Balanced keyboard layouts and comparisons

keyboard
[This page last updated on November 22, 2008.]


BFUCK  (a joke layout inspired by arensito layout)
jlmgz bfuck
irstonedha
q(.)p vwxy'

Amuseum layout -- a more serious layout (targets coders and IT) [somewhat tested]
7 9513= /2046 8$\    (SHIFTED) ` @{?%+ *&!}| ^#~
  ",whm gcu.- zj     (SHIFTED)   :<WHM GCU>_ ZJ
  soenl dtair q      (SHIFTED)   SOENL DTAIR Q
  '(yvk bpf)x        (SHIFTED)   ;[YVK BPF]X

Balanced layout -- symmetrical; shifts moved up (try on Kinesis)
 7 9513= /2046 8\    (SHIFTED) ` @{?%+ *&!}| ^~
 q ",whm gcu.- $     (SHIFTED) Q :<WHM GCU>_ #
   soenl dtair q     (SHIFTED)   SOENL DTAIR
 z '(yvk bpf)x j     (SHIFTED) Z ;[YVK BPF]X J

Balanced V layout -- vowels on one hand like Dvorak and Klausler
7 9513/ =2046 8\     (SHIFTED) ` @[?%* +&!]| ^~
z ',up- flc." $      (SHIFTED) Z ;<UP_ FLC>: #
  oaeid rhtns        (SHIFTED)   OAEID RHTNS
j k(ygb vmw)x q      (SHIFTED) J K{YGB VMW}X Q

	
Notes:
  1. Home row contains the 8-10 of the 12 most common letters in English.
  2. Punctuation at top closer to numbers, e.g. for typing IP addresses and decimal numbers.
  3. Optimized for both text and code based on all available buttons, not just the main 3x10.
  4. Close to (my) ideal finger percentage: 8, 9, 14, 19; 19, 14, 9, 8.
  5. Each hand gets equal load. (Others claim this but still favor the right hand.)
  6. Distance about 60% of QWERTY.
  7. Pinkies should do less work. (Again, others claim this but right pinky still gets about 14-25%, depending on context. My layout uses right pinky 8-11% of the time. One reason for high pinky is due to the physical keyboard itself. Regular keyboards have more buttons near the right pinky. Most don't consider punctuation placement a worthy pursuit. AltGr is not an option because that conflicts with international layouts.)
  8. Uses more home row than top row and bottom row. Home row should get 50+% percent of the work. And number row considerably less.
  9. Numeric keys similar to Dvorak classic. Odd numbers on left hand, even on right.
  10. Other keyboard designs: Shift keys should be moved up to home row. Keys should be mirrored left to right (i.e. current keyboards have more keys on right side for punctuation), not slanted and not overburden the right hand pinkies. Space not take up that much space. Tab, Backspace and Enter at thumbs. Ctrl and Alt keys, too, should move to thumbs. Split up and concave down like Kinesis brand of keyboards. Middle of the board holds a trackpad, mouse and scroll buttons, and utility keys (home, pgup, cut, paste, select all, etc.), and perhaps toggleable numpad.
Some sample text and code to copy and paste into applet (About 3.8MB, 95% text, 5% code). Letter popularity based on this sample file shown in the following table. Digram popularity shown in the digram page.

Letter Popularity:

space e t a i o n s r h l d c u lf/cr p m f
14.17% 9.18% 7.02% 5.65% 5.50% 5.42% 5.20% 4.74% 4.45% 3.98% 3.23% 3.10% 2.21% 2.15% 2.10% 1.91% 1.90% 1.82%
g w y , tab b . v " > k < ' ( ) - / _
1.69% 1.41% 1.35% 1.31% 1.27% 1.18% 0.89% 0.69% 0.59% 0.56% 0.55% 0.53% 0.47% 0.37% 0.37% 0.34% 0.32% 0.24%
x ; = 1 0 ! j q z 2 : ? + 3 & [ ] {
0.23% 0.23% 0.22% 0.11% 0.10% 0.10% 0.09% 0.09% 0.09% 0.08% 0.08% 0.07% 0.06% 0.06% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.04%
} 4 5 6 8 7 9 | % * # \ ~ $ @ ^ `
0.04% 0.04% 0.04% 0.04% 0.03% 0.03% 0.03% 0.02% 0.02% 0.01% 0.01% 0.01% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00%

Applet below compares various known and (my) experimental layouts. Lower scores in the rightmost column are better.

References

Resources