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Thoughts on "The Ultimate Ergo Keyboard"... for YOU

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OK, I've read a lot of great posts and opinions on various ergonomic keyboards - both real and imagined - and people's remapping of various keys and rethinkings of finger-to-key assignments.

Figured I'd start a thread for discussions on how you would lay out a keyboard if you were making your ultimate design.

Obviously, we have our QWERTY, Colemak and Dvorak proponents - and possibly ARENSITO and other layouts as well, but I was thinking more in terms of ignoring those distinctions and focussing on how you would lay out the various sections of the board - letters, numeric pad, function keys, cursor control keys, various modifier keys (shift, ctrl, alt, meta etc) - and why.

If you'd prefer your pointing device integrated with the keyboard, then mention that too.

My ideal design would remove the duplicates of shift, ctrl, alt and meta and just have one of each, other suggestions I've read on here have certain letter and number keys duplicated so they can be used by either hand as required.

For my part, I'd want the right and left sides separated and adjustable so that they can be positioned at the most comfortable angle and location.

Number pad would be separate and to the right, cursor control keys would be located on the left so I can navigate around spreadsheets with my left hand and enter numbers with my right.

Shift, Alt and Ctrl keys would be controlled by thumb so all my fingers are free to hit the letter and number keys while the modifier key is pressed - left thumb so I will be able to shift-click or ctrl-click while my right hand is using the pointing device.  Space and Meta key would also be under the left thumb.

Backspace, Tab, Enter, Caps lock and Context menu keys can go under the right thumb.

Additional punctuation (square brackets, \, ~ etc) would be arranged around the letter and common punctuation keys in such a way that the pinkies do not have to reach more than one key to the side - unlike conventional layouts that expect you to reach up to three keys to the side.

Would put the function keys close to the top row of the main keyboard for ease of access.

Del key would be on the left hand side near the ctrl and alt keys to allow the "Vulcan Nerve Pinch".

Scroll lock would be omitted.

Ideally, I'd like to incorporate a thumb-controlled trackball with scroll wheel into the right-hand side so I don't have to move my hand a great distance to move the pointer - honestly, if I could move the pointer by mind control or train my feet to do it, I'd do so... due to the software we have to use at work, my right hand switches between keyboard and mouse at an alarming rate.

So, what are your thoughts on the ideal ergo board for you?

Using opposite hands for the modifier and the key is a fundamental tenet of ergonomics. Using the thumbs more is good, but you have to account for combining modifiers.

I might take this old idea of mine but split it into three parts. I would try to do something different with the ten navigation keys - the traditional 6+4 arrangement is so well known it may be worth preserving even though it isn't 100% logical.

--- Quote from: Hubbert;162368 ---Using opposite hands for the modifier and the key is a fundamental tenet of ergonomics. Using the thumbs more is good, but you have to account for combining modifiers.
--- End quote ---

I think I would apply this principle to a trackpoint too. Left hand operates buttons, right hand controls mouse movement. Or vice versa. Or duplicate everything on both sides (extravagant, but covers all tastes.)

Most interesting ergonomic designs do away with traditional notion of layout keyboard, like say Datahand, or 3D layout in Maltron and Kinesis Advantage and non-staggered rows in Datadesk and TypeMatrix.

As far as traditional keyboards, Colemak maps backspace key to caps lock - I find that to be a big improvement. But beyond that I don't think traditional layout could be improved much. Like spacesaving designs without numpad and such - they have their place, but all in all just another spin on the same old.

>>> Scroll lock would be omitted.

 - would not do that. A lot of KVM switches rely on it to switch between PCs. I use all day long.

And I would not mess with punctuation keys either, although even with Colmak they are a bit of a nuisance when you doing programming, but I don't want to learn another layout just for programming.

As far as pointing devices - trackpoint is pretty good, and integrated trackball could be useful, though right now I use roller mouse that is placed right bellow the keyboard and I like it a lot. Most often though, I just use keyboard shortcuts and a full size trackball with my left hand when I need to mouse around.


--- Quote from: Rajagra;162396 ---...duplicate everything on both sides (extravagant, but covers all tastes.)
--- End quote ---

IBM had a concept design of this, IDK if they ever implemented it. Saw it earlier on one of their archive sites.


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