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monsoon

Bet you didn't know

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Ever wonder why the buttons on a telephone are arranged as they are? Why weren't they placed in the same orientation as that of a calculator, or some other arrangement? Well it wasn't just random thought. From the days of when American research and technology was the best in the world, here is the study on telephone key arrangement including all the alternatives considered. They probably had no idea that almost 50 years later, their work would still be used on high tech mobile phones that are as far removed from the old 500 set as an automobile is from the horse and buggy.

Bell System Technical Journal

Imagine the same kind of thought and consideration being made for the products we see today.

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Interesting read. Because I am a big nerd and suffer odd daytime ponderings (also known as ADD), I have actually devoted some amount of thought to this subject, some of which is actually in the report (HA!). I also like the Group5-B layout of the tight circle with the 0 in the middle, as the buttons are nearly as close together in total as the 5-A design, and still easy navigation for the thumb on the small modern keypads, though seems it would be slightly more error prone as the 5-A method breaks things into groups of three which means you have fewer adjacent sequential numbers and so less error. Wait, actually no...

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