Designing an effective product requires thorough planning of each and every component within the product, including the keypad. Some manufacturers assume that all keypads are the same, but this isn’t necessarily true. Even if the fundamental principle remains the same — to allow for the input of commands through keypresses — there are subtle differences between them that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Membrane keypads, for instance, consist of keys that are embedded into pressure pads with only symbols printed on the surface.
Reliability is arguably one of the most important elements of a membrane keypad. When you press a particular button, you want the respective product or machine to register that keypress. If it fails to register — or if it registers a different keypress — the entire product is broken and cannot be used as intended. Choosing the right membrane keypad for your needs will ensure a high level of reliability.
Strength and Durability
Another reason why it’s important to choose the right membrane keypad is because some are stronger and more durable than others. Granted, all membrane keypads are stronger than traditional mechanical keypads, but others possess unmatched strength and durability. This is particularly important when used in certain products that receive regular use/wear, as it ensures they will last without breaking down or suffering damage.
Comfort and Ergonomics
Of course, the comfort of a membrane keypad will also play a role in its effectiveness (of lack thereof) with its respective product. If the keypad is rugged or awkwardly shaped, it may be create discomfort for the end-user, which in turn has a negative effect on the product as a whole. A good membrane keypad eliminates this issue, however, by offering an ergonomic, ultra-comfortable method of input, with keys spaced out in the appropriate directions.
Ease of Integration
Last but not least, choosing the right membrane keypad allows for a seamless integration with the respective product. If you happen to choose the wrong keypad, it may not fit — or not fit as well as it should, in which case the product will remain faulty. A custom designed membrane keypad will integrate seamlessly into the product, allowing for smooth, functional operation.