Patented by August Dvorak in 1936, the Dvorak keyboard layout proposed a new way of typing based on the way that humans typically work, as opposed to the needs of mechanical typewriters (the reason QWERTY was originally designed).
Dvorak places the most commonly used letters on the second row, referred to as the ‘home row’ because it was where a person’s fingers typically sat. All the vowels are on the second row, while the sparsely-used Q and Z keys are placed on either side of the third row.
The layout was also designed on the principle that people should type from the edge of the keyboard inwards, as it’s apparently easier to switch from your little finger to your index finger than vice-versa.
If you’ve ever wondered whether the Dvorak keyboard
really is the superior layout that it was claimed to be, then there’s an easy way to try it out for yourself. After all, your keyboard is just a mechanical rack of buttons that’s controlled by Windows. If you have a spare keyboard up on the shelf then it’s usually easy enough to transform it into a Dvorak keyboard.
The Dvorak keyboard layout