Using the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard to Design Business Products

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A lot of times we get so stuck up on making things look pretty, instead of making things useful. I know I'm guilty of this. To design things, I've learned, is to first create a skeleton of it before putting the skin on it (or, to make it look pretty). That is, first make it useful; then beautify it afterward. Around the early 1920s, an alternative to the widespread QWERTY keyboard was produced--called the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard. The Keyboard focused on ease of use, as compared to the QWERTY keyboard's difficult structure. I ran across Wikipedia's entry about the theory behind the construction and usefulness of the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard:
It is easier to type letters alternating between hands. For maximum speed and efficiency, the most common letters and digraphs should be the easiest to type. This means that they should be on the home row, which is where the fingers rest. Likewise, the least common letters should be on the bottom row, which is the hardest row to reach. The right hand should do more of the typing, because most people are right-handed. It is more difficult to type digraphs with adjacent fingers than non-adjacent fingers. Stroking should generally move from the edges of the board to the middle. An observation of this principle is that when tapping fingers on a table, it is easier going from little finger to index than vice versa. This motion on a keyboard is called inboard stroke flow.
The usability-first mindset behind the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard should give you a jumping point to create and design your business products.

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Posted on May 08

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