darkSku11: We don’t use all the keys with similar frequency while typing. In English ETA are the most used alphabets so ETA are pressed more times than other letters.
In the past age of mechanical keyboards and typewriters, when two keys which are next to each other are pressed it caused typewriters to jam
To prevent this the most used letters are placed far and requires one to alternate hands which reduced jamming of the keys and lesser used keys(like X) are placed at tricky positions which are not so easy to reach.
Other keyboard layouts also exists like Dvorak and workman which are suitable for typing in other languages than English.
**ALSO** Contrary to the popular belief QWERTY layout was not designed to slow the typist but rather to speed up typing by reducing jams and alternating hands(which is a desirable trait for good speed).
flashyrabbit: The arrangement of characters on a QWERTY keyboard was designed in 1868 by Christopher Sholes, the inventor of the typewriter. According to popular myth, Sholes arranged the keys in their odd fashion to prevent jamming on mechanical typewriters by separating commonly used letter combinations.
malwayslooking: It harks back to mechanical keyboard days.
If you type too fast, the keys will jam.
So, some of the most common keys are placed in a relatively awkward position, to help control typing speed.
Now it’s just traditional.
There are keyboards with other layouts available, including some wild designs. However, instances of carpal tunnel appear to increase when people use the faster layouts, so it may be for the best that QWERTY is still the English standard.
RkLJackets: a keyboard is actually designed to make typing speed slower. The reason for this is because of typewriters.
Back when they were first invented typewriters used alphabetical layout. The problem with this was that people would get too fast at typing and get the moving parts on a typewriter stuck.
So a bunch of smart people came up with the qwerty layout that was designed to make people type slower. The way they designed it is characters that would normally be typed together are placed further away from each other.
And now the layout has just stuck so people really haven’t bothered to change it.
There are different layouts out there that are designed for specific use cases. There’s one that is technically the most efficient. It would just take time to learn and memorize.
henstepl: It was smart when we had typewriters that could jam.
Then, typewriters became well-designed enough to not jam often, and a very smart guy named Dvorak created the Dvorak layout, which is demonstrably better. Every computer operating system supports Dvorak. But few people bother to learn it.
Later, the jamming of a keyboard became a meaningless concern, as they moved to wholly electronic mechanisms without an integrated printer, as the keyboards we know and love. And a rather smart guy came up with Colemak, which is based off of QWERTY (so as to be easier to learn) and actually better than Dvorak, according to statistical analyses more plausible than those available to Mr. Dvorak, who didn’t have a computer. I use Colemak. It’s great. But you have to install software for it if you are a Windows user.
The arrangement of the keyboard by the alphabet is not smart, because the alphabet has not been arranged very smartly except perhaps for teaching kids how to sing it, so they can learn it. You don’t need to sing the keys off of your keyboard. What you need is for the most comfortable keys to be the most useful. Yours are probably ASDF JKL; (yes, a useless semicolon). Mine are ARST NEIO. Mine’s better.