In keycap design, functionality refers to the fact that the fit, feel and material of the keycap will directly affect the typing comfort and experience. Aesthetics, on the other hand, includes the colour, pattern and surface treatment of the keycaps, which will affect the overall aesthetics of the keyboard and the expression of personality.
- Adaptability: The first thing to consider when choosing a keycap is the adaptability, making sure that the keycap is able to adapt to the user's keyboard axis. Most keyboards on the market can support keycap replacement, but the specific type of replacement needs to be based on the user's keyboard interface and design.
- Feel: The material and finish of the keycaps will affect the feel. Delicate feel and frosted feel have their own characteristics, the former is silky smooth, the latter wear-resistant and not easy to hit the oil, PBT material keycaps heat-resistant, wear-resistant, not easy to hit the oil, and ABS material keycaps are more delicate.
- Height: The height of the keycaps will affect the degree of hand fatigue, the original height, OEM height, XDA, SA, MOA and other different heights of the keycaps will bring a different feel experience. Users can choose the keycap height that suits them according to their own usage habits.
- Design Concept: Different keycap designs will have different themes and concepts, and they convey the designer's creativity through elements such as colours, patterns and materials. For example, gradient design, special patterns, or the use of specific cultural symbols can enhance the aesthetic value of keycaps.
- Technology: Currently, the mainstream keycap technology includes two-colour injection moulding, two-colour moulding and heat sublimation. Two-colour injection moulding and two-colour moulding can make the characters not easy to wear and tear, and the degree of design freedom is high. Heat sublimation technology can achieve complex patterns on PBT keycaps, increasing the possibility of personalisation.
- Personalised design: Personalised keycaps can meet the specific aesthetic requirements of consumers，3D visual design and translucent materials increase the aesthetics and personalised features of the keycaps.
- Material selection: In terms of material selection, it is important to balance the durability of the keycap with the feel of the keycap; PBT and ABS have their own merits, the former is wear-resistant and not easy to oil, while the latter has a delicate feel but is easy to oil. When designing, you can consider combining the advantages of these two materials, for example, designing a keycap surface that is wear-resistant and has a delicate feel.
- Height and comfort: While ensuring aesthetics, choose ergonomically designed keycap heights to provide a more comfortable typing experience, for example, changing the traditional OEM height to the original height that is more suitable for the hand, or designing keycaps with different heights to take into account different scenarios of the user.
- Use of multiple processes: Different production processes can be combined to create keycaps that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical, such as using heat sublimation to add personalised patterns, and using two-colour injection moulding to ensure the durability of the material.
- Comprehensive user feedback: In design, we pay attention to user feedback and aesthetic trends, and design keycaps that meet both functional and aesthetic needs according to users' actual needs and preferences.
- Research: We understand in detail the various keyboards and user groups on the market, and study the usage habits and aesthetic preferences of different groups of people, so that we can design functional keycaps that meet the aesthetics of most people.
From the above analysis, we can see that balancing functionality and aesthetics in keycap design requires comprehensive consideration of multiple aspects such as material selection, feel design, height selection, design concepts and process technology. The perfect combination of keycap functionality and aesthetics can be realised through fine design and thoughtful process innovation. At the same time, designers should make full use of user feedback to continuously improve product design to meet the increasingly diversified market demand.