Industrial designer and UX specialist Corey Stone makes an excellent point: The QWERTY keyboard was designed in 1873 for typewriters, so it is absurd that we have grafted them onto smartphones. And since we're typing with our thumbs now, any time savings gained by the QWERTY layout (meant for ten-finger usage) is completely lost; you probably know that the original QWERTY layout was designed to have letters commonly written together spaced further apart, to avoid the mechanical problem of having metal keys too close to each other causing a jam.
So Stone has done something about it, designing the HERO keyboard. According to his research, nine keys are used 80% of the time, so those go in the center of the innermost circle of his layout and are rendered the largest. And with no mechanical jamming to be concerned about, it makes more sense to have commonly-juxtaposed letters placed close to each other. Here's what it looks like in action:
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"You can drag across adjacent letters for even faster entry," Stone writes, "and the main view always includes a comma, period, !, ?, #, & and @ for quick access, while the Number view has a convenient keypad layout."
Stone is selling the HERO keyboard as an app for 99 cents.