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Typing with a two-hand chord keyboard: will the QWERTY become obsolete?

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2 Author(s)
D. Gopher ; Technion-Israel Inst. of Technol., Haifa, Israel ; D. Raij

The cognitive and motor difficulties of acquiring a touch-typing skill are analyzed. It is proposed that poor cognitive structure is a main source difficulty in the acquisition of typing skills. Experiments are described with a two-hand chord keyboard designed to provide an efficient alternative to the existing standard QWERTY keyboard. The system is based on simpler and more powerful cognitive and motor organization principles. It comprises two panels of five keys, one to each hand. Characters are entered by pressing together combination of keys. The system enables fast skill acquisition, with subjects reaching rates of 30-35 words per minute after 20 h of training. With 60 h of training, subjects can reach entry rates close to 60 words per minute. There is no negative transfer from the new skill to an existing typing proficiency.<>

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 4 )