John E. Karlin, Designer of the 20th Century Telephone, Dies at 94

Margalit Fox, writing for the NYT:

And when, not long afterward, the dial gave way to push buttons, new questions arose: round buttons, or square? How big should they be? Most crucially, how should they be arrayed? In a circle? A rectangle? An arc?

For decades after World War II, these questions were studied by a group of social scientists and engineers in New Jersey led by one man, a Bell Labs industrial psychologist named John E. Karlin.

Love the bit about the white dots on rotary phones.

Saturday, 9 February 2013