On Labour Day, there was a new keyboard layout released for the person who types all day. We’re all familiar with QWERTY, and some of us have heard of Dvorak and Colemak. Our European counterparts use an AZERTY or QWERTZ config because their languages use different letters more often compared to English. QWERTY was developed to keep typewriters from jamming, so commonly used letters were placed far apart. It’s terribly inefficient, and it’s ruining our lives.
The Workman Layout is designed with finger strength, length, and Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) in mind. QWERTY forces a person to stretch their fingers and hands, and our fingers travel around twice the distance compared to the Workman. It’s taking four times as long for me to type this post, but I’m already starting to see some of its clever efficiencies. There’s a great balance between moving commonly used letters to better positions, finger mobility, and not moving letters around too much. Some letters are moved to enhance same hand use (SHU) as well. The offset grid complicates the typing experience, so a different keyboard like the TypeMatrix 2030 is better for your hands.
Observe this analysis of typing up Moby Dick on the four different layouts.
Every keyboard has its nuances, but this layout is a total trip. I’m going to see where this goes. Read the article for a good head scratcher.