The QWERTY keyboard made its appearance 140 years ago in 1873 on the first typewriter by Sholes & Gliddon and manufactured by E. Remington & Sons (Yes, the gun manufacturing company).
Christopher Sholes was the main guy behind this machine, and he arranged the letters the way they are so that frequently used letters weren’t placed next to each other. Look down. How far apart are each of the letters for the word “Name”? This was done to avoid mechanical difficulties.
Today, we don’t have that problem. Yet we still keep the QWERTY layout. It might be because we’re used to it or it might be because we hate change. Did you know that the DVORAK keyboard has keys listed according to frequency of use, is more ergonomic than the QWERTY keyboard and claims to increase speed, reduce errors and risk of repetitive strain injury?
My Human Factors Design professor once said, “If you ever find yourself thinking, ‘Humans have made as many advancements in technology as is possible’, just look down at your keyboard and know that that’s not true.”
Professor Jamieson is a classy guy.