Friday, 8 November 2013

Keyboards and Cuba…

A little bit late this time, but I have an excuse.  I took a trip for reading week to Cuba. I am posting this from the hotel lobby. I am late because I lost track of time when I was on the beach.  Not a very good excuse, but it is the truth.

It is funny that when you have an open topic, it is the most difficult to create a topic to discuss. I suppose I will just bring up a topic that has been on my mind for a potential research topic for discussion. I am a user of the Dvorak keyboard layout, and I have been interested in examining the use of different keyboard layouts among people. The Dvorak keyboard is a keyboard layout that was designed to be easier to type with than the standard QWERTY layout used by most computers. The reason is that the QWERTY layout was not designed to be ergonomic for the user, but to minimize typewriter jams (on old typewriters the bars that would imprint the letters would sometimes cross if the typist press certain keys in quick succession). So, the QWERTY layout is an example of a legacy format that is no longer relevant. The Dvorak layout was designed without typewriters in mind, and was focused on the user instead. It is supposed to allow users to type faster, and reduce strain, though is claim has been debated since the creation of the layout.

I started to use the layout out of interest, and I had to retrain my touch typing skills from using the QWERTY layout. I wanted to examine the experience of the users of the different layouts, and how people adapt to switching between the different layouts.  There has already been research done in this area, but I would like to see what I would be able to contribute to, and what areas would need further investigation.

This is just an idea that I have had, and I am still thinking on how to pursue it.

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