Thoughts about Interface Design in General
I have been in several situations where a variety of people claim the gamepad is superior for gaming because that is what it was designed for. No elaboration or further justification is given. The controller is designed for gaming and is therefore clearly better. End of – despite often being start to – discussion in their minds.
Really it is a compromise between the needs of popular games and the environment of a couch.
Interface design is complicated. When you design an interface you need to consider: the expected types of applications; the environment of the user; what you are permitted to use; what tolerances are allowed; what your audience is used to; and so on, so forth. There is a lot to consider when you design an application for a user and I could make an educated guess that it is at least as hard to design the input device itself.
The history of keyboard design is a great example of tradeoffs in input devices.
Sometimes it is better to be worse...
The first wave of keyboards were interfaces to the mechanical typewriter. These keyboards were laid out in alphabetical order because as long as each key is accessible and the user could find the letter they wanted – who cares, right? We already have an order for the alphabet that people understands so the users should not have too much difficulty in finding the letter they need.
Another constraint quickly game to light: typists were too fast and the machines jammed.
The engineers now needed to design an input method which could keep up with the typist. Correcting the machine itself was somewhat futile so the solution was to make the typist as slow as possible. The most common letters in the English language were spread all over the place and – while possibly by fluke – the left hand is favored, as in made do more work, over the often dominant right hand.
The problem required making the most aggravating keyboard layout engineers could imagine. QWERTY was born.
Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2011 - 01:16 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, battlefield 3, gamepad, razer
As strongly as many feel about the keyboard and mouse interface others have been raised on the gamepad and have a strong preference to use them. Razer is looking to attract that crowd with their Battlefield 3 branded D-Pad. Red & Blackness Mods gave the USB gamepad a whirl on both the PC and XBox 360 and were quite happy with the performance offered on both. So for those of you who do prefer PC gaming with a console style game pad, Razer has you covered.
"Battlefield 3 is one of those killer titles which draws a lot of interest and aiming to offer those consumers something a little more interesting than the average peripheral is Razers BF3 Collectors Edition products. We have the BlackWidows Ultimate keyboard, Onza Tournament Edition controller, Imperator 2012 mouse and Scarab pad on our test bench today."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Razer Battlefield 3 Gaming Gear: BlackWidow Ultimate, Imperator, Onza and Scarab Review @ HardwareHeaven
- ROCCAT Kova+ Max Performance Gaming Mouse @ Tweaktown
- SteelSeries Sensei Pro Grade Laser Mouse Review @ Madshrimps
- ROCCAT ALUMIC Gaming Mousepad Review @ TechwareLabs
- SilverStone SST-EC03 USB 3.0 PCI-E Card @ Benchmark Reviews
- Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Stealth Edition Mechanical Keyboard Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Roccat Isku Keyboard @ OC3D
- Tt eSPORTS Meka Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ TechwareLabs
- Xebec Tech iTouchPad Diamond Keyboard Review @ XtremeComputing
- Roccat Isku Gaming Keyboard @ Metku.net