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  • 7x4: A 4-Row Unified Desk&Phone Keyboard Layout Concept.

    7x4: A 4-Row Unified Desk&Phone Keyboard Layout Concept.

    • Started by cevgar
    • 3 Replies:
    • Reputation: 4
    • Registered: 04-Feb-2010
    • Posts: 149

    I had an idea a couple years ago, then forgot about. Figured I'd post it here and trade any goodwill I had left on this forum for people to hear me out.
    Tried to cut out the BS and make it quick and painless to get through with a hopefully logical progression. Let me know if I succeeded.
    Note: Unlike many of my other projects, this is not layout agnostic. There is no Colemak here.


    Problem:

    DESK-QWERTY
       | ` |  1 |  2 |  3 |  4 |  5 |  6 |  7 |  8 |  9 |  0 |  - |  = |  BSp |
       | Tab |  Q |  W |  E |  R |  T |  Y |  U |  I |  O |  P |  [ |  ] |  \ |
       | Caps |  A |  S |  D |  F |  G |  H |  J |  K |  L |  ; |  ' |  Enter |
       | LShift |  Z |  X |  C |  V |  B |  N |  M |  , |  . |  / |  RShift   |
    
    
    PHONE-QWERTY
       |Q W E R T Y U I O P|
       | A S D F G H J K L |
       |Sh Z X C V B N M BS|
       |#? , * -SPACE- . EN|
    
    
    To Scale Size Comparison (RL keyboard and RL phone)
    D:Y1 |  Q |  W |  E |  R | From top of key.
      Y2 \----\----\----\----\
      Y3  |  A |  S |  D |  F | To bottom of key.
       
       
    P:Y1 |Q|W|E|R|T|Y|U|I|O|P|
      Y2 ||A|S|D|F|G|H|J|K|L||
      Y3 |Sh|Z|X|C|V|B|N|M|En|

    Observation: THAT'S STUPID!

    Proposal: Fix Aspect Ratio.

       |<---Phone Width--->| Keys
       S/Sh=Shift B/Bs=Backspace 
       #?=Symbols *=Settings
       Rt=Return
    
      Qwerty
       |q w e r t y u i_o_p|  10
       | a s d f g h j k_l |   9
       |Sh z x c v b n m Bs|   9
       |#? , * -SPACE- . Rt|   6
    
      4-Row Qwerty
       |q  w  e  r  t  y  u|   7
       |a  s  d  f  g  h  j|   7
       |z  x  c  v  b  n  m|   7
       |S  i  o  p  k  l  B|   7
       |#? , * -SPACE- . Rt|   6

    Observation: Bigger keys, but suboptimal.

    Proposal:  Optimize with Keyboard Layout Project.

      7x4 MPL Duo Phone
       |S  b  w  k  j  q  B|   7
       |m  p  l  d  u  o  f|   7
       |r  n  s  t  a  e  h|   7
       |z  x  c  v  i  g  y|   7
       |#? , * -SPACE- . Rt|   6

    Observation: Device specific layouts are a pain.

    Proposal: Hold my beer.

      Qwerty simplified diagram
       1 2 3 4   5 6   7 8 9 0   - = B
       q w e r   t y   u i o p   [ ] \ 
       A S D F   g h   J K L ;   ' R 
       z x c v   b n   m , . /   S
    
      7x4 MPL Duo Desk simplified diagram
       ; b w k   - = 0   j q [ ]   \ B 
       m p l d   7 8 9   u o f ,   ' / 
       R N S T   4 5 6   A E H .   R
       z x c v   1 2 3   i g y S 
    
      7x4 MPL Duo Desk 
       | ` |  ; |  b |  w |  k |  - |  = |  0 |  j |  q |  [ |  ] |  \ |  BSp |
       | Tab |  m |  p |  l |  d |  7 |  8 |  9 |  u |  o |  f |  , |  ' |  / |
       | Caps |  R |  N |  S |  T |  4 |  5 |  6 |  A |  E |  H |  . |  Enter |
       | LShift |  z |  x |  c |  v |  1 |  2 |  3 |  i |  g |  y |  RShift   |

    Observation: Symbol key locations questionable, number row may need adjustment and putting the bwk line on the bottom as a thumb row probably makes more sense. Also your naming sense still sucks.

    Other Observations: A 'Text Art' style code block where one could use monospace fonts AND colors would be awesome.


    If this caught your interest feel free to come up with your own 7x4 Layouts.

    Also, what are people using for image hosting these days?

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    • 0
    • Reputation: 183
    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 5,236

    Observation: The big problem is that keys are small and tapping too much is uncomfortable.

    Observation: Layout similarity between physical keyboard and touch screen is at best a visual aid, motor memory does not apply.

    Observation: Input systems for touch screens should be optimized for use on touch screens, not shoehorned into them from physical keyboard layouts.

    Proposal: Dedicated touch screen input applications based on a combination of taps and swipes together with ways of alleviated the strain of hitting small keys (bigger keys or other tricks) win out. Good examples are MessagEase and Nintype.

    https://dreymar.colemak.org/typing-tricks.html#swiping

    Last edited by DreymaR (20-Jun-2022 08:44:17)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    • Reputation: 4
    • Registered: 04-Feb-2010
    • Posts: 149

    Gosh darnit DreymaR, stop being so reasonable!

    Just to play devil's advocate, couterpoints.

    On Button Size and Muscle Memory:
       Two-handed touchtyping on a tablet is not unfeasable. I've got a iPad with a 9.7" screen I can do passably well with, and that has the 11 column layout. The extra size and space from reduced columns would only make it easier.

       Actually, I was pretty dismissive of this layout idea myself so never bothered to try it, but it isn't too awful on a phone. Obviously it isn't swype optimized, but I did a quick mockup with Keyboard Designer for Android. Portrait mode worked as well as expected, button size ended up about the same as Typewise keys. The interesting part was that I could manage 7 finger typing in landscape mode on a 6" screen. Granted the keyboard took up about 70% of the display...
       
       *sigh* I wish Samsung could have finished SelfieType.
       
       Anyways, I did discover that the 7x4 layouts might work better if the center column is not used as part of the home row, for hand seperation. So a 7-column six-finger layout, with L.Pinkie dedicated to Shift.
       
    On Visual Aid Only:
       I think I'm going to have to outright disagree here. While the 'muscle memory' doesn't carry, the familiarity does. I try to write as little as possible on my phone, but I can blind-swype (eyes on text box, thumb on keyboard) with far better accuracy than my limited usage should allow.


    BTW: Also, it makes a passable alternative to the Dvorak One-Handed Layouts.

      Dvorak One Handed Right simplified diagram
       1 2 3   4 j l m f   p / [ ] \ B  
       5 6 q   . o r s u   y b ; =
       7 8 z   A E H T D   c k - R
       9 0 x   , i n w v   g ' S
    
      7x4 MPL Duo Mono Desk simplified diagram
       - = 0 ; b   w k j q [   ] \ B
       7 8 9 m p   l d u o f   , ' /
       4 5 6 r n   S T A E H   . R
       1 2 3 z x   c v i g y   S
       

    Obviously, covering that angle would require reweighting of opimization goals. SO, a different 7x4 layout.

    Speaking of optimization, the numbers aren't as bad as one would think. Distance, Same Finger, Rolls, etc. - it all falls, at worst, within a dozen percentage points of Dvorak. I was honestly surprized.

    Last edited by cevgar (21-Jun-2022 16:39:55)
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    • Reputation: 183
    • From: Viken, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
    • Posts: 5,236

    Reasonable, me? Perish the thought!   ̄(=⌒ᆺ⌒=) ̄

    I've noticed that while I know which keys are where on the keyboard, most people don't. Their fingers "know it", but they couldn't necessarily tell me where, say, the H key is without actually typing it. So you and me may have worked so much with layouts that this kind of familiarity with the layout is something we can take for granted but many don't actually have! Just a note.

    Last edited by DreymaR (22-Jun-2022 20:43:31)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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