Carpalx optimizes keyboard layouts to create ones that require less effort and significantly reduced carpal strain!
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Chances are you don't know anyone who types on Dvorak. This is unfortunate because Dvorak significantly reduces typing effort and the likelihood of typing-related injuries.
As the popularity of typewriters increased, with a commensurate increase in the number of typists, another layout appeared to mitigate the discomfort inherent in QWERTY. The new Dvorak layout significantly changed the face of QWERTY, placing all the vowels on home row and mapping them to each of the fingers of the left hand in the "aoeui" conformation (replaces "asdfg"). Punctuation on the Dvorak keyboard is moved from the inaccessible bottom-right hand corner of the keyboard, serviced by the inherently weak pinky on the QWERTY keyboard, to the more open top-left corner where the "qwer" keys are found. There are variety of other international and modified keyboard layouts, well described by the Dvorak Wikipedia page.
Relocating the vowels to the same hand reduces typing effort because (a) using fingers of the same hand in succession is associated with a higher effort and (b) only about 5% of adjacent letter pairs in words are both vowels (I found 210,903 adjacent vowel pairs out of 4,024,964 letter pairs in a list of 483,523 words).
The Dvorak layout is closer to the optimal English layout than you might think. Putting it another way, you may be surprised just how inefficient QWERTY is. Dvorak reduces effort by 25% over QWERTY. It has a significantly lower base effort component (related to finger travel distance), less than half of QWERTY.
For programmers, there is the Programmer Dvorak Layout, in which some of the punctuation and symbol characters have been remapped from the traditional Dvorak layout.
|Dvorak typing effort - english corpus|
|model||keyboard||total effortrel%||effort contributionsrel%|
However, the radical Dvorak layout is not necessary to enjoy a reduction of typing effort. By swapping 5 pairs of keys on QWERTY produces the QWKR** layouts which rival Dvorak's effort reduction. Some of the QWKR** layouts are even better than Dvorak.
Detailed statistics for typing usage on Dvorak, when compared to QWERTY, illustrate just how different finger, row and hand utilization can be between two layouts.
First, Dvorak is very good at keeping fingers on home row - 71% of keystrokes land there (compare this with 34% for QWERTY). This alone is worth the price of admission. Dvorak bottom row usage is very low at 9% (15% for QWERTY). Dvorak favours the right hand by 14% (QWERTY favours left by 15%). Dvorak has more uniform finger usage and makes greater use of the pinky (18% vs QWERTY's 10%).
The cumulative run statistics illustrate Dvorak's strength in alternating hands. 62% of successive keystrokes on Dvorak do not use the same hand (rh(0)) and 88% of adjacent keystrokes use the same hand at most once (rh(1)). In contrast, with QWERTY only 51% of successive keystrokes do not use the same hand and only 76% use the same hand at most once. QWERTY forces the typist to use the same hand repeatedly, which limits the amount of rest and increases effort.
Dvorak's preference for the use of the right-hand give it longer right hand runs with only 47% of keystrokes that use the right hand being followed by use of the left hand (61% for QWERTY). The corresponding statistic for the left hand is reversed, with Dvorak at 76% and QWERTY at 42%.
|carpalx effort optimization||keyboard name||statistics||effort|
|rowh||rowb||hand asym||finger freq||cumulative run distribution||mod_01|
|0.71||0.09||-0.14||0.18 0.21 0.26 0.34||
|0.34||0.15||0.15||0.10 0.21 0.27 0.42||
Using the typing effort model described in Carpalx - Typing Effort, I ranked 6-12 character words by their corresponding effort (effort is normalized to word length) using a dictionary of 480,000 words (/usr/share/dict/words, Red Hat 4 Enterprise). Below is a table that shows sets of words representing effort percentiles.
|DVORAK MOD_01 ENGLISH Word Efforts|
|7.0||hardest||razzly8.2 razzle8.1 laszlo7.5 lazzaro7.4 balzac7.2 zsazsa7.2 frazzle7.1 dazzle7.1 sozzly7.1 allvar7.0 salazar7.0 sozzle7.0 lazaro6.8 zizzle6.8 lazary6.8 lazars6.8 valval6.8 lazare6.7 lallan6.7 zavalla6.7 vallar6.7 zavala6.7 valvar6.7 plazas6.6 alazor6.6|
|3.3||90%||baleys3.3 farouk3.3 groves3.3 lasiocampa3.3 lordkin3.3 maccabaws3.3 plasticized3.3 policymaker3.3 spongillafly3.3 transflux3.3 villenage3.3|
|2.9||80%||amylenes2.9 axiniform2.9 bankruptlike2.9 buhlwork2.9 craftsman2.9 gabardines2.9 jumbling2.9 precollude2.9 trilit2.9 unexpressly2.9 universalian2.9|
|2.7||70%||bradycauma2.7 casimere2.7 denaturalize2.7 enervative2.7 fawcett2.7 inglobing2.7 pessaries2.7 rebored2.7 roberts2.7 rumored2.7 trancelike2.7|
|2.5||60%||bugbears2.5 farhand2.5 flotorial2.5 fogscoffer2.5 matric2.5 micrergate2.5 oolith2.5 ostracine2.5 ostracise2.5 reillustrate2.5 washdown2.5|
|2.3||50%||croqueted2.3 defile2.3 fiddleys2.3 fuglemanship2.3 interlocal2.3 pageboys2.3 suborder2.3 tribadism2.3 unapplauding2.3 unconvoluted2.3 unenviable2.3|
|2.1||40%||bookers2.1 branniest2.1 castigators2.1 dannock2.1 disulphone2.1 expatriated2.1 iscariotic2.1 laurencia2.1 reguluses2.1 stiffer2.1 supersexes2.1|
|2.0||30%||biddelian2.0 chinookan2.0 cornetists2.0 festilogies2.0 foveated2.0 kristianstad2.0 methodology2.0 minicourse2.0 rhysimeter2.0 subjected2.0 sumphish2.0|
|1.8||20%||beeregar1.8 bodhisattva1.8 discerp1.8 enacting1.8 fedity1.8 hatchetback1.8 nonsubtle1.8 scientific1.8 tersenesses1.8 torturer1.8 yachats1.8|
|1.6||10%||announcer1.6 autotrophy1.6 condensity1.6 currentness1.6 equation1.6 hakeems1.6 headring1.6 respondency1.6 shepherdage1.6 skeeter1.6 strother1.6|
|0.3||easiest||teethe0.1 teethy0.2 theins0.2 teethes0.3 teuthis0.3 teethiest0.3 hettie0.3 outhue0.3 theiss0.3 huehuetl0.3 teethed0.3 theist0.3 teethier0.3 teether0.3 outheel0.3 teethers0.3 teetee0.3 unheed0.3 ethion0.3 theism0.3 teihte0.3 duetto0.3 outhear0.3 outtear0.3 unteethed0.4 hoehne0.4|