Keyboard First

We spend a lot of time on laptops and computers, maybe as part of work or for leisure. There are a limited number of ways in which you can interact with it. You can type, use a mouse or a touchpad, talk to it, use gestures. Out of these the one that is the most common is a combination of keyboard and mouse. That is how we were taught to use a computer. Maybe that is because we were the early adopters but that is not the case now. Kids are born into a tech-rich environment around them like never before. They are much more familiar at a very early age. Now the question is whether typing and using a mouse is efficient. It turns out that typing alone is the most efficient way to interact with a computer. An above average typist can type 70 words-per-minute(WPM). If you really spend some time honing that skill you can even achieve a 100WPM. The average WPM for speaking is 150.

This is nothing new among developers. It has been long since they have figured this out. Vim a text based editor built for use from a terminal. Vim uses a combination of modes and commands that allows you to manipulate text at the speed of thought. The interesting thing is that, most apps we use are not at all optimized to be keyboard-first. All applications have keyboard shortcuts but they are not built into the product such that it becomes second nature to its users. Superhuman has taken a stab at solving this for e-mail. They have built the complete application and workflows around keyboard based triggers. This trend is still at an early stage. The prediction is that there will be more and more attention to keyboard-first applications(Superhuman for X). There is a growing market for software and techniques that can improve your efficiency around using day-to-day software. Keyboard-first will eventually become the norm.

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