To do this, I thought of the keys a bit like a word search, steeped in potential associations. I sought to craft my keyboards around those associations, changing the area to weight for letter frequency and creating a layout based on language patterns. To collect the necessary data, I primarily drew from Peter Norvig’s analysis for Google using Mark Mayzner’s earlier work applied to a Google Books database, with support for Michael Dicken’s work to understand how other characters fit in. In selecting sources, it was important their surveys used written English, not dictionary English (so commonly used words carried more weight).
In creating my layouts, I chose not to add all standard keys to the keyboard, instead focusing on those essential to written English communication. Then I used the patterns discovered to experiment with layouts based on relationship frequency, left to right patterns, and location of letters in a word. Though I initially sized keys directly proportionate to usage, after testing I adjusted for a minimum key size to increase ease of typing.