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Homework 4: Evaluate Designs for Text Entry

For 05-640: Interaction Techniques, Spring, 2019

Assigned Monday, Mar 4, 2019, due: Monday, March 18, 2019

Be sure to see the policies for grading, late turn-in, cheating etc, on the homework policy page.

NOTE: TURN IN THIS ASSIGNMENT IN HARDCOPY IN CLASS on Monday, March 18, 2019. Please print out your entire report on paper, staple it together, and bring it to class. (If you have to miss class for any reason, you can turn in your hardcopy in advance in my office, NSH 3517, or if necessary, upload your assignment to Canvas to demonstrate that you have it done on time.) Be sure your name is on your report!

In this assignment, each student will evaluate three (3) different techniques for text entry using two (2) different people, and write up a report on the results. Note that this assignment is quite similar to Homeworks 1 & 3, but it might take a little longer per participant.

Text Entry Techniques:

Each student will choose three (3) different text entry techniques. We hope that we can get good coverage of all of the kinds of text entry techniques that are currently in use, with approximately the same number of people doing each one. If you have an "interesting" way of doing text entry, please use that as one of your choices. The assignment of people to techniques will be in this GoogleDoc.

For example, here are some text entry techniques we thought of that you can pick from:

Extra points on this assignment for doing a fourth or more techniques!

Everyone enter the techniques you will do here.


Every student should test two (2) people:

Extra points on this assignment for testing a third or more people!

Test Software

We were not able to create special software for this homework, but luckily, there are lots of typing tests on-line. The best one I found is:, because it reports both uncorrected errors ("Wrong words") and "Keystrokes" so one can get an estimate of backspaces, and it works on both a desktop and a phone. What I don't like is that you cannot back up to fix previous words, and it uses random words, rather than real phrases. Also, I would have preferred a test that used Wobbrock's analyses, but couldn't find one. Let me know if you find a better typing test than the one above!

Jacob O. Wobbrock and Brad A. Myers. 2006. Analyzing the input stream for character- level errors in unconstrained text entry evaluations. ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 13, 4 (December 2006), pp. 458-489. ACM DL or local pdf. Note: You can skip section 4 -- you do not need to read about the algorithms.

Use the 1 minute test: Each participant should do the test three (3) times, with breaks in between, and you should note if there is any learning effects. Note that you will need to write down the appropriate numbers since the software doesn't save them. You will want to capture for each run the following:

You should be able to run the software from any web-enabled device. The software displays the words to type, and then measures how fast and accurately they are entered. Be sure to tell your participants: "Please enter the phrases as quickly and accurately as possible." For your two people, use different orders. (If you do extra techniques or extra people, then still have everyone do all the techniques, with different orders for the different people.) Note that we have designed this homework to take somewhat longer per participant -- about 15 minutes per technique, because we want to measure any learning effects.

Run the software from here:
(Please let the Professor know if you find a better test to use!)

Please enter the three times into the class's GoogleDoc form, and also use the results in your own analysis for your report.

Paste your results into this form on GoogleDoc:

Preference and Demographic Questionnaire

You should create a simple (paper) questionnaire to give each of your subjects (including yourself!) to be filled out at the end after doing all the tasks. It should ask basic demographic information (see below), experience with computers and experience with the devices and text entry techniques you are using. Then, you should have question(s) about their preferences and why. You need to include a blank copy of the questionnaire with your report so we can see what you asked.


The deliverable for this homework is a written report. We expect it to be maybe about 2-3 pages (not including figures or the copy of the questionnaire), single-spaced in TimesRoman 12 point font. Print this report and turn it in before class on the due date. Be sure your name is on your report! The report should have the following sections. (Note that you should use this as a template using these section names):