I stumbled upon that interesting geekhack thread again today, the one about the thumb cluster on the Ergodox keyboards. There’s some good ideas there, for sure. Moving thumb keys closer to the rest of the board is a great idea, I’m actually using a couple of the lower keys as thumb keys as well. And positioning the cluster differently in 3D space is really interesting too, though it makes for more difficult builds, and pressing down with thumbs really isn’t that bad.
But then, most of that stuff becomes really personal really fast. Everyone’s hands and fingers are different, so trying to make a one-size-fits-all solution is going to be sub-optimal for everyone. The only real solution here is to design your own setup, for yourself.
Hell, I don’t even really use the top row of my Ergodox EZ, and there’s lots of keys I only use for one specific binding that’s easily moved somewhere else. Layout-wise, there’s lots of optimization to be done still, and then, maybe I want to move onto tailoring the hardware to fit that exactly.