Most of us study Hindi at school, the क ख ग , संज्ञा, विशेषण, विलोम and मुहावरे , which are mugged up just before an exam and forgotten the second we hand in our answer sheets.
When we came to designing the MOX Keypad, not only did we have to revisit all the forgotten lessons, we also had to think about our product from so many different perspectives.
We had to incorporate the rich diversity that the Indian subcontinent always manages to display. There are those like us, who converse in Hindi, but wouldn’t type on a Hindi until our life depended on it. We write Hindi in English, or as it has come to be identified now, Hinglish.
There are others, who have formally learnt typing in Hindi on a desktop keyboard – reporters, transcriptors, writers, teachers, translators, banking and government officials – who can type pages at a stretch on a keypad that doesn’t even display a single Hindi character. If you ask them to go Hinglish, they’ll be as lost in the woods as poor Red Riding Hood.
There are yet others, who have studied in Hindi medium schools in small towns, and whose first interaction with Hindi typing is probably with their new smartphones. They don’t know QWERTY, Inscript, or Remington. They only know is what they learnt at school- क ख ग!
These were some of the insights we received when developing the MOX Keypad. Each insight added a unique challenge in front of us, in our endeavour to make keypad that can become as basic and user friendly, as the QWERTY is to you and me.
The days and weeks spent in coming up with the various layouts, selecting which key should appear at which space, was as exciting as it was frustrating. In the process, not only did we design great keyboards, we also re-learnt Hindi, which surely helped my kids with their homework, if nothing more!
It is very satisfying to see the MOX Keypad included in devices of major players like Intex, Lava, iBall and the list grows continuously. Not only are we producing a robust product, we’re helping so many Indians connect with each other and reconnect with Hindi.