Swipeboard: A Text Entry Technique for Ultra-Small Devices That Supports Novice to Expert Transitions

AbstractUltra-small smart devices, such as smart watches, have become increasingly popular in recent years. As these devices continue to shrink, text entry becomes increasingly difficult. In the sole pursuit of entry speed, the ultimate solution is a shorthand technique (e.g., Morse code) that sequences tokens of input (e.g., key, tap, swipe) into unique representations of each character. However, learning such techniques is hard, as it often resorts to rote memory. Our technique, Swipeboard, leverages our spatial memory of a QWERTY keyboard to learn, and eventually master, a shorthand, eyes-free text entry method designed for ultra-small devices. Characters are entered with two swipes; the first swipe specifies the region where the character is located, and the second swipe specifies the character within that region. Our study showed that within 30 minutes, novices reach a level of performance equivalent to existing techniques, and our sample data shows that experts can reach text entry speeds of up to 32.91 words per minute.

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