Why is QWERTY used instead of ABC?
The QWERTY keyboard layout was meant to boost your typing speed by slowing it down.
The QWERTY keyboard doesn’t have a random layout, as it might initially seem. The developer of the QWERTY typewriter layout, Christopher Sholes, had in fact based the layout of his keyboard on one simple principle: how to make typists type more efficiently by avoiding typebar jamming.
The QWERTY keyboard was first introduced on typewriters, as you know. The problem with early mechanical typewriters was related to their underlying mechanism, where each key was connected to a typebar or metal arm. Each time the typist pressed on a key then a movement was initiated in which the letter bar would strike an ink-filled tape. Behind this tape was the paper on which the character pressed by the typist was printed.
Community Moderator at Typesy
This is a surprisingly common query!
The QWERTY format came about out of necessity. Early typists had issues with keys getting jammed, so QWERTY was designed to avoid this when typing on a typewriter. The thinking was to stretch commonly used letters apart, allowing your fingers to be less cramped when typing.
So while we are much more familiar with alpha order than QWERTY, the long terms benefits of a QWERTY layout win out. An alphabetical layout may be easier to learn, you’d find your fingers fighting for space over the long run.
Alex (The Reimagined Classroom Teacher)