Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Breakdown of the QWERTY Home Row vs. Dvorak home row

Posted by Michael Dickens on January 13, 2008

Because it’s better, I’ll start with the Dvorak home row: aoeuidhtns. I will rate each letter from 1 to 7, 1 being the worst possible and 7 being the best possible.

Letter frequency for quick reference: etaoins (everything you type has 50% these letters) rhldcu ( 75%), mfpg (84%), wybvkxjqz

A: 6. More common than U, so might work better under the index finger, but the current positioning is fine.
O: 7. Third most commonly typed vowel (4th most common letter) under third strongest finger.
E: 7. Most common letter under strongest finger.
U: 5. Good positioning, but least common vowel so it should switch with i.
I: 5. See U.
D: 7. Common consonant, but not as common as t, n, s, r, or h.
H: 7. Less common than n, but well positioned to make digraphs (2 letter combos) such as ch and th easy.
T: 7. Most common consonant under strongest finger.
N: 7. Second most common consonant under third strongest finger. Not in many digraphs, so not under index finger.
S: 7. Fifth most common consonant under fourth strongest finger. R is not on the home row, but is still easy to press. Plus, s is used in sh.

Now for QWERTY.

A: 6. Same as Dvorak.
S: 5. Could be worse. S is a common letter.
D: 4. D should not be under the strongest finger, but it could be worse as d is fairly common.
F: 3. This isn’t good; f is not very common.
G: 4. Slightly less common than f, but in a harder to type position. Should not be on the home row.
H: 5. This is a bit too common to be in the middle, but it’s not bad.
J: 1. This is the most terrible thing ever. The second strongest finger has the THIRD LEAST COMMON letter.
K: 1. As bad as j. The 5th least common on the strongest finger.
L: 4. L is too uncommon to be on the home row.
semicolon: 1. The semicolon is barely used.

The Dvorak has a 7 for almost everything, and nothing less than 5. QWERTY averages at 4. You get the point.

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One Response to “Breakdown of the QWERTY Home Row vs. Dvorak home row”

  1. Kelly Dickens said

    This is an interesting analysis.

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