One of the most annoying things in the world to me is the difference between the computer keypad and the phone keypad. I will be in the midst of a furious excel entry session when it will be critical to make a phone call. Then I’ll fumble around like an idiot as I dial the wrong number three times.
so what’s the deal?
Well, there are a few theories, but no one seems certain as to which is the real reason. The three theories that seem the most common on websites discussing keypad layout are such:
1. The telephone industry was concerned that people with data entry skills might dial too quickly and overrun the operators.
2. The telephone industry wanted to match the letters of the alphabet so that ‘abc’ was in the upper left and since Rotary phones had established #2 as abc… the layout followed.
3. Bell labs did a test to see what the easiest layout would be for dialing and ended up with the 123 setup.
Regardless, it seems that there’s no turning back now. Apparently new applications that require keypads (like ATMs) all follow the phone setup.
I think this is weak and I am disappointed in humanity’s inability to standardize.