Jacob Alexander, A Designer I Admire

A designer that I greatly admire is Jacob Alexander from the Input Club. He is most well known for aesthetic innovations outside of the visual realm in the world of mechanical keyboards and input devices. The creation of the Halo, and Hako line of keyboard switches was one of the first examples of intentionally designed switch profiles, not just to make actuation obvious, but to make it pleasurable and ergonomic.

Figure 1: Hako True switch force profile as measured in experimental tests

What I really appreciate about Jacob Alexander’s work is that he was able to use his knowledge in mechanical engineering to create a keyboard switch design with more aesthetic appeal. Oftentimes aesthetics are largely associated with the visuals of a product more so than the user experience, but an intentionally designed user experience is a very important part of a desirable aesthetic. Seeing the way the switch’s force profile was created to feel like a high end switch and to protect the user from bottoming out the switch and putting extra strain on their fingers was a pivotal moment in my own input device designs. It highlighted, for me, the importance of the user experience from not only a mechanical perspective, but also an aesthetics and design perspective.



“The Pandaverse.” ThereminGoat’s Switches, www.theremingoat.com/blog/the-pandaverse. Accessed 1 Mar. 2023.

“Hako Mechanical Switches (Pre-Retooling).” Kono Store, kono.store/products/hako-mechanical-switches. Accessed 1 Mar. 2023.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Ankit Karkhanis
    March 5, 2023 10:47 pm

    Hi Alexander,
    It’s inspiring to read about a designer like Jacob Alexander who has a clear sense of purpose and intentionality behind his work. Jacob’s approach to design as a means of creating meaningful and impactful experiences for people is a refreshing reminder of the power of design to shape our world. Have you explored some of his other work? The attention to detail and quality craftsmanship in his furniture pieces is truly impressive, and speaks to his dedication to his craft.

  • Rishi Assar
    March 5, 2023 7:54 pm

    I like your unconventional approach to the assignment regarding a designer you admire. It’s cool to see the different ways people apply their engineering knowledge. It gives me faith that engineers don’t have to end up in an engineering firm to find success in the industry. Taking a design approach alongside engineering seems to be a trend that is on the rise and I plan to follow suit. I thought the graph you posted was interesting regarding the force and keypress distances. If you were to design a key would you make any significant changes to the conventional design?


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