I thought I’d analyze the keys I use on my keyboard using WhatPulse‘s "Key Frequencies" feature and this little tool which will create a nice graph of which buttons are used and how much. The following graphs were generated today during different activities:
Blogging and MSN Messenger
The space bar is the most used button; there is also quite a lot of uses of shift, enter and backspace. The control button on the right hand side of my keyboard is never used, or the shift button on the left hand side. The numbers along the top are used occasionally but it’s mainly the letters A, S, N, I, L, etc. The only two directional buttons used are up and right.
As we can see, keyboard usage during coding is quite a lot different. There is a lot more use of the shift and enter buttons here. It’s a bit surprising to me that the tab button is still not used that much but as text editors automatically indent for you, I guess this makes sense. The F5 button is used a lot during coding; I do a lot of PHP coding and my workflow involves returning to Firefox and refreshing the page a lot.
The arrow keys used during coding are left and right which makes sense. The letters used tend to be pretty similar to blogging which is a bit surprising.
Enemy Territory (Gaming)
W, A, S, D, Space, Shift – enough said. 123456 switch between weapons. The other buttons on the keyboard were probably used only to send messages.
I’ve previously mentioned OdoPlus which allows you to track your mouse usage – the number of metres your mouse moves, which parts of the screen you click, etc.
Here’s my clicking distribution for Firefox.