Barefoot typing

May 03, 2015

Yesterday I got my hands on a 2015 Macbook for the first time. What I was most curious about was the keyboard. The keys are larger and feature a new design which makes them a lot less wobbly than previous Mac kebyoard keys. More importantly, they have a lot less travel than any physical keyboard I have ever tried. Most opinions I have read land in the range between clear dislike and carefully positive after some days of adjustment. I understand why. The keys do move and click firmly and clearly, and they feel very stiff while at the same time requiring very little force to press. The result is that you press harder and try to press deeper than is actually required, and your fingers start feeling stiff as if you were typing on glass.

Thinking about the keyboard, the first thing I came up with was that it feels like clicking the force touch trackpad. Stiff, distinct and with a hard stop for your finger.

My second impression came after marinating in the back of my mind for a couple of hours. It is this: the Macbook keyboard makes me think of barefoot running.

Well, running in minimalist shoes in my case, but the line is the same.

As shoes get thinner and less cushioned, you get a whole lot more feedback to work with and you also need to listen to that information and adapt your steps to run and walk efficiently and not get hurt. It takes work, but if you are interested it is a very rewarding process.

Typing on the Macbook keyboard brings back my first minimalist runs. The surface is suddenly so present, so clear, and so hard unless I move the right way. Now, I seriously doubt anyone will get hurt from typing in their old way on this keyboard, but I do think it will reward you with a different typing style if you pay attention and put some work into it. Softer, smoother and with less energy in each strike.

Barefoot typing, that sounds kind of nice to me. I look forward to starting the process. As soon as that thing is delivered (reloads order page) …