Effect of keyswitch design of desktop and notebook keyboards related to key stiffness and typing force

Marcia J. Bufton, Richard W. Marklin, Mark L. Nagurka, Guy G. Simoneau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to compare and analyse rubber-dome desktop, spring-column desktop and notebook keyboards in terms of key stiffness and fingertip typing force. The spring-column keyboard resulted in the highest mean peak contact force (0.86N), followed by the rubber dome desktop (0.68N) and the notebook (0.59N). All these differences were statistically significant. Likewise, the spring-column keyboard registered the highest fingertip typing force and the notebook keyboard the lowest. A comparison of forces showed the notebook (rubber dome) keyboard had the highest fingertip-to-peak contact force ratio (overstrike force), and the spring-column generated the least excess force (as a ratio of peak contact force). The results of this study could aid in optimizing computer key design that could possibly reduce subject discomfort and fatigue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1012
Number of pages17
JournalErgonomics
Volume49
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Computer keyboard
  • Computer keys
  • Typing
  • Typing force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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