Touchscreen layouts

I imagine anyone who uses QWERTY would stick with QWERTY for their touchscreen devices, but I’m curious about thoughts from anyone who uses non-standard layouts. Personally I’m sticking with QWERTY for a few reasons:

  • QWERTY is quite suitable for touchscreens, even for something similar to the reason that they were designed: the original attempt to avoid key jams by putting common bigrams far apart here serves to avoid really small movements while swiping on screen not being picked up by the algorithm.
  • I think, just to maintain my QWERTY skills at a minimum for the situations I can’t avoid it, it’d be useful to have some QWERTY in my regular activities to just keep the layout in my mind, especially in a way that shouldn’t interfere with my typing muscle memory.
  • I suspect it may become annoying to try to get my own layout on a mobile touchscreen in a way that I can swipe to spell things.

I’m using Dvorak on a touchscreen, not because it has any advantages over QWERTY there, but because… well… uhh… because why not? I can’t swipe to spell things anyway, and will hunt-and-peck no matter what, so might as well use Dvorak there, it’s as good as anything else.

Thankfully, the predictive text application I use is smart enough to complete most words after a letter or two by now, which makes typing on my phone a whole lot easier.


I find QWERTY, or any other typewriter-derived layout, to be wholly unsuitable for input on a touchscreen. There are too many targets, and they’re too small to tap accurately, especially on a phone. I use the MessagEase “keyboard”, which uses taps, drags, and other gestures to give access to a very wide array of symbols using just nine touch targets, which are much bigger, and therefore easier to tap reliably.


Interesting idea for sure! I will give it a proper try when I’m up to speed with my layout on keyboardio, though I find I can pretty accurately type on touchscreens using drag gestures on QWERTY anyway.

The MessageEase keyboard is really awsome. I started using it five days ago and now I can already type without looking at the keyboard with 15 WPM. That’s extremely valuable. It has this nice blank keyboard mode that really greatly helps learning to type blindly.
Absolutely recomendable!


I tried MessagEase twice. While it has big buttons that are impossible to miss, it was frustratingly slow compared to Qwerty where I can type with two fingers.

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