Some people can type without needing to look at the keys. Other people need to look at the keys before pressing a key.

I'm curious if there is any published research on the percentage of users that need to hunt for the keys vs. the percentage that can type without looking at the keyboard.

I was able to find several studies comparing speeds - as expected, the people who typed without looking won - but could not find any on population percentages that use each method.

  • I have no idea how they'd even come up with that statistic.
    – DA01
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 22:14
  • 1
    You ask a large enough group of people whether they look at a keyboard when they type or whether they can type without looking. Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 1:33
  • Well, that's actually not a bad idea. Maybe add it is a survey to your site?
    – DA01
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 2:54
  • 1
    Can you add a listener (a very basic keylogger) to an actual text input field on your site that generates statistics for (word) typing speed etc.? When correlated with the speed tests you already know, you will know about the percentage among your users.
    – Crissov
    Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 10:27
  • Good idea with the keylogger - although I imagine some users might be uncomfortable if they knew. The larger question seems like one rather impossible to answer well, for one because the demographic in question is so broad. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 22:24

3 Answers 3


From my involved search, there is no academic research on the exact prevalence of hunt and peck versus touch typists. The closest thing I could find is information in a typing dynamics article from Carnegie Mellon, "A Scientific Understanding of Keystroke Dynamics." Page 106 describes the typing style scale they used and that they had more touch-typists than not, but the sample is only 100 and it likely includes many students, so I wouldN'T call it representative.


In Aguascalientes, Mexico, I worked in a telemarketing company with almost 2,000 employees, I was able to help the quality department in the agent notes section and checked side-by-side performance of ~1,000 employees, of which only 6 were able to type faster than 60 wpm, they were of course touch-typists, if you include me in the sample, that'd mean 0.7%

I think this widely varies by region, I wouldn't be disapointed if the U.S. got higher rates


A simpler functional test is: can you type in the dark? Or better yet type this test line. Then do it again in the dark.

The mention of "typing style scale" I think is useful. I think there are a range of typing systems. I think I and probably many people are somewhere between full hunt-and-peck and touch typing.

I know the keyboard well enough to get close with a reasonable finger but use the letters on the key cap once I'm close. I suspect I don't always use the same fingers for each key each time but I really do not know, I just do it.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.