Two-finger typists stand to gain even more because the New Standard keyboard allows them to finally break through the touch-typing barrier, with more benefits than mere speed and accuracy. The main benefit of touch-typing is that the eyes and attention can be directed to the work being done instead of to the keyboard.

Interview - New Keyboard Design

John Parkinson | New Standard Keyboards


John Parkinson
Founder of New Standard Keyboards

Two-finger typists stand to gain even more because the New Standard keyboard allows them to finally break through the touch-typing barrier, with more benefits than mere speed and accuracy. The main benefit of touch-typing is that the eyes and attention can be directed to the work being done instead of to the keyboard.


1.) Your 53-key, alpha-numeric keyboard is a bold departure from the traditional QWERTY keyboard. Why introduce a new keyboard layout?

There are three major reasons why we need it. The first is to bring touch-typing within reach of the majority of ordinary computer users. When typing was a specialist job skill, only those who were adept at it did it, long training was acceptable for the specialist job, and extensive daily practice maintained the skill.

Touch-typing on QWERTY is so difficult that few people really master the skill or use it enough to maintain it. The goal of our keyboard is to make touch-typing easier.

The second reason is to provide a way for non-typists to access information technology at a reasonable pace. Here the difference between the familiar ABC and the strange QWERTY jumble of letters becomes the difference between success and failure.

The third reason is the next generation of typists, who have not yet had the QWERTY keyboard inflicted upon them and need never know its woes.

2.) I'm already familiar with QWERTY, why would I want to change?

Most people can think faster than they can type, and the keyboard is a bottle-neck restricting their work-flow and productivity.

Even if you are already a competent touch-typist, there is room to significantly increase your speed, comfort, and accuracy by making the switch to the New Standard keyboard. After all, the QWERTY key layout was designed around a machine.

In addition, the QWERTY design promotes poor posture and difficult movements known to cause stress injuries. The QWERTY design has a letter arrangement that creates many awkward finger sequences that slow down the typist and cause errors. In contrast, the New Standard key layout was designed around the human hands. It is ergonomically correct to allow proper posture and easy movements, and it has a letter arrangement that maximizes fast finger sequences and minimizes awkward ones.

Two-finger typists stand to gain even more because the New Standard keyboard allows them to finally break through the touch-typing barrier, with more benefits than mere speed and accuracy. The main benefit of touch-typing is that the eyes and attention can be directed to the work being done instead of to the keyboard. On the New Standard keyboard, the reasons to keep looking at the keyboard have been eliminated by tactile landmarks, a letter arrangement familiar since kindergarten, and infinitely better ergonomics than QWERTY offers. The bad habit of looking at the keyboard can be altogether avoided, and touch-typing skill can even develop spontaneously without any drilling, in the course of normal typing. Lack of touch-typing skill stifles creativity, but that doesn't have to be the typical situation any more.

3.) Why are the keys different colors on some keyboards? Was this just done to make the keyboard look different?

Absolutely not. The rainbow colors are not just decorative, they also identify the different kinds of functions of the keys. The rainbow color scheme was originally designed for classroom use, to help teachers give children a better understanding of the different functions of the keys, which also helps them understand the computer itself.

4.) With only 53 Keys does Your Keyboard Still Retain the Full-Functionality of a Standard Keyboard?

Don't let the first impressions of the New Standard keyboard fool you. It is a fully functional, highly efficient, easy-to-learn, touch-typing keyboard. The compact size with only 53 keys suggests less functionality, but in fact the only thing missing is "obesity." It does everything a traditional QWERTY does. We think it does it better because it's "lean and fit."

5.) Describe Your Typical Customer?

That's a broad question. The New Standard Keyboard is not for people who like Qwerty. It's for people who don't like Qwerty but are forced to use it because there is no reasonable alternative. This would include educators, students, gaming enthusiasts as well as businesses.

It's also proven beneficial for those for those in need of assisted technology. Individuals with disabilities that may require one-handed typing or with mobility problems, which can make QWERTY difficult to use, are finding the NSK helpful.

6.) How Much does this Keyboard Cost and What is it Compatible With?

The New Standard keyboard has a suggested list price of $59.98 US. The New There are no drivers to install and it supports any USB-equipped desktop or notebook computer running Linux or Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP or Vista. Future releases will be available for Macintosh systems as well as wireless versions.

7. Are there other applications that you have looked into for this keyboard layout such as PDA's and Blackberry type devices?

The benefits of our keyboard layout are obvious for stylus or one-finger applications, since they are essentially hunt-and-peck modes of input where the familiarity of alphabetical order is a big advantage. Two-thumb typing gets an added benefit from the separation of the majority of letter sequences onto opposite hands. But first we need the proof that it is the best choice for normal typing.

8. Have you conducted any tests to prove that typing on this keyboard can be faster than a QWERTY?

We have had such results reported by individuals, but no independent study with statistically significant results has yet been completed. Meanwhile, we know that running a flat race will always be faster than jumping over hurdles; our design has eliminated all the hurdles that are built into QWERTY, so the eventual outcome is fairly predictable.

9. Do you plan keyboard layouts for other languages and alphabets?

We do indeed, our ergonomic features work for all human hands even though the alphabets vary. We hope eventually to significantly reduce the number of different layouts needed throughout the world.


The keyboard was designed by NSK founder John Parkinson, an electrical engineer with a degree in psychology and background in industrial psychology and ergonomics.  Parkinson developed training programs in a typewriter factory prior to designing the New Standard Keyboard. 

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