While I was working on generating ideas for another project designing another accessible project, based around making an object for people with Arthritis I came up with a few directions that I liked. One of these directions was a simple option for a smartphone’s virtual keyboard that could make it easier to use. The option would change the location of the keyboard from the bottom of the screen to the top. The concept of the design would allow the user to hold more of the phone’s body while typing.
With the standard virtual keyboard layout, you are holding the bottom third of the device and your hands need to support all the phone’s weight. This position creates a lever with the force from the top half of the phone on finger joints is amplified. This force can cause pain on sensitive joints when typing.
With my proposed option for the virtual keyboard would be placed at the top of the screen instead of the bottom. This position enables the user to utilize their palms to support the phone’s weight instead of their fingers. Being able to use larger joints is important when minimizing pain from sensitive joints. This also eliminates the leverage from the top of the phone.
I wasn’t able to the wide-spread user research that I wanted to do for this concept with such a basic prototype. I wanted to find prototyping software that would allow me to insert a keyboard.
I look forward to being able to continue work with this concept but I think I need to work with someone else.