99% Invisible

There’s been some great podcasting going on at 99% Invisible. The recent Of Mice and Men episode covers the “keyset”, an alternative to the keyboard as an input device. If the keyset wasn’t so difficult to use we could have even greater control of our computer overlords.

Why shouldn’t we take the time learn, if the results are superior? Are we missing out by putting so much emphasis on ease-of-use?

Even Doug Engelbart realized that learning the keyset was difficult. But for Engelbart, ease of use wasn’t the top priority. He wanted the computer inputs to be as powerful possible, and that required some complexity. He imagined that consumers would learn how to use the mouse and keyset slowly over time, like how one learns to operate a car.

You may have caught Doug Engelbert on You Tube in the past. He’s the presenter of the Mother of All Demos. In this pioneering demonstration Engelbert has developed the 2015 computing status-quo, in the year 1968.

Some other recent 99% Invisible standouts include:
Octothorpe (the history of the # sign)
The Sizzle
Lights Out