What is this on-line tool good for?
The DialABC phone number key pad finger movement diagram
drawer doo-hickey thingy (we are still looking for a good
name) takes a phone number and draws a picture showing the
sequence of keys that would be pressed on a phone key pad
by somebody dialing that number.
The picture shows what keys are pressed and in which order.
It shows this information in a graphical way rather than
just showing a sequence of numbers. In doing so, it
illustrates the geometrical relationships of the keys
pressed when dialing the phone number.
Who would use something like this and why?
Some numbers are easier to dial than others because of
the geometric relationships between the numbers on the
phone key pad. It is these relationships that make a
phone number easier or harder to dial or to remember.
Depending on what you are using the phone number for,
you may care a great deal about how easy it is to dial
a phone number.
Sometimes, it is important that a phone number should
be easy to dial. For instance, when a business advertises
its phone number, it is usually in the business' best
interest to make this phone number easy to remember AND
easy to dial, the general idea being that if you want to
receive orders from customers, you want to make it as easy
as possible for your customers to contact you, especially
in a competitive environment.
At other times, a phone number is intentionally chosen
so that it is hard to dial (by accident). "911", for
instance, is such a number: easy and quick to dial if you
intend to dial it, and almost impossible to dial by
accident since the "9" and "1" are on opposite corners
of the key pad. Even if you were to moosh the key pad
randomly with your fingers or some other object and
managed to hit the "9" and "1", you would then have to
release the "1" and press it again in order to dial "911".
Finally, you may be looking for a mnemonic for a phone number -- something to help you, your
friends or customers to remember that number.
As you can imagine, much thought, effort, and money has
gone into this seemingly trivial yet obscure problem.
If you need to deal with this, DialABC can help.
How does it work?
This is essentially how it works:
Using your web browser, you enter a phone number
into a form on our web site.
Our software cleans up the number you entered by
throwing out any characters that are not decimal
A diagram is generated by painting the sequence
of keys onto a picture of a phone key pad.
A certain amount of magic goes into placing the
the dots representing the phone number in such
a way that the resulting diagram looks half way
decent. (This is "fun part" for us).
The diagram is stored in a image data file on our
Our web site software then sends a web page
containing that picture back to your web browser.
As usual, there are many different ways in which the same
information can be presented. This is one of them. In
future, we may offer some other formats as well.
We are also thinking about adding a way to automatically
score a phone number by how easy it is to dial and we
would love to hear your suggestions on this topic.
By the way, we are also looking for a name for this tool.
If you have a question about this tool not answered here,
have a look at the
frequently asked questions.