As part of an ongoing standardization effort, we were asked to evaluate Marathi text input mechanisms on smartphones. We undertook a between-subject longitudinal evaluation of four existing keyboards with 153 novice users who participated for 31 sessions each, spread over 3–4 weeks. In this paper, we present the empirical results of the performance of these keyboards and discuss them with respect to their designs. We found that keyboards with logical layouts performed marginally better than keyboards with partially frequency-based layouts. Results also showed that users performed poorly on keyboards that have word prediction features in comparison with keyboards that don’t have prediction features while typing Marathi. We speculate that this difference in performance is related to a “cognitive toll” that the users pay to use word prediction. We identify several directions for future research.
My ContributionIterative design
swiftkey Inscript Sparsh Swarachakra
|Layout||Frequency + partly Logical||Frequency + partly Logical||Logical||Logical|
|Shifted layout||Yes (on shift or long-press)||Yes (on shift or long-press)||No||Only two conjuncts on the shifted layout|
|Pop-up||No||No||Yes (circular pop-up pie-menu of vowel modifiers)||Yes (rectangle pop-up menu of vowel modifiers)|
|Touch gestures||Tap, long press||Tap, long press, swipe||Tap, tap and slide||Tap, tap and slide|
Outcome of studyLongitudinal data of Speed performance on all the keyboards across 300 phrases.