Submitted by Pipedreamergrey
The diagram below is a mock-up based on my current Dell keyboard. I created the diagram in Photoshop. It isn't perfect, or even to scale, but it gives you an idea of what I'm talking about. I've dubbed it "The Commonsense Qwerty: Mark 1".
There are three main advantages to this design:
- Typing is easier now that there is no need to search for the Delete key or turn off the Caps Lock.
- When using keyboard controls for gaming, such as in WoW or Entropia, the game is never interupted when the player's fingers accidently slip onto the Windows or Application keys.
- With the additon of an Equal key and an Application button to the righthand keypad, either page navigation or spreadsheet data entry is simplified, depending on whether the Number Lock is on or off.
1. I've left the core of the Qwerty keyboard in tact because altering the layout would mean relearning how to type.
2. I've replaced the Tab key with another Delete key. With this addition, your fingers need never leave the main body of the keyboard while typing.
3. Removing the Caps Lock Key was the first thing I did. I moved the Caps Lock function to a recessed switch on the left hand side of the keyoard. Most people will never have a reason to use the Caps Lock, but if the need should arise (as in graphic design), it only takes a little more effort to activate. In the mean time, it's not likely to be activated accidently. Replacing the Caps Lock key with an Alt key was the most difficult decision I faced in this design. I ultimately decided on using an Alt key rather than a Shift or Control key for three reasons:
- Accidently hitting Alt won't effect a message or document that's being typed quickly.
- Alt + F4 and Alt + Ctrl + Del can now both be hit in one stroke of the left hand.
- Removing the Alt and Windows keys from the bottom left and right hand corners makes it easier to hit the Control key when using keyboard shortcuts.
4. I've placed Tab keys on either of the space bar because the functions of the two keys are similar. The other alternative I would consider is placing one Tab key to the left of the space bar, then extending the space bar further to the right. I've increased the height of the space bar to make it easier to distinguish from the Tab keys.
5. I've left the Alt and Control keys at the bottom right hand corner of the keyboard for easy access to keyboard shortcuts.
6. I moved the Application key to the keypad. It makes sense to have it there when you're using the keypad to navigate files and folders.
7. I moved the Number Lock function to a recessed switch on the right hand side of the keyoard, just like the Caps Lock. I then replaced the Number Lock key with the logical addition of an Equal sign on the keypad. Now, your fingers don't need to leave the keypad when performing calculations or entering formulas into spreadsheets.
8. I've moved the Windows key up with the other System keys. The reasoning behind this is simple. I hate it when a game or chat session is interupted when I accidentally hit the Windows key. I've never found it necessary to casually hit the Windows key with my thumb while my fingers are poised on home row, so I don't know why the Windows key is at the bottom of the keyboard in the first place.
9. With the addition of a Delete key to the main panel of the keyboard, these six buttons become superfluous. These buttons could still be included or the keys could be removed to make room for other features, such as audio controls or customizable hotkeys.
10. The Lock Indicator Panel could be left where it is, since the Caps Lock and Number Lock can still be activated with switches. My preference, however, is to replace this panel with small leds on the edge of the keyboard just above the switches. By led, I mean those small lights used for power indicators on the front of laptops. The Scroll Lock Indicator is replaced with a small led mounted on the top edge of the keyboard above the Scroll Lock key. By removing the Lock Indicator Panel, it makes even more room is for other features such as audio controls or customizable hotkeys.