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Breakdown of the QWERTY Home Row vs. Dvorak home row

January 13, 2008 1 comment

Because it’s better, I’ll start with the Dvorak home row: aoeuidhtns. I will rate each letter from 1 to 7, 1 being the worst possible and 7 being the best possible.

Letter frequency for quick reference: etaoins (everything you type has 50% these letters) rhldcu ( 75%), mfpg (84%), wybvkxjqz

A: 6. More common than U, so might work better under the index finger, but the current positioning is fine.
O: 7. Third most commonly typed vowel (4th most common letter) under third strongest finger.
E: 7. Most common letter under strongest finger.
U: 5. Good positioning, but least common vowel so it should switch with i.
I: 5. See U.
D: 7. Common consonant, but not as common as t, n, s, r, or h.
H: 7. Less common than n, but well positioned to make digraphs (2 letter combos) such as ch and th easy.
T: 7. Most common consonant under strongest finger.
N: 7. Second most common consonant under third strongest finger. Not in many digraphs, so not under index finger.
S: 7. Fifth most common consonant under fourth strongest finger. R is not on the home row, but is still easy to press. Plus, s is used in sh.

Now for QWERTY.

A: 6. Same as Dvorak.
S: 5. Could be worse. S is a common letter.
D: 4. D should not be under the strongest finger, but it could be worse as d is fairly common.
F: 3. This isn’t good; f is not very common.
G: 4. Slightly less common than f, but in a harder to type position. Should not be on the home row.
H: 5. This is a bit too common to be in the middle, but it’s not bad.
J: 1. This is the most terrible thing ever. The second strongest finger has the THIRD LEAST COMMON letter.
K: 1. As bad as j. The 5th least common on the strongest finger.
L: 4. L is too uncommon to be on the home row.
semicolon: 1. The semicolon is barely used.

The Dvorak has a 7 for almost everything, and nothing less than 5. QWERTY averages at 4. You get the point.

Categories: Keyboards