Keycap suggestions

I’m still getting used to the Model 01, so take this with a small grain of salt, but I find myself wanting two changes to the keycap shapes in what is otherwise an excellent design.

One is that I think the single/double quote and PageUp keys need to be just a little taller, maybe 1mm or so. As they are, I feel a little like I’m sticking my pinky down into a hole, and sometimes I also accidentally press the minus key when going for quote.

The other is that I think it needs to be easier to tell where my thumb is on the thumb row. The little bump on Space and Bksp is helpful, but sometimes it takes me longer to find it than I would like. I think those keys should have a very different shape from the other three, even maybe concave on top with distinct shoulders. Not only would this make it more obvious when my thumb was directly on top of the key, but where currently the three positions halfway between two keys all feel the same, with this change they would all feel quite different, so I would never have to move my thumb more than half a key to know where it was.

What do others think?

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I’m glad the thumb keys are all the same shape, because I’ve moved all of them around.

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I feel I can’t really comment on the page up and quotes keys, as my pinkies are bent inwards from birth and my experience is likely going to be very different from people with… regular hands.

However, while my thumbs still get confused sometimes, I think this is just a matter of practice and I wouldn’t personally want those keys to be any different. I think the design is pretty spot on as it enables pressing adjacent keys simultaneously. Obviously I can’t really compare it, but I’m guessing that typing on the keys as they are is quicker and more efficient than on the original Kickstarter prototype (which I think is what you’re describing, although I might be wrong).

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I’m glad the thumb keys are all the same shape, because I’ve moved all of them around.

Maybe all I can hope for here is for Keyboardio to make concave Space and Bksp keycaps available, for those of us who would like to install them. I don’t personally care whether they’re the default or not… though I do think they would improve learnability.

I had actually forgotten that they were concave in the prototype. But I’m not suggesting they should all be concave, just Space and Bksp.

I’m sure you’re right that practice will give me better awareness of which key my thumb is over.

Different embossing might help… Right now we’ve got the dot for bksp and space. Maybe put a dash/underscore for shift ( - or _ ). @ for alt, clover or square for win/option key, and pipe | for ctrl? hashtag/pound could be used also.

I don’t know that one’s thumb is going to be able to distinguish all those different shapes. But I could see adding a horizontal bar to the Cmd and Alt keys. There’s no need for special bumps on Ctrl and Shift, because there’s no ambiguity there anyway: they’re at the far ends of the row. But making it easier to distinguish Cmd or Alt from Shift would help a little, I think.

Maybe, considering there’s a high density of touch and temperature receptors on our fingers, then there’s that whole braille thing.

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They’re only at the far ends of the row by default. :wink: Though I suppose once I get the runic keys, I won’t have to move around the physical keys anymore.


They’re only at the far ends of the row by default.

Well, right. I’m thinking that such a minor alteration as a differently-shaped bump won’t annoy those who want to rearrange the keycaps, as much as a completely differently shaped key might.

What order do you have the keys in?

You might play with something like Sugru to prototype this.


I just wanted to say that I have the exact same issues - I hit the lower-left and lower-right keys when trying to hit the ones above them on the home row, and I hit the wrong keys with my thumbs. This is after a few weeks of daily usage - those two things have been really hard to get used to.

Ah, I was wondering if some product like Sugru existed. Do you know if it will bond to the keycap permanently? I might want to remove it after experimenting.

Wow! I’m pretty sure that you just changed my life by introducing me to that.

backspace, shift, alt, ctrl on the left, and starting at the center on the
right, ctrl, gui, shift, space.

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After living with the standard thumb key layout for a while, I decided a couple of weeks ago to change it. Now, from left to right, I have Shift, Backspace, Ctrl, Cmd / Alt, Ctrl, Space, Shift. The primary motivation was to be able to chord Ctrl+Alt or Ctrl+Cmd with my thumb; I have both Alt and Cmd bound to Meta on the host (Linux), and Ctrl+Meta combinations are used frequently when editing code in Emacs. But, I also find this arrangement a little more natural in general, making Shift a little easier to reach and putting Ctrl and Meta next to each other. Of course it’s taking a little time to retrain myself for the change. (I had previously swapped Space and Backspace, because I have an old habit of hitting the space bar with my left thumb for some reason, but I’ve now un-swapped them, to make common sequences of Emacs commands easier. This is taking a lot of retraining effort as well.)

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I did eventually get around to trying the Sugru, and I’ve been living with the result for a few weeks. “Prototype” is the right word; it’s pretty rough-looking (I probably should have picked the 1-hour flavor of Sugru rather than the 30-minute, to get more time to shape it); but in my opinion it works just as well as I expected, making it easier to locate my thumb on the keys. Here’s a photo.


Any plans for MT3-like profile (probably redesigned for degrees angle) plus appropriate spherical-shaped thumb cluster keycaps?
Considering flat shape, differently per-row profiled keycaps like that ones should match pretty well, I think so. What you think, folks?

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Maybe “Deep Dish” keycaps for spherical profile keycaps set would be better. Or Bumps better for convex thumb caps? Any opinions?

What size hands do you guys have? It may make a difference when trying to reach for a key with the pinkie finger.
(I have large hands, around size 10 or 10.5)