Keyboard Typing Habits, How People Actually Type?

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Here is an article:

How We Type: Movement Strategies and Performance in Everyday Typing In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2016.

The article includes this video:

How we type: Movement Strategies and Performance in Everyday Typing - Aalto University Research

One of the author, Anna Maria Feit seems the primary author, is the same person who invented the PianoText. [see Using Piano to Type Text]

Their website has this Frequently Asked Questions item:

Are you saying that learning to touch type is useless?

No. Learning the touch typing system is still the best known way to get to very high typing speed. All world records have been achieved using that system. However, to get to a level, comparable to the fast typists in this study, the touch typing system requires several hundred hours of deliberate(!) practice. In contrast, the self-taught techniques studied here, emerged from the daily use of computer keyboards and were not intentionally practiced. If you want to consistently type sentences over 100 words per minute, learn the touch typing system. However, this system is less beneficial for other tasks, such as gaming, programming or media editing. We still need to find a better strategy tailored to the needs of modern keyboard usage. In the mean time, your self-taught strategy may be the best compromise and you should rather practice the things mentioned above, instead of relearning which finger presses which key.

I think they are being defensive.

When you go above 80 WPM, You have to go with standard touch-typing techniques. Their research does not really have people at fast speed.

I think the conclusion of their study is that, for average people typing 50 WPM, then, proper touch-typing technique doesn't matter.

see also

Scientific Research on Keyboard Ergonomics

Typing Habits, RSI

Mouse Pain