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When to use the start-at-zero rule

Habits are hard to shake off

For those who don't use an iPhone, what you are staring at is the new keyboard. Is the SHIFT key on or off?

Shift_in_gray

For most of us who use the iPhone, we can't tell you either. It's been confusing and exasperating.

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The answer is when the SHIFT key is gray, it is off. When the SHIFT key is white, as shown in the following image, it is ON.

Shift_in_white

This design plays games with our head. We see all the white letter keys and none of them are pressed so we assume white keys are not pressed. This is especially annoying when we are entering names into a text box. Typically, the app developer would save us a keystroke and pre-press the SHIFT key. But when we see a white SHIFT key, our heads tell us it is not pressed, so our fingers press it to turn in gray, and then we learn that we just turned off the SHIFT key.

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Here's the issue. Even after months of using this keyboard, and capitalizing words daily, I still haven't gotten used to it. I keep getting confused and frustrated. The knowledge in my head just won't go away.

This is not a rant. This is a lesson for graphics designers.

 

Comments

Mike F.

Whew! I thought I was going crazy, kept getting it wrong and typing a capital when I intended lowercase, and vice versa.

derek

It's a relief to hear even Apple's vaunted iDesigners put their trousers on one leg at a time like the rest of us.

font

Indeed. And why Jony Ive may be great with hardware and software, but not necessarily with UI.

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