Choosing tactile buttons is an important step for interface designers and component manufacturers. The selection of a particular button mechanism will often be based on several factors including the intended applications, user preferences, and design requirements. One of the most popular button styles for modern interfaces is the tactile button, which has a perceptible physical response when touched.
In this post, we’re going to talk about tactile buttons and some of the important factors to consider when choosing a button design. This is important information for designers, end-users, and manufacturers to consider when planning the layout of a new user interface.
A tactile button is really defined by the tactile switch installed within the button. A tactile switch provides an increased perception of touch when pressed, as the user can feel the button return to its original position after releasing it. Non-tactile buttons, in contrast, have no movement between the button and its circuit, so it doesn’t create a perceptible physical movement or click.
The physical sensation experienced with tactile switches creates a satisfying reaction for users in knowing that the switch has been activated. Tactile buttons are relatively quiet but still have a physical reaction when pressed, as the user can feel the button click back up. This has made them a popular choice among designers and manufacturers when selecting buttons for control panels and user interfaces.
Tactile buttons are used for a variety of applications today, ranging from medical devices to industrial equipment control panels, office equipment, and consumer electronics and appliances. Some tactile buttons can be sealed, meaning they have better resistance to water and other contaminants that can impact the operation of a switch. These tactile buttons are often used for applications such as medical devices that must be cleaned frequently and may be exposed to chemicals and solvents.
The performance of a control panel or user interface switch depends on several characteristics that define the function of the button design. Familiarizing yourself with these parameters will help in selecting tactile switches for a particular application. The most common switch parameters are:
Each tactile switch manufacturer will publish specifications for their hardware, and you can also consider the following parameters when making a selection.
A tactile button design should be optimized for the intended use of the hardware to which it is attached. The parameters listed in this post are just a few of the many technical considerations to make when designing control panels and user interfaces. Tactile buttons can also be used in custom control panels to create an effective and immersive user experience.