qwerty - the right order

Did you ever wonder why the letters on the keyboard are in the order they are? The reason for QWERTY goes way back. This order was chosen to reduce the probability that mechanical typewriters' hammers would get entangled. Over time, typewriters were replaced by computers. Though various alternative keyboard layouts have been developed from a user-centred perspective, to enable more comfortable and faster typing, the QWERTY layout remains the standard today. Once a technology has become the norm, it seems to take on a certain aura of authenticity. To supplant it, an alternative must be significantly better.

From our Fake for Real series.

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  • DVORZAK hey? I knew there was music in the alphabet!

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  • Even if alternatives are significantly better, it can be hard to stray from the path of such renowned standards. Since I write a lot of code, I have tried using the DVORZAK layout in the past. This layout exists already since 1932 and enables one to type 150 to 200% faster than in QWERTY. After a steep learning curve, it's pretty doable learning it (although you feel like an analphabetic turtle during the first week). But then the problem arises. You're finally used to your new system and want to write a quick mail at a friend's house. Disaster. Concluding, you can improve your own use of technology, but trying to start a revolution on your own is very frustrating.

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