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How to Customize the Appearance of Silicone Keypads
 

The customization of keypads is open to a number of variations because of the versatility of silicone as a material. Function, appearance, and touch can all be improved upon by molding the keypads thoughtfully, thus improving the experience for customers.

Steer clear of the conventional. The square key is a thing of the past!

The traditionally designed square-like buttons like those on an old telephone are unimaginative and antique. Since silicone may be molded in to just about any shape imaginable, adding sharp edges or flowing curves will enhance the appearance and bring a uniqueness to your devices design.

By abandoning the squared button, you have opened up all sorts of possibilities for the layout of the keypad. You can now determine where to place the buttons and what design will look and feel optimal to the person using the devise. For instance, in a particular design, it may be more ergonomic to have a numbered keypad running in a line down the side of a control panel, rather than in a conventional grid pattern.

The Lively Effects of Bold Colors

Unfortunately, silver, white, and black have been the only colors of choice for electronic design professionals over the years. It is important to have a unique design, and a great color scheme can make your devise stand out in a crowd. Color is also important in making a devise easier to learn and use by organizing the different functions into easy to read color codes.

Your customization can go even further by adding graphic design over the color which will add more depth. These graphics may be useful for a number of purposes, for example, if your product is going to be distributed internationally, you may want the graphics to in a text form of common languages or icons used in a particular region of the world. Another great option that is known for it's durability under heavy usage, is silk screening. One of the newer graphic forms is use of keypads that are backlit. This has an under-coating that is translucent which gives great contrast in color when the keys are lit up.

Making the Keypad Feel Right

To give the keys an altered tactile feel, the formula for making the silicone can be varied. Depending on what you want for the device, the silicone can be made to be harder or softer. You need to determine in what application the keypad will be used for, and this will weigh in to what hardness it should be. For example, if the device is going to have heavy use, if might be better to use a harder rubber, because it degrades less quickly.

How clicky the keys are is determined by how much force it takes to trigger the button. For keypads that may be getting frequent use, it is better to have a soft click to avoid repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, but for keypads that will only be used occasionally, you might want a firmer click to give more solid feedback.
When you first start to design your silicone keypad, let your creativity and imagination be the driving force. This may lead you to move in a direction that has not been taken before, giving you an end product that is truly unique. By creating something that is not only pleasing to the eye, but also improves function, you greatly enhance the user's experience.



 

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For more information, please Contact Bob Nordloff at bobn@peartech.com


 

 

 

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