I work for a company called Automattic, which is very much pro-alternate keyboard use. Dvorak in particular is commonly accepted as the way to go. Perhaps the biggest Dvorak evangelist I’ve ever met is Matt, who incidentally is also the founder of Automattic.
After reading the Dvorak zine and hearing only good things about making the switch (relieves your muscles, speeds up typing, is more ergonomic) I’ve decided to switch. I tried once before, but this time I’m going to go full out and compare results.
Something I struggled with last time around was having to constantly try and remember where the keys are, and looking at an on-screen keyboard to know what I was typing proved to be painful. So this time I’ve actually relocated all the keys on my external keyboard. Looking at the keys was how I learned qwerty back in the days, and since I now never look at the keys I figure it should work and not be too big of a detour.
I currently have an average of 73 words per minute on Typeracer.com. Can I get to an average above 90 in 1 months time using a Dvorak keyboard?
Good luck but don’t sweat it. It’s not as if you have to type fast to be a good designer, right?
Right, all I really need to learn are the Photoshop keyboard shortcuts 😉
I’ve been using the Dvorak layout since I was about 13 or 14 and can happily switch back and forth from qwerty, especially to my phone and back as the 3rd party Dvorak apps I’ve found have been terrrrible and pretty much useable. Have you noticed that if you don’t type for along time though, it’s hard to get the speed back?
Also, have you ever found a hardwired Dvorak keyboard? So you can just plug it into any computer via USB and it will work without changing any settings? I’ve yet to find one but really want one.
Another interesting fact, because of the way I learnt, is that with qwerty I don’t really use proper technique, I just use one or two fingers with my right hand, and most of my fingers with my left, but with Dvorak I’m typing with the ‘correct’ fingers for the correct letters.
Are you still using it to this day?