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From Shortcut to Dygma: how we found our brand name.

In September 2016 I had a crazy idea about developing the best gaming keyboard but it didn't come from just anywhere. While coaching in Fnatic I coached several players with wrist injuries and met multiple more.

At the beginning it was just a keyboard project but while developing the Shortcut it evolved into high performance peripherals project. At that point we realized that we couldn't call ourselves the name of our products and needed a brand name.

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Our new split keyboard: Raise

During the last 9 months developing Shortcut we’ve learnt a lot about how to build the best gaming keyboard, but what we’ve learnt the most about is our users and their preferences.

Shortcut’s goal is to improve the gaming experience of our users by increasing health, performance and comfort but it doesn’t come free. To be able to enjoy these benefits you need to spend time and effort rebuilding your habits.

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PowerEdge
10.06.2017

Shortcut ergonomics: Palm rest

It is good that the arm has a place to rest during typing, even it is not absolutely necessary, it strongly reduces stress in the hand and shoulder muscles. The most common solution in the use of a wrist rest, but when you use it the pressure in the wrist can cause a decrease in blood supply to the working muscles and nerves.

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Shortcut V6

The closed beta has opened our eyes in regards to how bad our testers onboarding process was and how many barriers they had to overcome before they could start using the keyboard.

We’ve been developing the Shortcut V6 during the last two weeks. These are the planned upgrades and the reasons behind them.

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Closed beta lessons, UX improvements and v6 teaser

It’s been a month since we started the Closed beta and we’ve learnta ton.

Most things that we planned failed but to be honest, we expected it. We were doing something we’ve never done before but we knew that we had to expose ourselves to improve fast.

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PowerEdge
10.05.2017

Shortcut Ergonomics: Hand-Wrist Articulation

Computer users end up having injuries caused by bad ergonomic posture and non-natural repetitive hand movement with their regular keyboard.

The hand-wrist articulation is a very complex one, with a widerange of movements and lots of potential injuries caused by awkward positions and repeated movements.

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Officially starting the closed beta

The last two weeks have been really different to the previous month. During the previous month we were a mini keyboard factory and for the last two weeks we’ve been able to focus more on “office work”. Although during the last week we assembled the last few prototypes, there’s been two big topics we’ve been working on: ergonomics documentation and getting the closed beta rolling.

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PowerEdge
20.04.2017

Shortcut Ergonomics: Introduction

This is the first of a series of posts where we’explain the decisions behind the Shortcut’s ergonomic design.

In the Shortcut design we have considered the ergonomy as one of the main product features. After reading this post you will know a little more about what what we’ve done and why.

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All closed beta testers V5s shipped!

During the last 10 days we’ve been focusing exclusively in two things, assembling Shortcut V5s and shipping them. Completely exhausted because of it I can proudly say that we’ve managed to finished them all. Well, to be honest, we’ve finished all but two, we are still waiting for those testers to send their hand image so we can customize them. Anyway, the insane workload it’s finally over.

Most of the prototypes are still in the air but few lucky testers have received them already.

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PowerEdge

First ten V5 prototypes shipped!

Like every week, there’s been multiple issues but we can proudly say… we’ve shipped the first ten Shortcut V5s! Woohoo!

This past 7 days have been really interesting. We’ve met with ergonomic experts, started working with online communication experts and we tested a brand new V5 playing League of Legends.

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Hardware is hard

I’ve read many times “Hardware is hard” and wasn’t until now that I started feeling it. The combination of our mistakes with the stuff that is out of our control makes me realize how naive we were with our estimations. On the bright side, all this extra time has been used to improve the prototype and we’ve been having a lot of fun! And to be honest, we are pretty happy about the end result.

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Assembly preparation and web changes

During last week we validated our final mechanical design and planned an assembly line to build 3 prototypes but we made some critical mistakes.

We spent way too much time pre planning things, made some last minute design changes and then we couldn’t even build one prototype in 5 hours. Screws didn’t fit properly, laser cutter issues, switches didn’t line up with the PCBs… a complete mess.

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Spam issues and blog update

When we made the offer of selling prototypes to take part of the closed beta 130 persons confirmed that they would buy one. From those 130 we picked 50 and emailed them. Many of this people never answered back and when they did, they reported the mails were in spam. During multiple weeks we sent news updates to this 50 testers to later realize that we had to contact again more people.

The end result is that we’ve sold 45 and we’ve learnt a bunch of stuff

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Closed beta progress

Apart from the slight delay because of the PCB assembly, we’ve been working on all planned this week and we are progressing as expected.

We 3D printed, laser cut and tested the design we showed you in the last news update. Basically we are are making everything more compact, robust and user friendly.

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Issues with the PCB assembly

Over the last week we’ve made a bunch of progress but encountered an issue with the PCB assembly.

We’ve bought 2000 Gateron switches (blue, brown, red and have a few hundred green and yellow), keycaps, electronic components, got the Shortcut configurator  rolling.

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Closed beta timeline

To be honest, announcing that we were selling prototypes was scary. It could have happened that there was no interest and we would have to rethink our whole project, but 130 people said that they would buy a V5!

Although we can’t be sure that we will accomplish it, this is the timeline we are aiming for: 20th-26th

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Closed beta announcement and thoughts process behind it

Soon we will start our closed beta testing phase limited to only 50 testers. Our goal is to test every aspect of the Shortcut to deliver the best possible device in a few months.

Before explaining what the closed beta testing phase is about, I would like to give you context and information about our developing process and decision making.

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5 Shortcut giveaways

After more than two weeks of hard work the 5 Shortcut giveaways have been built and shipped!

To be honest, building this 5 prototypes has been an intense experience. Even though we were going to build 5 prototypes like the one we announced in the website, we ended up doing a few changes.

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Amazing launch and concerning data

Yesterday we announced the 5 giveaway winners! Not only I’m excited about having the first prototypes fly around the globe to get tested, also about the development process to come. We are working on multiple upgrades on both the design and firmware and we aim to have the 5 prototypes built and shipped in two weeks.

I must admit that I was astonished by the amount of interest showed in the project. From the tweet of the announcement we had nearly 20k visits in the website, several interviews and even more impressive, 2500 people answered the first questionnaires!

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The gaming keyboard

Ever since I started working in eSports I felt that the industry was very young and underdeveloped. The fanbase was massive but the organisations didn't have the appropriate structure, nor the players the proper resources and tools to reach their maximum potential.

Truth to be said, my time in Fnatic was better than I could have dreamed of. I have incredible memories, met amazing people and learnt invaluable lessons about the industry and about myself.

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Help develop the Shortcut and win a prototype!

The Shortcut is in beta phase, that's why your feedback is so important for us.

By answering our questionnaires you'll have the chance to win a prototype and become one of our first testers!

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