Membrane_keyboard2_diagram_FULL_SCALEWhen shopping for a new keypad, you’ll probably come across the terms “tactile” and “non-tactile.” Regardless of its intended application, most keypads fall into one of these two categories. So, what exactly is tactile feedback? And does it offer any real benefits? These are just a few of the questions that we’re going to answer in today’s blog post.

Tactile Feedback: the Basics

Tactile feedback refers to a physical sensation produced by a keypad or device. Most smartphones, for instance, have both the software and hardware necessary to produce a light vibration when an icon is tapped or command entered. Known as tactile feedback, it informs the operator that his or her keypress was registered.

There are many different types of tactile feedback, however, with vibration being just one. Keypads are often designed to create a bump response to finger pressure. Although not as noticeable as a vibration, this still works in the same manner: it tells the operator that his or her keypress was registered. Such tactile keypads are designed with tactile keyswitches.

Benefits of Tactile Keypads

Why should you choose a tactile keypad instead of other, non-tactile keypads? For starters, tactile feedback has been shown to improve typing accuracy, making it particularly useful in certain applications. Without tactile feedback, the operator must rely on other elements to determine if his or her keypress was registered, such as looking at the display or interface. Tactile feedback, however, eliminates this problem by triggering a physical sensation when the operator presses a key or enters a command; thus, improving typing accuracy.

Keypads with tactile feedback may also yield improved user satisfaction. Most users will agree that it’s more enjoyable to use a keypad with tactile feedback than a keypad without tactile feedback. There’s just something naturally enjoyable associated with the tactile feedback. As such, these keypads typically offer a higher level of user satisfaction, which is just one more reason why so many companies prefer them over non-tactile keypads.

Benefits of Non-Tactile Keypad

Of course, there are also benefits to using a non-tactile keypad. While there are always exceptions to this rule, non-tactile keypads typically cost less than their tactile counterpart. This is because they are cheaper to produce, often requiring fewer components and high-end material. So if you’re on a budget and looking for an inexpensive keypad, perhaps a non-tactile model is the best choice.