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    Comparing a Scanning Ambiguous Keyboard to the On-screen QWERTY Keyboard

    HCI 2017 - Digital make-believe

    Proceedings of the 31st International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2017)

    University of Sunderland, St Peter’s campus, Sunderland, UK, 3 - 6 July 2017


    Chris T. Waddington, I. Scott MacKenzie, Janet C. Read & Matthew Horton



    This paper explores text entry on a scanning ambiguous keyboard (SAK) and the Windows on-screen keyboard (OSK) operating in scanning mode. The SPACEBAR was used for physical input with both keyboards. Testing involved 12 participants entering five phrases of text with each keyboard. On entry speed, the means were 5.06 wpm for the SAK and 2.67 wpm for the OSK, thus revealing a significant speed advantage for the SAK. However, the character-level error rate of 13.3% for the SAK was significantly higher than the error rate of 2.4% for the OSK. On subjective preference, 7 of 12 participants preferred the Windows OSK over the SAK, citing familiarity with the QWERTY layout as the most common reason. However, participants appreciated the efficiency of the SAK keyboard. A limitation of the results is the small amount of text entered.


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