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Multimodal Feedback and Guidance Signals for Mobile Touchscreen Keyboards

Tim Paek, Kenghao Chang, Itai Almog, Eric Badger, and Tirthankar Sengupta

Abstract

Mobile devices with touch capabilities often utilize touchscreen keyboards. However, due to the lack of tactile feedback, users often have to switch their focus of attention between the keyboard area, where they must locate and click the correct keys, and the text area, where they must verify the typed output. This can impair user experience and performance. In this paper, we examine multimodal feedback and guidance signals that keep users’ focus of attention in the keyboard area but also provide the kind of information users would normally get in the text area. We first conducted a usability study to assess and refine the user experience of these signals and their combinations. Then we evaluated whether those signals which users preferred could also improve typing performance in a controlled experiment. One combination of multimodal signals significantly improved typing speed by 11%, reduced keystrokes-per-character by 8%, and reduced backspaces by 28%. We discuss design implications.

Details

Publication typeTechReport
NumberMSR-TR-2010-76
PublisherMicrosoft Research
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