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Buttons and switches galore

After the seminar today (more on that later) our phidget group headed off to Maplins to try and find some suitable buttons for our finding device. Eric's buttons were a bit basic frankly.

It was really interesting trying to decide which buttons (sorry, push switches) to get considering all the needs of our target users. We wanted something that looked ok and provided feedback of its state for all the user groups. There were so many choices! Locking or not, rocker switches or plain push buttons, some light up... Then there was size. Big, little, micro, long toggle switches or low profile rockers... Do we build onto them, or leave them as is? Can we use the colour of the button to signify anything? Do we need different buttons for different functions?

In the end we went for lit up ones (so we can have them lit if they are on, not if they aren't) which locked (giving haptic feedback of the on/off state). We stuck with push switches rather than toggles for the build, and because the buttons only came in three colours we decided to stick with one colour for all four buttons (blue - we liked it). We did think about adding a fifth button for selecting all items (which we could have differentiated by changing the feel - using glitter on it maybe, or cutting the surface somehow) but I don't think we have enough outputs to light that and all the LEDs we want to use. We've gone for nice big buttons that we don't have to build onto, both for the simplicity of the build and how easy it is to find them without looking. I'm not sure we thought about this specifically, but it does make them feel really different to the LEDs on the device.

They look really swanky. Now i just have to work out how to wire them up...

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