Homework 4: Evaluate Designs for Text Entry

Assigned: Tuesday, Mar 1, 2022; Due: Tuesday, Mar. 22, 2022 at 1:25pm ET



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! Also, extra credit (up to +2) if you test a really interesting text entry technique, like entering text in VR/AR, on a game console using a game controller, on a consumer electronics device (like a smart TV) using a remote, etc.

Everyone enter the techniques you will do here.


Every student should test three (3) people (it is OK to use the same people you used for previous homeworks):

Extra points (up to +3) on this assignment for testing a fourth 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: https://10fastfingers.com/typing-test/english, 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 default 1:00 minute test: http://10fastfingers.com/typing-test/english. 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 three 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: http://10fastfingers.com/typing-test/english
(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: https://forms.gle/XBDCw2sSXNdFEboC8.

Preference and Demographic Questionnaire

You should create a simple 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 4-5 pages (not including figures or the copy of the questionnaire), single-spaced in TimesRoman 12 point font. Create a pdf of this report, and upload it to Canvas before class on the due date.

Be sure your name is on the first page of your report and in the file name! Your pdf file should be named: lastname_firstname_ixt22_hw4.pdf. For example, mine would be: myers_brad_ixt22_hw4.pdf.

The report should have the following sections. (Note that you should use this as a template using these section names). Please put your information into the appropriate section as described below, so it is easier to grade.


The various parts of this homework will be calculated as follows, so you know how much each part is worth: