After getting proficient with the Colemak layout I got somewhat disappointed in what it promised to deliver. The finger-rolling magic wears off as soon as you move away from the English language and I was hoping it would transition well into other typing variants (Swedish, Italian…). That being said, it was yet again that my curiosity got the best of me as I wasn’t ready to go back to the old querty layout. So, I took a look at the next alternative layout I had in the list (and it was either Colemak or Dvorak to begin with).
It’s important to note that Dvorak is also primarily aimed for the English language but the alternating way of typing makes it pleasant to use with other languages too, as all vowels are located on the left side of the keyboard (aoeui).
Ok, that all sounds great but what about getting good at typing in Dvorak? The learning curve follows the same process I had with Colemak (read about that in a previous post). The only difference I noticed was that I was slightly faster and less prone to errors compared to the aforementioned layout.
The one week practice investment got me up to 37 wpm with a total of 5 hours keyboard typing time.
I’d like to emphasize that I’m not looking for typing speed as much as typing comfort and Dvorak is truly relaxing to type. I’ve also noticed that the learning process was much faster compared to Colemak but that is entirely subjective and YMMW.
My reflections so far? I’m sticking with it. I tried to use it over long typing sessions with different languages and I didn’t get that tiring sensation as with the old querty layout.
Copy, paste, cut and undo mechanics? These seem the main problem for some but I’m using a programmable keyboard so no issues with the common shortcuts.
The whole keyboard layout quest has been a fun and educating journey. I’ve learned a lot about ergonomics and the importance of it for your hands. As someone who makes a living working on a keyboard, keeping healthy hands for a lasting career is imperative. Sadly it’s a topic not commonly discussed among fellow typists. It gets attention mostly when someone can’t type anymore on a regular keyboard due to RSI, carpal tunnel issues, finger numbness etc.
I would also like to note that this should be an individual exploration task. Something that works for me, will unlikely fit your typing needs.
I do need to put a side note here, Colemak is great, but it’s not for me. It just didn’t fit my needs. If you type only in English, I would highly recommend it. It’s really a joy to type with but for me… it’s team Dvorak.