I want to share the experience of transition from the QWERTY layout to the Dvorak layout.
If someone does not know what the Dvorak layout is, I recommend reading the comic: www.dvzine.org
The study began 3 months ago. I used the dvorak7min simulator (available in the Debian and Ubuntu repositories). For 8 days every day I worked for 1 - 1.5 hours. The speed set was 60 characters / min. Even without completing all the exercises put Dvorak instead of QWERTY. The symbols not studied at that time were simply remembered at a time. Over the next few days, I completed the exercises.
1.5 months ago, the speed of dialing was 100 characters / min, and now - 160 characters / min.
It was not comfortable the first week after the transition, so I do not advise you to change the layout when you need to do something productively. At the same time, the transition must be sharp, once - and that’s it, QWERTY is no more. Changing the layout "for an hour" makes sense only for the simulator. For normal training it is necessary to solve your real problems using Dvorak, but then, when there is no pressure due to lack of time.
Before the start of the training, the speed in QWERTY was also about 160 digits / min. Now QWERTY has not forgotten, I use it regularly on all my computers. The speed did not measure, probably fell a little, by 10-15 percent. There are no problems with switching the brain to QWERTY mode.
Has it become more convenient?
Yes, it became more convenient, at least because I typed QWERTY not in the correct 10-finger way, but in the one-finger one, which evolved into the 5-finger one. With this method, the hands moved a considerable distance above the keyboard, and when the hands returned to their original position, often the fingers were not on those keys, which is why I constantly looked at the keyboard. I tried not to peep at the keyboard - made too many mistakes.
Typing in Dvorak on the keyboard in general it makes no sense to look. Firstly, because the hands are in the correct positions and do not fly over the keyboard. Secondly, the keyboard is written QWERTY.
It became better because:
* less load on hands
* less distracted from the screen
* fewer typos
The conclusion for me: yes, the transition made sense. The only pity is that Dvorak does not exist on non-own computers.
For * nix, I recommend dvorak7min simulator. Allows you to leave the QWERTY layout while working with it.
Good online simulator: klava.org