Typing effort

Keyboard layout efficiency depends on many factors, among them home area usage, vertical load distribution across rows, horizontal load distribution between hands and fingers, frequency of same finger and same hand usage, finger movement distance, cross row jump frequency and inward/outward rollover frequencies.

To simplify picture one can resort to notion of typing effort — single property that effectively takes into account above mentioned factors. It is based on typing model introduced by Carpalx project and is used for comparison, evaluation, improvement and optimization of keyboard layouts.

Basic stats

Carpalx report with essential keyboard stats is available for selected layouts. Only letters and three most common punctuation characters (full stop, comma and hyphen) are taken into account. Other characters are ignored. Norwegian (including Nynorsk), Danish and Swedish wikipedia data dumps were used as reference text. Frequency distribution is based on the same source. Ten finger distribution takes into account last letter frequencies and assumes that opposite hand's thumb is responsible for space bar. While eight finger distribution is calculated without taking into account spaces.

QWERTY layouts

QWERTY is dominant layout in Scandinavia. Danish layout differs from Norwegian and Swedish ones by order of ø̈æ̈ letters.

Norwegian QWERTY

Carpalx typing effort is 2.917 which is far from optimal, but better then baseline.

q w e r t y u i o p å ⟵ 48.9%
a s d f g h j k l ø æ ⟵ 34.8%
z x c v b n m , . - ⟵ 16.3%

Row distribution is also far from optimal, which is not unusual for QWERTY based layouts.

Finger distribution

Layout is asymmetric, left hand is used more frequently, which is typical for QWERTY layouts.

Danish QWERTY

The main difference from Norwegian QWERTY is order of øæ letters, as æ is less frequent in Norwegian texts placing it in home area would be less optimal.

Carpalx typing effort is 2.876 which is again far from optimal, but better then baseline and better then corresponding values for Norwegian and Swedish.

q w e r t y u i o p å ⟵ 46.7%
a s d f g h j k l æ ø ⟵ 36.9%
z x c v b n m , . - ⟵ 16.4%

Row distribution is inefficient, which is not unusual for QWERTY based layouts.

Finger distribution

Layout is asymmetric, left hand is used much more frequently.

Swedish QWERTY

Carpalx typing effort is 2.998, a bit worse then corresponding values for Danish and Norwegian, but on pair with baseline.

q w e r t y u i o p å ⟵ 42.1%
a s d f g h j k l ö ä ⟵ 40%
z x c v b n m , . - ⟵ 17.9%

Row distribution is still not optimal, like in most QWERTY based layouts.

Finger distribution

Layout is asymmetric, left hand is used more often.

Dvorak layouts

There are at least two Scandinavian Dvorak layouts. The main difference between two is placement of ø̈æ̈ letters.

Norwegian Dvorak

Carpalx typing effort is 2.465, better then QWERTY but still rather high, both comparing to other optimized layouts and comparing to baseline.

å , . p y f g c r l ⟵ 24.2%
a o e u i d h t n s - ⟵ 62.4%
ø æ q j k x b m w v z ⟵ 13.4%

Row distribution is much better then in QWERTY.

Finger distribution

Layout is asymmetric, right hand is used more frequently, which is typical for Dvorak layouts.

Svorak

Carpalx typing effort is 2.677, better then QWERTY but still rather high, both comparing to other optimized layouts and comparing to baseline.

å ä ö p y f g c r l , ⟵ 27.8%
a o e u i d h t n s - ⟵ 60.2%
. q j k x b m w v z ⟵ 12%

Row distribution is much better then in QWERTY.

Finger distribution

Layout is asymmetric, right hand is used more frequently, which is typical for Dvorak layouts.

Arensito layout

Layout is created for ergonomic keyboards, below is ISO approximation.

Carpalx typing effort is 2.162 which is not optimal, but better then QWERTY and Dvorak.

q l , p # & f u d k æ ⟵ 20%
a r e n b g s i t o ø ⟵ 69.9%
å z w . h j v c y m x ⟵ 10.1%

Row distribution is good.

Finger distribution

Right and left hands are used equally often.

Nordtast layout

Nordic flavour of German Nordtast.

Carpalx typing effort is 2.301 which is not optimal, but better then QWERTY and Svorak.

ä u o b p k g l m f x ⟵ 28.7%
a i e t c h d n r s ⟵ 64.1%
. , å ö q y z w v j ⟵ 7.2%

Row distribution is good.

Finger distribution

Right and left hands are used equally often.

Norwegian Programmer's Keyboard

Norwegian keyboard layout for programmers.

Carpalx typing effort is 2.064 which is still not optimal, but better then QWERTY and Dvorak.

q w d u f y j k l : å ø æ ⟵ 20.9%
a s e t g h r i o p ⟵ 62.7%
z x c v b n m , . - ⟵ 16.3%

Row distribution is comparable to Dvorak.

Finger distribution

Horizontal distribution is also good.

Fahller layout

Swedish keyboard layout suitable for programming.

Carpalx typing effort is 2.209 which is not optimal, but better then QWERTY and Svorak.

w y u b ä k m s h f ⟵ 24.3%
o i e a å v t r n l z ⟵ 62.7%
. , j x ö g d c p q ⟵ 13%

Row distribution is good.

Finger distribution

Layout is asymmetric, right hand is used more frequently.

Colemak layouts

Scandinavian Colemak flavours are more consolidated comparing to QWERTY and Dvorak. Order of ø̈åæ̈ is not language specific.

Norwegian Colemak

Carpalx typing effort is 1.878, very promising and close to baseline.

q w f p g j l u y ø å ⟵ 18.3%
a r s t d h n e i o æ ⟵ 69.3%
z x c v b k m , . - ⟵ 12.4%

Row distribution is good.

Finger distribution

Layout is asymmetric, right hand is used more frequently.

Swedish Colemak

Carpalx typing effort is 2.054.

q w f p g j l u y ö å ⟵ 17.4%
a r s t d h n e i o ä ⟵ 69.3%
z x c v b k m , . - ⟵ 13.3%

Row distribution is good.

Finger distribution

Layout is symmetric.

Kvikk layouts

Low effort Scandinavian keyboard layouts.

Kvikk Bokmål

Carpalx typing effort is 1.627, much lower then QWERTY, Dvorak and Colemak.

w j u o ø f k m h c q ⟵ 19.3%
l r e a i d t n s g v ⟵ 74.2%
x z å y æ b p , . - ⟵ 6.6%

Row distribution is good. Almost ¾ of text is typed from home row.

Finger distribution

Layout is symmetric, most of the load is handled by fast index and strong middle fingers.

Kvikk Danish

Carpalx typing effort is 1.673, much lower then QWERTY, Dvorak and Colemak.

x j u o æ f k m h c w ⟵ 18.9%
l r e a i d t n s g v ⟵ 74.3%
q z ø å y b p , . - ⟵ 6.8%

Row distribution is good. Almost ¾ of text is typed from home row.

Finger distribution

Layout is symmetric, most of the load is handled by fast index and strong middle fingers.

Kvikk Swedish

Carpalx typing effort is 1.738, still much lower then QWERTY, Svorak and Colemak.

x c o ä u h k m b j w ⟵ 20.7%
l r a e i d t n s g v ⟵ 71.4%
q z å ö y f p , . - ⟵ 7.8%

Row distribution is good.

Finger distribution

Layout is symmetric, most of the load is handled by fast index and strong middle fingers.

Comparison

List of Scandinavian layouts. Typing effort is linked to corresponding Carplax report.

🖮 Layout 🔤 Language 🚞 Typing effort 🏠 Home row usage (%) 🖐🖑 Hand balance (%)
QWERTY Bokmål 2.917 34.8 59:41
Nynorsk 2.898 36.9 58:42
Danish 2.876 36.9 61:39
Swedish 2.998 40 58:42
Dvorak Bokmål 2.465 62.4 44:56
Nynorsk 2.557 62.1 46:54
Danish 2.474 62.1 43:57
Swedish 2.829 60.2 43:57
Svorak Bokmål 2.427 62.4 44:56
Nynorsk 2.524 62.1 45:55
Danish 2.421 62.1 42:58
Swedish 2.677 60.2 42:58
Arensito Bokmål 2.162 69.9 51:49
Nynorsk 2.283 69.1 50:50
Danish 2.192 67.8 50:50
Swedish 2.454 66.5 48:52
Nordtast Bokmål 2.075 64.1 49:51
Nynorsk 2.189 63.8 49:51
Danish 2.073 64.3 48:52
Swedish 2.301 64.1 49:51
Norprog Bokmål 2.064 62.7 52:48
Nynorsk 2.113 62.7 52:48
Danish 2.150 60.9 54:46
Swedish 2.432 59.2 51:49
Fahller Bokmål 2.061 65.9 40:60
Nynorsk 2.041 66 41:59
Danish 2.153 63.6 40:60
Swedish 2.209 62.7 37:63
Colemak Bokmål 1.878 69.3 45:55
Nynorsk 1.971 69 47:53
Danish 1.898 69.7 47:53
Swedish 2.054 69.3 50:50
Kvikk Bokmål 1.627 74.2 52:48
Nynorsk 1.642 74.3 53:47
Danish 1.673 74.3 51:49
Swedish 1.738 71.4 51:49
🖮 Layout 🔤 Language 🚞 Typing effort 🏠 Home row usage (%) 🖐🖑 Hand balance (%)

Word reports

Selected layouts are accompanied by word report — list of medium sized words sorted by typing effort.

🖮 Layout 🔤 Norwegian 🔤 Danish 🔤 Swedish
QWERTY 0.89-6.32 0.94-6.36 0.98-6.32
Colemak 0.13-5.78 0.13-5.63 0.13-5.59
Kvikk 0.26-4.6 0.26-4.87 0.16-5.69

Character frequency

Character frequency (%) in Scandinavian Wikipedia articles.

Character Norwegian Danish Swedish
Bokmål Nynorsk
e15.75413.34515.89710.065
r8.538.5958.4878.7
t8.1867.7797.1197.944
n7.9377.447.3068.089
s6.4726.1635.9496.916
i5.9246.6615.9045.502
a5.7198.1555.7179.156
l5.1414.8245.0454.928
o5.0255.014.7384.204
d4.0954.2216.074.442
k3.813.9523.13.248
g3.6673.6784.042.773
m3.2953.4083.183.452
v2.5322.782.4862.923
f2.091.9772.7892.075
p1.921.8951.4871.746
b1.611.1821.7281.505
u1.5971.7151.6061.715
h1.271.1171.4211.796
å1.2171.4520.8991.365
.0.8570.8730.8480.772
ø̈0.7940.7660.7821.356
j0.7521.1090.4560.538
y0.7410.8610.6620.577
,0.6790.7110.9650.519
æ̈0.2030.1420.8872.137
-0.0790.0850.0930.058
c0.0770.0730.2841.289
w0.0110.0120.0210.018
z0.0110.0150.020.019
x0.0050.0040.0140.167
q0.0020.0020.0020.005
Character Bokmål Nynorsk Danish Swedish
Norwegian

September 26, 2020. Giorgi Chavchanidze.