Keyboards

Virtual keyboard

Best practice

  • If the primary task on a screen is to type text (for example, replying to a message or adding a new contact), then make sure that you place the focus on the appropriate field so that a virtual keyboard displays automatically when the screen opens.

Physical keyboard

Many users (especially existing BlackBerry users), rely on a physical keyboard as an efficient way of getting things done quickly. Consider scenarios where it makes sense for users to just start typing to complete a task in your application. For example, in the clock, users can set the timer simply by starting to type.

You can also use shortcut keys to allow users to move around the screen and give them direct access to common actions for the screen. As you design your application, think about the most common actions for each screen and add shortcut keys where appropriate. For example, allow users to press "T" to move to the top, "C" to compose a message, "S" to search, "I" to zoom in, and "O" to zoom out.

Best practice

  • Don't force users to switch between using the keyboard and the touch screen. Allow users to use the keyboard to complete a task.

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