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New Keyboard layout


michel123456
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Just came across this article.

https://daily.jstor.org/the-qwerty-truth/

 

It says there were two key events in the development of the current layout:

 

1. Remington put all the keys needed for a salesman to spell out the product name (Type Writer) on the top row.

 

2. When people started learning to touch type, they went to courses run by ... Remington

 

All but one letter of the top row were in place before sale of desgin to Remington. Sounds like a bit of an ex post facto rationalization to me - sure a bright spark in Sales noticed that all they needed to do was swap the R into top row to be able to type typewriter with just the top row; but as a rationale for layout - no, that was to stop commonly used letters being next to each other

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  • 2 months later...

 

 

"Better" as in nicer?

 

I would like to see some ergonomic evaluations to show whether they are better or worse.

post-19758-0-42894400-1495266095_thumb.jpg

 

Here a brand new launchpad with aligned keys.

Ergonomics play no role, except about the dimension of the keys and the gap between the keys. There is no misalignment because it is a brand new material without other historical background.

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So you have experimental evidence that arranging the keys in a grid is more ergonomic? That it makes touch typing easier and faster?

 

Can you provide a reference to this research?

Edited by Strange
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Re-learning is not a problem, It is just a generation away. But we are stuck to qwerty same as we are stuck to 360 degree circles, 24 hour days, 60 minute hours instead of base 10/100/1000...

Is typing a regular class at U.S. schools ? It was at mine overseas as a kid, hauling the lead typewriter for 12 blocks twice weekly...

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When I put my hands on my keyboard, my wrists are not in a purely "vertical" orientation with the keyboard. My lower arms form an angle that's somewhat less than 90 degrees. With my hands in home position, I find that the Y key is more or less a "vertical" move from the J key that's "in line" with my arms. Similarly, M is in the opposite direction, also in line with my arms.

 

So I think that explains the offset from row to row. As far as overall layout, the first requirement, I think, would be to spread the load equally to both hands, and then to the extent possible try to make alternating from one hand to the other as frequent as possible. Things like that.

 

I'd also heard the story about the QWERTY layout being designed deliberately sub-optimally for jamming reasons.

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Qwerty is fine-- it had a purpose. Alphabetical order has no purpose. It's an arbitrary arrangement of faint historical value that has no correlation to the best typing arrangement. I'm not sure qwerty has a lot of correlation to what's best either, but I've learned qwerty and I'm too old to easily change.

 

What I would love to see is for the "CTRL" key to be moved somewhere where it is not so easily reached. I am a fast, but not accurate, touch typist. On many occasions I have accidentally hit the ctrl key when reaching for the shift key, and then the keystrokes that came after the accidental ctrl key have erased whole documents before I even realized that the letter keys I struck after reaching for the shift key (due to my typing speed) were being interpreted by the computer as function commands instead of letters.

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Now this thread is taking the correct approach. Also stresses the importance of ergonomics and efficiency. +1 on both last two comments.

So you have experimental evidence that arranging the keys in a grid is more ergonomic? That it makes touch typing easier and faster?

 

Can you provide a reference to this research?

I have to ask the same question. studies are crucial. Edited by Mordred
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It's becoming more practical every day to test new keyboard layouts as more people use "keyboards" that are arbitrarily adjustable.

If the "keys" are areas of a touch screen, then you can lay them out however you please.

You still need to get people to "learn" them, but that's the same for any new layout.

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So you have experimental evidence that arranging the keys in a grid is more ergonomic? That it makes touch typing easier and faster?

 

Can you provide a reference to this research?

I have no research to provide. In fact we need a research about ergonomics in general. IMHO a lot of "ergonomics" are BS. The human body is so much adaptive that it can play piano forte, violin, keyboards, drive a car or an helicopter after learning. Without learning less can be done.

My point above was that when new products are been created, the arrangements of the keys are not conditioned by ancient technology (I thought it has been shown previously that the vertical misalignment was caused by the mechanical arms of the keys and NOT by ergonomics).

 

AND I find it outrageous the say that "Alphabetical order has no purpose. It's an arbitrary arrangement of faint historical value". I cannot even believe someone gave +1 for that. Where do you come from guys?????

Edited by michel123456
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I have no research to provide. In fact we need a research about ergonomics in general.

 

 

Then perhaps you should find (or do) some before deciding to design a new keyboard.

https://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=keyboard+ergonomics

 

 

 

IMHO a lot of "ergonomics" are BS.

 

So you haven't seen any research but you think it is BS. That is barely rational.

 

 

 

The human body is so much adaptive that it can play piano forte, violin, keyboards, drive a car or an helicopter after learning.

 

Don't forget that most of those designs have evolved over time based on the ergonomics of using them.

 

 

 

My point above was that when new products are been created, the arrangements of the keys are not conditioned by ancient technology

 

There are a range of different products which depart from the "ancient technology":

http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/ahtutorials/ckd.htm

 

 

 

(I thought it has been shown previously that the vertical misalignment was caused by the mechanical arms of the keys and NOT by ergonomics).

 

That may be true, but it doesn't mean that a regular grid is more ergonomic. If anything, the little evidence I have seen suggests that an even less linear arrangement is better.

 

 

 

AND I find it outrageous the say that "Alphabetical order has no purpose. It's an arbitrary arrangement of faint historical value". I cannot even believe someone gave +1 for that. Where do you come from guys?????

 

I can't see why you think that is so outrageous. It is very obviously true. And it seems plausible that a more ergonomic layout would make the most frequently used keys (etaoinshrdlu, for English, I think) the easiest to reach.

 

OK. The outrageous thing is "faint" historical meaning, when in fact the order has been preserved with little change from the original Egyptian writing system that Semitic scripts evolved from.

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