Keyboardio keycaps ISO 9995

Is there a particular reason why the keyboardio keycaps don’t follow the ISO 9995 standard?

I think having the main symbols in the top left corner is a bit better for readability, with fingers resting on the keyboard while you have to check whats underneath, but one can argue the keyboardio is perfect for touchtyping anyway and if you do it ‘the only right way’ it doesn’t matter.

For me the biggest issue with that are symbols that I rarely use, I still have to look for them and since every one of my keyboards has them differently positioned it’s takes quite a while longer to find them.

  • My laptop follows iso 9995, but has some wonky key squashing to fit all the keys.
  • Steelseries apex pro follows it on the letters and non letter symbols, but not on the number keys
  • Keyboardio is all over the place. It kind of follows the standard on the number keys 3,4,6,7,8 where the shifted symbol is in the top left corner above the number, number keys 1 and 0 have the shifted symbol all the way down there with the number and 2,5,9 have their own in-between position. Even the distances between shifted symbols and numbers variate with some keys.
    The further I look at it, the more it confuses me, for example why is the pgdn text centered vertically but pgup is on the bottom.

I guess what I am really asking here is: was any or all of those deliberately designed that way with some aspect in mind that I don’t understand? And if yes, what are the reasons?

As far as I remember, the symbols are placed so that the LEDs underneath can shine through them, instead of the LED being a bit off, and lighting an empty area of the keycap more than the actual symbol.

I see, that makes some sense, but there is still some inconsistency, like the butterfly symbol which is lit inconsistantly due to the central placement, pgup & pgdown have a similar problem. And the thumb cluster keys have the led at a different position and the stem turned around 90° so it should be possible to make that for other keys as well unless it didnt fit with the wiring.

In general, yes, the placement is “on the lower side of the keystem, primarily to the left side”. Where we deviate, it’s typically for aesthetic reasons.

To be 100% truthful, I’ve never seen a copy of ISO 9995, nor have I ever seen any reference inside the keyboard industry to someone following it. I don’t believe ISO make these standards freely available. From what I can determine from some reading, it doesn’t look like the standard even contemplates non-traditional, non-ortholinear keyboard layouts.

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For me personally, I find the way a ‘normal’ keyboard has the characters printed more aesthetically pleasing, but that is of course very subjective.

I think you are right that iso 9995 only targets staggered keyboards, I wonder if there is a difference in optimal character placement for readability speed between staggered, ortholinear or any other layout. Theoretically that could be formulated mathematically and tested in practice, but I doubt the benefit would be significant.

Thank you for the insight

I always assumed that the placement of the symbols was because shifted symbols should be above the unshifted symbols, and on the letter keys the unshifted symbols are omitted for clarity, but the shifted symbols are retained in position…

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