Using Sequential Data Analyses To Determine The Optimum Layout For An Alternative Keyboard


The standard QWERTY keyboard was developed over a hundred years ago. It is suspected to be involved in repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). To reduce and eliminate many of the movements that are suspected to contribute to CTS, a new type of alphanumeric input based on the chording concept was designed. This AID-CTS keyboard is an alphanumeric input system that uses a pair of devices each comprised of an inverted dome upon which the hands rest. As a chordal device, the AID-CTS keyboard typing methodology entails creating a keystroke via a combination of positions of the two domes. The purpose of the current study was to determine a new character layout that would reduce the ergonomic impact of typing further. Two studies were conducted. In Study 1, we analyzed two-letter sequences using sequential, multi-way frequency analyses and established a listing of the most important two-letter transitions. In Study 2, we created a number of competing character layouts and analyzed them regarding their ergonomic impact. The studies resulted in an optimum layout that minimizes arm and wrist movements.

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Publication Title

Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

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Document Type

Article; Proceedings Paper

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Socpus ID

0442310950 (Scopus)

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