View Full Version : Dvorak Swipe

12-14-2009, 12:08 AM
Swipe is amazingly fast. I think I could go even faster if I could switch the key layout to Dvorak.

12-14-2009, 6:53 AM
Thanks for your suggestion, currently we are only releasing a QWERTY keyboard layout but we are always looking for new ideas for the future.

03-08-2010, 6:10 PM
I'd like to second this!

04-26-2010, 8:20 PM
I would like to strongly second this suggestion -- please add the dvorak layout! Qwerty is extremely non-intuitive to me after having used dvorak for about a decade. This slows me down when using swype.

05-17-2010, 8:44 PM
I am an avid Dvorak user on real keyboards, and I actually find the qwerty keyboard to be relatively usable after a short learning curve. However, I'm still spending 3 votes on this because I think that Dvorak really needs to be supported, would draw in the power users, and is something I would still try to learn to use!

05-27-2010, 5:19 PM
It would also eliminate close together often mistyped words: if/of, food/good, love/live which usually drive me crazy having to frequently correct.

It would introduce new errors, but I think probably less than the current qwerty.

06-17-2010, 2:38 AM
I'd like to third this. Even though I'm actually fourthing this. I've been using dvorak for some time now and really wish this would be a feature. It takes some time to get used to swyping with QWERTY again when I normally use dvorak on my laptop.

06-17-2010, 5:26 AM
Just in there as a another language would be great!
Coming to this from using a Dvorak touch screen keyboard, it seems a shame to have to go backwards in going forwards... Wont stop me using Qwerty on it in the time being though

06-17-2010, 3:44 PM
Presumably a dvorak layout is no more complicated than an additional language. Couldn't it be available as a language pack once languages can be separately downloaded?

06-20-2010, 6:06 PM
I am also a dvorak user in real keyboards. Even though I can live with qwerty layout, I would prefer dvorak layout.

06-21-2010, 7:32 AM
Just wanted to put my vote in as well because I've been a Dvorak user for abut 8 years now and I know it just makes more sense. I'm always interested in any support that can be provided for Dvorak. In this instance Qwerty is all right with me because I'm more used to hunt and peck this way, but this is an institutionally enforced behaviour that I believe should be corrected.

06-22-2010, 11:11 AM
this would be a lot of work. they would need to create new patterns for all words from scratch.

06-22-2010, 1:01 PM
I've used Dvorak for approx. 5-years and I'm right with Leslie. I'm used to using QWERTY on my phones since I'm not touch-typing. However, I'm putting my 3 votes in since it'd be really nice to be able to use Swype with Dvorak. At any rate, I love Swype! (HTC Droid Eris)

07-14-2010, 7:56 AM
Because the Dvorak layout is based on grouping the most frequently used keys, I foresee (an achievable) challenge for the accuracy of Swype. Could Swype plus Dvorak equal extreme mobile text entry speed? I'd love to see it.

07-17-2010, 2:15 PM
I've used my votes on another topic, "More effective keyboard layout", because I want an alternate keyboard layout, but Dvorak is a terrible layout for Swype. Because the Dvorak layout is designed so that consecutive letters in English words are on oppose sides of the keyboard, most words would require a lot of back-and-forth movement, and a lot of words would look very similar to each other, making it impossible for Swype to guess the correct word when the path you swipe is off by even a the width of a single key. All these pairs of common words would be indistinguishable: is/its, sat/seat, hat/heat, net/neat, pan/pain, ran/rain. These very common words are different, but you would have swipe them very accurately to avoid entering the wrong word: it/in/is, the/he, an/as/at, on/an, are/ace, not/net/nut, she/no.

07-29-2010, 4:34 AM
Like to see Dvorak keyboard layout added as well. With Dvorak for Swype I would not have to look at the on screen keyboard where I need to move my finger to, I'd just do it due to muscle memory.

Qwerty on the other hand requires me to visually find the key. However my view is generally obstructed by my finger that rests on the keyboard, waiting for me to find the next key.

Seems to me that other keyboard layouts would need to be supported anyhow as many countries use something else then Qwerty.

Would be great to hear how difficult it is to support different layouts. I wouldn't be surprised if it's a matter handing a new layout to a training program that spits out the patterns that Swype uses to recognize words.

Oh, and I would mind testing such a layout for you guys ;-)

08-18-2010, 9:59 PM
I'm all for this. Because of a disability, I actually use the right handed dvorak (Which has a different placement than normal dvorak optimized for one handed use). This was specially be good for swype because of the nature of smart phone touch typing.

08-22-2010, 9:42 PM
I don't know if it would be faster or more accurate since dvorak was not designed with swipe in mind, but I would certainly prefer not having to re-learn where everything is in qwerty.

I'd like to add that if this feature is ever implemented, I'd highly recommend doing it in a way that i can easily switch back to qwerty in case a friend wants to use my phone.

08-24-2010, 1:25 PM
dvorak please. it is silly to have to learn location of qwerty keys to use a phone

09-03-2010, 3:56 PM
qwerty really isn't a very good layout for this. I'm with the poster who mentioned how the finger/hand covers many keys that you need to get to next. I use Fitaly on a WinMo device and love it. The layout would be quite good with Swype but the best feature is customizable automation of word/phrase/sentence entry. I've toyed with a layout with Swype in mind and believe it's a great idea to do that. I don't really get the hold qwerty has on people. If you are a 10 finger touch typist on a full keyboard, moving to a pda and using your thumbs or finger is a completely separate kinesthetic exercise. I know where each key is based on it's positioning relative to a "home" position for my fingers. Removing that relative relationship means that I am very frustrated by qwerty because I'm relearning anyway, so going to another layout like Dvorak, Fitaly or another one optimized for Swype is not really a stretch. My opinion is that people simply don't like change, even if it would benefit them. Sticking with qwerty when changing devices isn't beneficial. Break that mold and come up with something truly remarkable.

09-03-2010, 9:09 PM
We've spent a lot of time researching different layouts, and we found that adoption rate and user satisfaction was highest with QWERTY. We may include additional layouts in the future, but we have no plans to do so at this time. DVORAK particularly will likely NOT be included as it would actual make Swyping take SIGNIFICANTLY longer. The Dvorak layout is designed specifically to increase two-hand typing speed by placing common letter combinations on opposite sides of the keyboard. This would produce long, back-and-forth Swype paths, which increases trace time considerably.

09-05-2010, 10:19 AM
...we found that adoption rate and user satisfaction was highest with QWERTY.This, I'm assuming, is amongst qwerty users who haven't had the experience of an alternative and what's possible. There's always going to be resistance to change of any sort. Of course, they'd say not to go non-qwerty. I know your goal as a business is to market to the biggest space and qwerty would be that. However, if you have another goal, that being to create the best text input method possible, then you would need to be truly innovative and design a Swype variant that optimizes input. Starting, and doggedly staying, with qwerty doesn't get you there. My experience with Fitaly has opened my eyes to some fantastic features. The main 2 being an optimized, non-qwerty layout and, the best one, customizable text/word/phrase/sentence entry. In Fitaly's case, a "slide" on any key, in 8 different compass directions per key, allow multiple choices of text entry, or program launching. I don't sell Fitaly but offer these as examples of what would take your Swype method to a level that would cause your pda to be used for so much more. I don't even think twice about entering long amounts of text into my pda. I don't even carry a notepad around to meetings anymore. I take all my meeting notes on my pda. The possibilities are endless.

Add these 2 features to Swype and you've really done something special. Don't even start with the Dvorak or Fitaly layouts. Start from the act of swyping. Acknowledge that, in qwerty, your finger/hand covers keys while you swipe. In qwerty's case, when swiping around a,s,e,r,t, etc., you cover l,m,n, etc. I find that less than optimal. The comments here about Dvorak placing keys on opposite sides of the keyboard being counter to efficient swiping are bang on. That's why an optimized layout for swiping would avoid that.

I know you're going to defend the status quo because it's a good product and the qwerty world who can't imagine using something different is a large market but you do not have an optimized product, yet. I hope that you will take everyone's comments here seriously because they sound like people who have much experience with using something different. Here's where true innovation can start.

09-07-2010, 11:27 AM
Excellent comments, Darrell. You seem to have a pretty solid understanding of our situation, and the available alternatives. Personally, I agree that an alternative layout could improve entry speeds even further, and we would do well to include it - at least to start - not as the default option, but as an alternative for users who want that extra speed. As I've mentioned in other threads, the primary obstacle to this kind of "theoretical research" is the availability of staff to work on it. Currently, we have a lot of features and ideas that are slated for what we're calling "Swype 2.0" but we've barely even started to explore those options, as the majority of our time is spent adapting and updating the current Swype to work on new devices and fix existing bugs.

This is definitely something I'll urge our development team to look into as we move forward. Anyone who feels the urge is more than welcome - and in fact encouraged - to submit layout mockups, arguments for different concepts, etc. The more "research" the community does before we even get to it, the better! :)

09-07-2010, 1:06 PM
Would a layout mockup suggestion be sent to you or is there a "features request" section of your site somewhere? I'm encouraged to hear that Swype Inc. is open to suggestions and appreciate the resource issue. You gotta go where the market is, for sure.


09-08-2010, 4:30 PM

You're in it :) Go ahead and post a new thread in this category, or feel free to browse the rest of the forums for other categories that would fit. We have feature request sections for "Beta for Android", "Nokia Beta Labs" and "General/All swype users."

These new forums are designed to the be THE go-to place for Swype community interaction of any kind.

Chuck McKnight
01-23-2011, 11:30 AM
I thought everyone who has been following this thread might be interested to see that I have developed a potential new layout for Swype.


02-20-2011, 7:53 PM
Dvorak in general was designed for COMFORT, not speed. Unless you're an insanely fast typist, you won't type much faster on Dvorak than on QWERTY. Typing speed is mostly a limitation of the kind of memory(ies) you use for typing. But let me tell you... as a programmer, switching to Dvorak and split MS keyboards and replacing my mouse with a graphics tablet were some of the best choices I've made in my life! lol.

this would be a lot of work. they would need to create new patterns for all words from scratch.They should have a program to automatically do this. The real reason is probably the cost to the functional straightforwardness of the software.

A layout to consider is one-handed Dvorak. Look here for example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KB_Dvorak_Left.svg. Notice how easy it is to type "the". But this layout would have accuracy issues since all the vowels are even more grouped than on the regular Dvorak.

Another idea is playing with, say, a hexagonal layout.

You could have some keys appear more than once on the keyboard (like having the letter 'e' on both ends).

You could make some keys slightly larger or smaller. Like in the left-hand Dvorak example, making the vowels bigger could solve the accuracy problem.

You could have a two-finger typing setup. Like one finger swipes, the other selects what was meant by the other from a predictive list.

You could look to a speed-writing system like Gregg shorthand for inspiration.

Just some ideas. What I would personally do is play with all sorts of things like this over the course of months.

04-17-2012, 3:08 PM
DVORAK particularly will likely NOT be included as it would actual make Swyping take SIGNIFICANTLY longer. The Dvorak layout is designed specifically to increase two-hand typing speed by placing common letter combinations on opposite sides of the keyboard. This would produce long, back-and-forth Swype paths, which increases trace time considerably.

As many people have mentioned, the point is that we got used to Dvorak, and we know where the keys are; which is, if we're honest, the only reason you're using QWERTY as the default layout anyway (since most people know where the keys are). So it doesn't really matter whether it's faster or slower, it's a matter of making Swype accessible for us. Until such time, I won't bother using it, even if I can see how it would be better.

08-01-2012, 11:14 PM
I end up mostly typing, very slowly as I have to search for wh're the letters are. I've been typing on dvorak since highschool. And qwerty is quite foreign to me. they taught us dvorak in school on both the C64's and the 286s
going back to swiftkey for now.

10-12-2012, 11:20 AM
I would like to add that I would very much appreciate a dvorak layout! I've been using dvorak for years, and while swype is a great idea, it slows me down horribly using qwerty. I think Swype is about the only alternative mobile keyboard out there that doesn't support using dvorak. Heck, even the stock android keyboard has dvorak nowadays.

03-15-2013, 4:49 PM
I am a Fitaly user from my Palm III days. I use the Dvorak layout on my PC's at work and at home. The beauty of this layout is that it encourages "alternating hands" that can type faster. The genius of this for Swype is that I would be more likely looking for the next letter away from where the current letter is (i.e. I could see it better because my finger/stylus wouldn't be in the way).

This would alter your patterns for words. I don't know what algorithms you're using and crossing 'over' more unused letters might make it more difficult. But it would sure save me from having to "peek around" my finger to try to find the next key...

I think it would make Swype better, so please add my vote.

12-09-2013, 11:49 AM
I'm also a Dvorak user on keyboard, and while I'd find it interesting to see a Dvorak layout for Swype, I suspect I wouldn't end up using it. Dvorak is optimised for physical keyboards, and the problems it aims to solve are very different to the problems Swype solves on a virtual keyboard. As others say, I think the one handed layouts have more potential, but how many of us have actually learned the one handed layouts?

I think it would be really interesting to start with a blank canvas, and work out a layout that is actually optimised for Swyping. I think the priority would be to avoid common duplicate patterns. The one that always catches me is "fir" instead of "for". I don;t think the standard Dvorak layout helps much here, since all the vowels are in a circle. Where putting them together helps with typing, I think it hinders Swyping, and I would distribute the five vowels in a star pattern and arrange the other letters around them.

And I don't think anyone is suggesting that Swype throw away the Qwerty layout, just offer alternatives.


10-15-2014, 4:15 PM
Please add a Dvorak key layout. Please.

Once you're used to Dvorak, using Qwerty feels like trying to swim through quicksand. Adding Swype maybe turns the quicksand into regular mud. It's so tortuously slow.

Not asking for a new language, just adjust the locations of the letters on the keyboard. How hard can that be?