The standard typing finger layout is dumb

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#1
edit - I am not talking about key layout, guys. I am talking about finger layout.

Attempting to improve my typing skills by learning traditional touch typing techniques. I can already touch type, but not 'properly' - I only use my pinkies for shift, ctrl and enter etc. right now, not any of the standard keys. I'm adequately fast like this, but I want to get faster.

So using the ol' Typing Of The Dead for training and it, like most typing schools, suggests this finger layout:


(image sourced from this article, which put into words everything I was thinking: http://www.onehandkeyboard.org/standard-qwerty-finger-placement/
Now, this is fine and makes perfect sense until you get to the lower row for the left hand (ZXC). What is this unnatural garbage? Unless I'm missing some amazing hand technique, it's asking you to curve your hand inwards to hit the keys correctly. This flies straight in the face of the simple fact that (going from fingertip to wrist) your hands will be naturally curving outwards unless you have the frame of one of those broomsticks from the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

I've never understood how people get strain from long sessions of typing, but if they've been doing this, I might finally know.

Surely it is both easier and less damaging to your wrists to have this layout:


(image sourced from this article, which put into words everything I was thinking: http://www.onehandkeyboard.org/standard-qwerty-finger-placement/)
No inward hand claw, just completely ergonomically viable typing.

So Touch-Typing-Expert-GAF, am I wrong? Am I missing something here?
 
#3
The standard QWERTY keyboard layout was designed to slow your typing or some shit so you don't jam mechanical typewriters.

Newer versions which will probably never ever catch on, are far more efficient.

 
#4
You know, I actually had to slow down and pay attention to what fingers I was using to hit X, Z, C. And I actually seem to use my ring finger for both X and Z, and use my forefinger for C.

I don't think there's anything wrong with making minor adjustments to find an arrangement that is more comfortable for you, anyway.

The standard QWERTY keyboard layout was designed to slow your typing or some shit so you don't jam mechanical typewriters.

Newer versions which will probably never ever catch on, are far more efficient.

If I weren't so used to Qwerty I might try Dvorak.
 
#6
I could never get into "proper" typing technique. Instead, I know where the keys are and move my hands all around the keyboard, moving relatively to whatever I typed last.
I can't imagine it would be comfortable to stay in one place all the time. It's like trying to play Guitar Hero by stretching to hit the orange button with your pinkie every time. Move your hand!
 
#7
The standard QWERTY keyboard layout was designed to slow your typing or some shit so you don't jam mechanical typewriters.

Newer versions which will probably never ever catch on, are far more efficient.

I'm not talking about the keyboard layout, but the finger layout. I'm going to assume that even with that modified keyset, the finger placement is still the classical way as seen in the first image of the OP?
 
#11
Not entirely related, but I have to ask.

I remember seeing a comedian on Jay Leno and he was talking about the keyboard layout and how it made no sense. I searched many times, but could never find it :( if some knows who I'm talking about...
 
#12
See how F and J have a small raised bit on them? Put your index fingers there.
I know that. That's easy and makes sense. I'm talking specifically about the Z, X and C keys. 'Proper' thought says they should be hit, in order, by pinkie, ring, then middle fingers. This is horrifically unnatural.
 
#14
I've never ever used that. I just type... no technique. I know exactly where every key is. I'm sure most people do aswell. It's just automatic.
 
#15
I remember having to use typing learning software at school, and it never helped one bit. It's such a counter-intuitive thing to think about how you're typing on top of what you're typing.

Shortly after I left school, I started using MSN Messenger, and could type ridiculously quickly not long after that.
 
#18
I know that. That's easy and makes sense. I'm talking specifically about the Z, X and C keys. 'Proper' thought says they should be hit, in order, by pinkie, ring, then middle fingers. This is horrifically unnatural.
for me, z = ring, x = middle and c = index, I rarely use my pinkie to type since it's weak as shit and you'll rarely need to use those three letters in any quick order
 
#19
I remember having to use typing learning software at school, and it never helped one bit. It's such a counter-intuitive thing to think about how you're typing on top of what you're typing.

Shortly after I left school, I started using MSN Messenger, and could type ridiculously quickly not long after that.
i learned how to type using irc. pretty sure most people learn via the internet
 
#20
Another quirk: the 6 key is closer to the F and the J, yet it's meant to be hit by the right hand all the same. At least this one isn't potentially RSI inducing.

I've never ever used that. I just type... no technique. I know exactly where every key is. I'm sure most people do aswell. It's just automatic.
Sure, that's what I've been doing. But it's factually slower than the standard way. The standard way makes a lot of sense bar zxc.
 
#22
Have you tried using different fingers?
Yes. I switched to the method outlined in the second image as a more natural way. It works much better. I'm just really curious and confused as to why the first image became the standard way. I'm wondering if perhaps I am doing something wrong.
 
#23
I know that. That's easy and makes sense. I'm talking specifically about the Z, X and C keys. 'Proper' thought says they should be hit, in order, by pinkie, ring, then middle fingers. This is horrifically unnatural.
I've always used my ring, middle, and index fingers to hit those keys respectively. Pinky is reserved for the shift key.
 

Staccat0

Fail out bailed
#24
I wish that all that time wasted learning cursive had been spent practicing typing instead. By the time we started learning how to type properly in school, I already had bad habits.

As for the OP, the inward pinkie thing has always bugged me. It might honestly have been at the root of some of my laziness.
 
#26
I just use what's in the OP chart. Z and X aren't the most ergonomic keys ever positioned, but they're also pretty unpopular keys in the alphabet (which I assume is why those are the two keys that got the short stick for that location).

EDIT: On second though, I'm not sure what that's referencing. I put my index fingers on the F & J nubs and hold position from out there. Not sure if the OP is more "crawled" than that. Aside from having to be a little slower, like Mumei said, on z and x, I don't have any issues with the standard positioning. Z and X were definitely not placed there by accident.

And a google search shows that Z is the least popular letter in the English alphabet. Figured as much. And that's why it earned the worst button position.
 

Relix

he's Virgin Tight™
#28
The standard QWERTY keyboard layout was designed to slow your typing or some shit so you don't jam mechanical typewriters.

Newer versions which will probably never ever catch on, are far more efficient.

Burn that in the fiery pits of hell for all eternity
 
#29
I've used dvorak for 10 years. Took me a summer as a kid to transition and get near my qwerty speed.

There's a layout called Colemak nowadays that's supposedly easier to learn for qwerty people, and most shortcuts are the same.

 
#31
I never had any kind of typing lessons in school (I'm 34).

Really wish I'd have learnt when I was a bit younger. It's really annoying having to constantly look at the keyboard to see what I'm pressing.
 
#36
They tried to force the home key shenanigans on us in middle school, I never got it then and I still dont today, still stick mainly to the pointer, middle, and ring finger on both hands and just kind of adjust as I need to.*shrug*
 
#40
I actually do think it is interesting how it places the most commonly used keys on homerow, though Computer is right that there is no solid proof about the supposed superiority of Dvorak.
There is lots of solid proof that Dvorak is better than QWERTY.

On one hand you have the more theoretical proof. Dvorak is preferable over QWERTY according to various metrics (e.g. how much you have to move your fingers). There are a couple of sites that deal with that. keyboard layout analyzer or carpalx

One the other hand there's proof in the form of real-world speeds. According to studies Dvorak is somewhere between 5% and 15% faster than QWERTY. It just takes a lot of time to change the layout and reach those speeds.
 
#41
I apparently use my index finger for both c and v, and my ring finger for x. I rarely type z but I think I use my pinky for it. Middle finger gets no bottom row action. It's probably the same for my right hand. I don't ever think about it anymore, apart from when doing numbers because I'm rubbish at them. I've been able to touch type for probably the best part of 20 years - we didn't have any games on our PC when I was a kid so I used Mavis Beacon to keep me entertained.
 
#42
There is lots of solid proof that Dvorak is better than QWERTY.

On one hand you have the more theoretical proof. Dvorak is preferable over QWERTY according to various metrics (e.g. how much you have to move your fingers). There are a couple of sites that deal with that. keyboard layout analyzer or carpalx

One the other hand there's proof in the form of real-world speeds. According to studies Dvorak is somewhere between 5% and 15% faster than QWERTY. It just takes a lot of time to change the layout and reach those speeds.
My recollection was that there wasn't really solid proof that switching to Dvorak improved your typing speed--though as you said it does ergonomically make sense--but maybe that's changed in the past few years. In general, you're not going to run into any physical limitations with the regular QWERTY layout regardless--I don't know of any job that requires typing speeds in excess of 100 wpm, which is easily attainable on QWERTY. For those concerned about carpal tunnel and finger stress, there are far more unorthodox layouts available that avoid the 'push' finger motion altogether.
I can type 60-70 words a minute using the two-index-finger technique. I'd probably be a beast if I actually used all of them.
I think someone did a study and found that two-finger typing maxed out around 40 wpm, but I could be totally off on that. I'd love to see a demonstration video.
 

teh_pwn

"Saturated fat causes heart disease as much as Brawndo is what plants crave."
#45
The standard QWERTY keyboard layout was designed to slow your typing or some shit so you don't jam mechanical typewriters.

Newer versions which will probably never ever catch on, are far more efficient.

First memory metrics took away the power of 2 and now this? Stay away from my computers.
 
#49
OP makes an excellent point. I won't ever be able to switch, but that would be a lot more comfortable.

I don't understand why the keys are still offset. Like I'm pretty sure they had to be that way for the mechanical stuff to work on keyboards, but why didn't we straighten that shit up once we got computers?
 
#50
I can type 82 words per minute in English and 88 words per minute in French.

Using an AZERTY keyboard.

What I've realized is that I barely use my right ring finger and pinky, which is annoying.
 
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