Kvikk layouts

Kvikk is set of low effort Scandinavian keyboard layouts. Comparing to standard layouts they increase home area usage, reduce bottom row usage and cross row jump frequency, improve load distribution between hands and fingers, reduce frequency of same finger usage, facilitate inward rollovers and reduce finger movement distance.

Layouts are result of Carpalx optimization involving 29 letters and three most common punctuation characters (full stop, comma and hyphen). Position of punctuation characters was fixed, but they were taken into account in calculation of typing effort and influenced optimization process on all stages.

Due to large number of possible letter permutations (namely 29!) evaluating each and every configuration was not feasible and simulated annealing was used to look up optimal configurations.

Carpalx report with essential keyboard stats is available for all layouts. All statistics including frequency distribution is based on Norwegian (also Nynorsk), Danish, Swedish and English wikipedia articles. 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. Word reports are available for some layouts.

Layouts are named after ten finger letter assignment pattern (consonant|vowel|none) that emerges in optimization process. In all layouts only left middle and index fingers are responsible for vowels.

Bokmål layout

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.

Nynorsk layout

Carpalx typing effort is 1.642. Significantly lower then QWERTY, Dvorak and Colemak.

w j u o å p m g h c q ⟵ 19.8%
l r e a i k n t s d v ⟵ 74.3%
x z ø y æ b f , . - ⟵ 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.

Danish layout

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

It is somewhat close to Bokmål layout reflecting similarity in frequency distribution.

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.

Swedish layout

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

Typing effort is linked to corresponding Carplax report.

🖮 Layout 🔤 Language 🚞 Typing effort 🏠 Home row usage (%) 🖐🖑 Hand balance (%)
Bokmål Bokmål 1.627 74.2 52:48
Nynorsk 1.647 73.9 53:47
Danish 1.676 74.3 51:49
Swedish 1.783 71.4 51:49
English 1.853 68.4 52:48
Nynorsk Bokmål 1.628 74.4 52:48
Nynorsk 1.642 74.3 53:47
Danish 1.710 73.4 51:49
Swedish 1.798 72 51:49
English 1.886 66.9 52:48
Danish Bokmål 1.638 74.2 52:48
Nynorsk 1.661 73.9 53:47
Danish 1.673 74.3 51:49
Swedish 1.768 71.4 51:49
English 1.869 68.4 50:50
Swedish Bokmål 1.672 74.2 51:49
Nynorsk 1.712 73.9 52:48
Danish 1.692 74.3 51:49
Swedish 1.738 71.4 51:49
English 1.863 68.4 56:47

XKB configuration

Carpalx optimized configurations can be used as drop-in replacement for unoptimized letter base in existing Scandinavian layouts.

Kvikk XKB configuration is a good example of such usage. It combines Kvikk optimizations with symbols imported from standard Norwegian, Danish and Swedish layouts.

Linux users can unpack it and copy configuration file to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/ directory: sudo cp kvikk /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/kvikk Bokmål layout can be selected with setxkbmap kvikk and set as default as localectl --no-convert set-x11-keymap kvikk pc105 Nynorsk layout can be selected with setxkbmap kvikk -variant nn and set as default as localectl --no-convert set-x11-keymap kvikk pc105 nn Danish layout can be selected with setxkbmap kvikk -variant da and set as default as localectl --no-convert set-x11-keymap kvikk pc105 da Swedish layout can be selected with setxkbmap kvikk -variant sv and set as default as localectl --no-convert set-x11-keymap kvikk pc105 sv

In all layouts scroll lock can be used to switch between äö⇄æø groups.

September 26, 2020. Giorgi Chavchanidze.