I completely agree with you Dan. As someone who has come to user
experience design for the web from an industrial design background, it
seems obvious to me that non-mechanical buttons lack the tactile feedback
which would instill confidence that an action has been completed.
That being said, I think that unless mechanical buttons are very well
implemented in terms of both tactile feel and auditory feedback, they
often feel "cheap". There are both good and bad implementations of
mechanical buttons. Anothe rissue is that some user groups may feel that
mechanical buttons are "low-tech".
It is indeed a question of context and user perceptions. Perhaps
mechanical buttons are most ideally suited to situations where there is a
noticable lag in response from the device. For many devices, much like the
web, a quick screen change or sound is enough feedback to signal that
something has changed. When feedback is lacking or slow, the built in
feedback of a mechanical button is hard to beat.
"I am starting to feel such non-mechanical buttons actually reduce the
user experience rather than enhance it. Often because these static
buttons are not used in a correct context and it lacks the most
important thing a tactile and haptic feedback."
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