Poll: What's your favorite 43S layout?
This poll is closed.
a) 11.94% 8 11.94%
b) 80.60% 54 80.60%
c) 7.46% 5 7.46%
Total 67 votes 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

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A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
01-05-2015, 02:21 AM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2015 02:24 AM by brouhaha.)
Post: #55
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again)
(01-05-2015 12:30 AM)Mark Hardman Wrote:  I'm certain that HP, TI, Sharp, Casio, etc. all spent substantial time and money on focus groups, ergonomic studies, etc. before settling on what, in my opinion, is the current standard layout.

I doubt that any of them have done ergonomic studies of calculators since the early 1980s. They probably all do focus groups of teenagers; such things are known to have influenced the design of 1990s HP calculators in ways that are considered undesirable by most people in this community.

In the old days, HP did studies of how the scientific calculators would be used by engineers and other technical professionals, as that was their target market. I don't think any calculator vendor has done that in many years; now their target market is high school students.

Having the operators on the right in + - * / order bottom to top will undoubtedly make it appeal more to high school students. Frankly I could not care less whether the vast majority of high school students are interested in the calculators I design or not, because they aren't going to buy a $300 calculator no matter what the position and order of the operator keys is.

From personal experience, I found having the operators on the left in the traditional HP order made me more efficient. The left side was better for one-handed operation in my left hand, which was my predominant mode of operation. (I'm right handed, so I often had a pen in my right hand or was otherwise using my right hand for some other aspect of what I was doing.) The operator order made it very efficient to evaluate polynomials with one- or two-handed operation, due to + and * being adjacent. It may well be the case that HP chose that based on a survey, as Walter has stated, but I don't believe that it was a survey of random schmucks, or that the survey was done without giving the participants some background. In other words, it wasn't a blind suvey of high school students.

One of the guiding principles of the calculator development Richard and I have been doing for more than a decade now has been "he who does the work gets to decide". When Richard and I disagreed on things, generally if it was a hardware issue Richard decided it, and if it was a software issue I did. That's not to say that we had a lot of disagreements. For the 43S project, now we will have more people involved, with Richard and I focused on hardware and low-level firmware, and (hopefully) the WP-34s team focused on the high-level functionality and user interface. Asuming that we maintain the principle we've used before, the WP-34s team will get to make the decisions on key layout, and while it's nice that Walter offers polls to get the sense of the community, everyone needs to remember that this is NOT a democracy. Ultimately the actual decisions may be contrary to the result of the polls. Certainly in the case of operator key positioning, I tend to suspect that I won't like the final result, but since I don't want to do all the firmware development on my own, I'm resigned to making the best of what the team members provide.
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Messages In This Thread
RE: A poll again, concerning the 43S (again) - brouhaha - 01-05-2015 02:21 AM
Poll results - walter b - 01-10-2015, 01:26 AM

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