QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM – If you ever ask why do keyboards come in qwerty..bnm format, then this article should be a good read for you. The Qwerty keyboard has been around for centuries, and people are not in a hurry to change into other layouts anytime soon.
It was a layout that was created to prevent keys from getting stuck to each other. However, it is not the only key in existence. There are other keyboard layouts that you can use. The two most popular layouts at the time of this article was written are Dvorak and Colemak layouts.
Why Do Keyboards Come in QWERTY Format?
Have you take a long look at your keyboard and ask yourself why do keyboards come in QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM format? If you are ever the questioning soul and you are truly curious of the reason for it, then you have come to the right article, fellows.
Below is an information that you will certainly cherish if you ever find yourself asking the question that is being discussed in today’s topic.
Talking about history first
Not many people know the significance of the QWERTY keyboard because not many of them are bothered to learn of it. For those who already know, the QWERTY keyboard has been around for like centuries.
Back when typewriters were invented, the inventors used to put the keys alphabetically (they used abcde instead of qwerty). This kind of format, however, was somewhat ineffective because some people typed too fast the mechanical thingy behind the keyboard got stuck, hence making the keys stuck to each other.
Now this kind of thing is not acceptable at all. Typewriters were created to increase productivity, and having typewriter keys stuck to each other is not productive at all. Hence the reason why those inventors decided to switch the layout from ABCDE to QWERTY, making it less likely for the mechanical thingies underneath the keys from getting stuck.
More specifically, they introduced the QWERTY layout back in 1873, which is definitely a long, long time ago.
Time changes many things, but QWERTY is not one of them
Time goes on and typewriters evolved. First, they got manual typewriters that are heavy and cumbersome. Next came the electronic typewriters, typewriters that is a bit modern, cooler, and sleek compared to typewriters of yore.
Computers, with their colourful display and ease of use, made typewriters irrelevant when they were invented. When physical keyboards were getting out of date, virtual keyboards and touch-screen keyboards (as seen in many smartphones), started to rise.
It would not be long before keyboards entered the virtual reality, making it possible for you to type without having a physical object at all.
Technology changes many things in our lives. It can make everything easier, it can complicate certain things, and it can make things that seemed impossible turn possible. Typewriters turned to touchscreens, and so many other improvements out there. The one thing that never changes is QWERTY.
If you take a look at the many typewriters created after 1873, you will see that it got a QWERTY layout. If you look at the first computer keyboards, it will have a QWERTY layout. If look at your smartphone and bring the keyboard up, it will have a QWERTY layout.
QWERTY is everywhere, and unless you are living in a country that does not use the normal alphabet, there is a high chance that your keyboard will be manufactured using that most common layout. There is no escaping such layout, folks.
Why do people insist on using that layout?
Simply because there is this thing called muscle memory, and muscle memory is not exactly an easy thing to change. Muscle memory comes from habit, and because our ancestors are used to using QWERTY keyboards, that would mean their younger kin would be taught with QWERTY layout as the base.
It is the standard in which all keyboards were created, and it would be a long time before someone changes that.
That does not mean that layout is the sole layout available
While the qwerty layout is the standard, that does not make it the only keyboard layout available in the market. For you computer geeks (especially those with a penchant for keyboards), you would understand that there are other layouts other than the standard layout being used. What are those layouts?
The layouts in the talk are Dvorak and Colemak layouts. These two unique layouts are vastly different than qwerty because of many things, and if you are interested in learning more about them, you can simply read down below:
Dvorak keyboards are keyboards that were patented by a bloke called August Dvorak (go figure). Nicknamed the Dvorak simplified keyboard by the owner of the patent, Dvorak keyboards are different from the qwerty ones on the base that it shifted the keys around.
While Qwerty keyboard keys are positioned that way to prevent typewriter mechanical keys from getting stuck to each other, Dvorak keyboard keys are positioned in a way to help increase efficiency.
Dvorak keyboards put the commonly used keys on the topmost rows while demoting the least used keys to the bottom row. Dr Dvorak thought that this kind of thing would increase efficiency for those willing to learn of it. Some people argue that Dvorak keyboards are the best keyboards because it makes them type faster.
The second kind of keyboard layout is the Colemak keyboards. Created by a person by the name of Shai Coleman (again, go figure), this layout is probably the youngest layout out of the three. Invented back in 2006, Colemak keyboards are not that different from QWERTY. Yes, Coleman keyboards make 17 changes to the position of the keys, but the other keys are left untouched.
Just like the Dvorak one, people using the Colemak keyboards argue that it is a more efficient keyboard compared to Qwerty.
With people claiming Dvorak and Colemak being more efficient, should you switch?
No, probably not. You see, when it comes to typing things, muscle memory plays a bigger part when compared to keyboard layouts or any other factors. If your hands are already used to typing in Qwerty keyboards, then there is no point in switching to Colemak or Dvorak. By switching to another layout, you will also need to re-attune your muscle memory. It can be a time-consuming thing to do, especially if you are not that quick of a learner.
The best time to switch keyboard layout is when you are a child or when you are not being bothered by other things (jobs, family, or even your leisure time). If you are already used to Qwerty, there is no fault in sticking with it for the rest of your life. Hope this answers your question on why do keyboards come in qwerty..bnm format, dear fellows.