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Usability question: Backspace instead of cursor back?

Do you find that, if you want to change ONE LETTER in a word, that it's easier to just DELETE 10 characters than to backspace?

I've always done it that way. I think it's b/c the backspace key is just a bit easier to reach. I can get my hands back to the standard typing position easily from backspace, but not from the cursor key.

I'm guessing this is a holdover from the old TYPEWRITER DAYS when the cursor keys weren't even used.
Mr. Analogy {ISV owner} Send private email
Sunday, December 12, 2004
 
 
Yep, I always do that.
Nemesis [µISV] Send private email
Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
I'll do it a bit differntly: I delete the complete word and type it again. It's faster for me because I touch-type.


Janek.
Janek Schwarz Send private email
Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
I higlight the mistyped word with the mouse and choose cut from the contextmenu. Then I paste it into Word and let the spell checker do its job before copying the whole thing back (using the mouse of course).

Try it yourself and you wil be delighted (if not enlighted).
Mr. LongWinded
Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
It's a speed thing for me as well.  If it's less than 20 characters, I just re-type it.
_
Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
Depends. If the mistake is towards the end I will move the cursor back to where the mistake is, but if it is near the beginning of the word I can use ESC-b to skip back a word and go from there.

Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
I used to use Control-Shift-left arrow to go back while selecting, then delete and type over.

But just now, playing around in this textbox, I discovered that Control-Backspace deletes backwards by words.  Hooray!  New shortcut!
Kyralessa Send private email
Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
Control-Backspace

Eranu ;-)
Nemesis [µISV] Send private email
Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
Depends on where I'm doing the editing. I usually use vim, so I use hjkl to navigate instead of the cursor keys, so I don't use backspace.
sloop
Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
"I'm guessing this is a holdover from the old TYPEWRITER DAYS when the cursor keys weren't even used."

I'm guessing most on this forum have never even seen a typewriter.

Oh, I usually delete the whole word and retype.
MT Heart
Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
My mom still has one that she uses occasionally for typing up recipe cards and such.

But I learned to type on an Apple //e.
Kyralessa Send private email
Monday, December 13, 2004
 
 
I recently started using a TouchStream keyboard. (http://www.fingerworks.com/lp_product.html)

It's a very expensive toy that hasn't been easy to learn, but the killer feature for me is having the keyboard and mouse integrated as one unit. After I saw a coworker use one, it made me aware of how much of my typing was of the "delete the whole word to correct one letter" variety. Also how often I would retype the same variable names or code segments, just because it was easier to retype than to reach for the mouse to move the cursor, select, cut, and paste.

Now with this thing I can easily copy and paste text quicker than I can retype it, and don't have to move my hands out of position to do so. Sliding two fingers on the left side of the keyboard is the same as using the arrow keys, so I can also reposition the cursor to a mistyped letter easier than retyping the whole word.

However, I'm still having to remember to do those things. If my brain goes too much on autopilot, I find myself doing inefficient deletions and retyping like I've always done.
Daniel
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
 
 
Depends. When I'm writing Documents (usually in Word) i delete, because it's faster to get back into writing position.
When I'm writing Code in Emacs I go back because C-b is even easier to reach than backspace.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004
 
 
That Touchstream looks interesting...but how would I convince my wife that I need to pay $339 for a _keyboard_?
Kyralessa Send private email
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
 
 
"I'm guessing most on this forum have never even seen a typewriter.
"

I meant the KEYBOARD design is a hold over, just like the QWERTY layout. the Q layout was designed to slow down typists b/c they'd jam the keys otherwise. So, now 50+ years later we're stuck with a slow layout that has high frequency keys (like "e") relegated to secondary positions whilst "j" and "f" are in primary positions.

It's design inertia. Just like (i think) the position of cursor keys, which are important on computer keyboards but not present on typewriters. So... the backspace key already had the prime location and the cursor keys  are treated like stepchildren -- sleeping the sofa bed.

Just a guess.
Mr. Analogy {ISV owner} Send private email
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
 
 
That old chestnut again?  Actually QWERTY was converted to three rows from an original single-row alphabetical design.  If you take a set of keys laid out in alphabetical order and then scrunch them up toward the middle, you end up with something like QWERTY.  Try typing from C to L (or even to P) to see what I mean.

It _is_ true that the Dvorak keyboard was designed to be efficient, but that doesn't prove that Qwerty was designed to be inefficient; it just turned out that way.  Although in typing tests on Qwerty I've done 90 wpm, so just how inefficient is it really?
Kyralessa Send private email
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
 
 
Ok, perhaps the Q kb wasn't designed to SLOW down typists, but it WAS optimized to reduce sticking keys, which had the side effect (or direct effect) of slowing down speed by putting important keys in non-primary positions.

E.g., common letters (e, r, t) are in secondary spots and uncommon letters in primary spots ( j and ; ).

"The standard "QWERTY" keyboard was not designed with ease of typing in mind. Rather, it was designed to keep early typewriters from jamming. 130 years later, in the age of computers, people are still using this awkward, inefficient keyboard layout"

From:
http://www.theworldofstuff.com/dvorak/
Mr. Analogy {ISV owner} Send private email
Thursday, December 16, 2004
 
 

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