see Keyboards

“Man must shape his tools lest they shape him” – Arthur Miller

Why your computer’s keyboard mostly looks like a 100 year old typewriter, why this is bad and what you can do about it

If you look at the keyboard of your current computer, it very much resembeles the keyboard of this 1907 typewriter. Quite a lot of design constraints reached into the original design. These constraints (mostly) don’t apply today, but we are still limited by them.

For most of us, the keyboard is still the most important tool to enter information into computers. We use keyboards constantly. Therefore it makes sense to optimize this daily used tool. [quote]

Why does it still look this way?

This part is explained rather quickly. In the early 20th century, the typewriter was informaly standardized, almost all typewriters looked more or less the same. Therefore most typists were used to typewriters and keyboards looking the original standardized typewriter which led to people buying more typewriters and keyboards looking alike. The circle continued. This concept is called path dependence.

Why is it bad?


QWERTY is a terrible layout

Different Keyboard Layouts

Dvorak, Colemak Bepo, Neo2


Buy another keyboard!

This is the section that potentially might become expensive.

Our arms don’t come out of our breasts

Split Keyboard layouts

Our finger joints move better forward and backwards then sideways

Linear, staggered keyboards