. Pressing the wrong controls may be annoying in a television remote, but could be dangerous in industrial machinery.
Devices with more straightforward control schemes are easier to use. There are fewer buttons to remember so the learning curve is less steep. Users are less likely to make mistakes that lead to frustrating errors and potentially hazardous operation. We’ve found control panels with clean and simple designs are more approachable, and tend to leave users with a more favorable impression of the device overall.
Balancing Simple Controls And Complex Operation
Some of our clients feel that if they reduce the number of controls in custom keypads that will limit the unit’s functionality. If your device has a thousand functions, it doesn’t need a thousand buttons to operate. There are many ways a few controls can serve many purposes.
Operators typically don’t need access to all functions at once. The machine might have multiple modes of operation, and the same control panel can have different functions in different modes. A device might have a screen that displays menus, allowing users to see at a glance what different buttons do at any given time. In cases where a machine really does need a large number of buttons, the most common functions can be grouped into an efficient main panel and the less common operations can be relegated to secondary custom keypads located out of the way.
Simple Outside, Complicated Inside
Decades ago, buttons were hardwired to various functions. Modern electronics make it easy to design custom keypads with multiple functions and to take the burden of routine tasks off the user.
Smart machines can change function based on mode of operation, but they can take the idea a step further. They can automatically detect and adjust to conditions without operator intervention. Many of the controls meant for fine tuning are no longer needed with today’s sophisticated devices. For example, televisions used to have an array of controls allowing users to adjust the picture, but modern sets are capable of adjusting the picture automatically more efficiently than consumers could on their own.
We can help you balance a comprehensive and complex array of features with uncomplicated custom keypads that give your customer full access to the capabilities of the device without overwhelming them.