I have been experimenting with using the Ergodex pad to augment the interface to a very large, custom-built software application. This application is used by approximately 80 staff members in several different departments. Although each department accesses similar data, their use of the application is very different. We have created multiple key configurations suited to each department's needs.
The layout and skin shown are for a department whose primary focus is data entry. Speed of entry is critical. User observations revealed one hand being used to key in data while the other was used as a placeholder on a physical report containing many numbers. The combination of data entry and application navigation posed a problem. A break in the user's rhythm was required to navigate using the mouse, reaching off the numeric keypad to press a tab key, or to press a keystroke combination. The Ergodex key layout minimizes travel across the keyboard and reduces reliance on the mouse for navigation.
We created a "bug report" email macro that ensures consistent and easy delivery of bugs or other application issues to the help desk. We mapped different macros to the same key across applications. The first key press invokes a global email macro while a second press of the key (assigned to a macro in our email application) creates a new bug report and pastes any on-screen error into the email.