TV on-screen keyboard

19 Jan 2006 - 6:24pm
8 years ago
23 replies
3257 reads
Jan Koehler
2005

TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down arrow buttons.

Which format is better for users?

1. QWERTY
2. ABCDEF

thx

Comments

19 Jan 2006 - 6:43pm
Nathan Vincent
2004

>From personal (Xbox games) experience, I'd definitely say ABCDEF.

But I'm a rubbish typer.

But even people who are good typers know their ABC's--the reverse is
very often not true.

</2 cents>

Jan Koehler asked:

TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down arrow
buttons.

Which format is better for users?

1. QWERTY
2. ABCDEF

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19 Jan 2006 - 6:48pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Jan Koehler <jannko at gmail.com> writes:

>TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down arrow buttons.
>
>Which format is better for users?
>
> 1. QWERTY
> 2. ABCDEF

Bar-top computer games have gone to using ABCDEF order for name entry
in the past few years. Until the most recent batch, they laid out
the letters in a typerwriter-format grid; the most recent ones I've
seen use two rows of 13 characters each, or some such. Every person
I've spoken to about the ABCDEF layout has despised it, although
that's probably mostly because of it taking the form of a familiar
entry mechanism (keyboard), but with the key order all messed up.

Using remote control buttons is a different entry style than these,
though, because the user starts from the "key" they were most
recently on. (Or so I would expect.)

If your users are keyboard-savvy, they might prefer that same order
(QWERTY), but they probably won't even notice its absence if you use
ABCDEF and avoid typewriter layout.

I suspect that for remote usage, neither one is especially worse,
with ABCDEF getting the edge for users who aren't keyboard-savvy. I
suppose you could plot out a couple hundred typical words to be
entered, though, and programatically calculate how many button
presses would be required under both systems.
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew Seattle, WA cfmdesigns at earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 1/19)
(Subject: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

19 Jan 2006 - 6:57pm
jstanford
2003

We just had an impromptu discussion on this issue with 5 UI designers in a
room who needed a break. :-) 5/5 agree that it should be ABCDEF (just like
Tivo) because you are never going to touch type on the screen with the
remote control so no one is going to use it like a QWERTY keyboard.

Julie

_____________________________________
Julie Stanford
Principal, Sliced Bread Design | www.slicedbreaddesign.com
650-799-7225

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On
> Behalf Of Nathan Vincent
> Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 3:44 PM
> To: discuss at ixda.org
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] TV on-screen keyboard
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> quoted material.]
>
>
> >From personal (Xbox games) experience, I'd definitely say ABCDEF.
>
> But I'm a rubbish typer.
>
> But even people who are good typers know their ABC's--the
> reverse is very often not true.
>
> </2 cents>
>
>
> Jan Koehler asked:
>
> TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down
> arrow buttons.
>
> Which format is better for users?
>
> 1. QWERTY
> 2. ABCDEF
>
>
> **************** CAUTION - Disclaimer ***************** This
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19 Jan 2006 - 6:58pm
niklasw
2005

An interesting personal experience I have had with this from a media
center application I've been working on is that when using a plain
square grid layout the abcde works better then the opposite and when
using a 'normal' keyboard resemblance layout the qwerty works the
best.

Combinations of either one messes things up. It probably has a lot to
do with what the (my?) brain expects from the presented image.

My personal but fairly professional opinion ;)

Will you only be able to use up/down keys or left/rigth aswell? If
only up/down you probably have a slightly different story.

--Niklas

On 20/01/06, Nathan Vincent <Nathan_Vincent at infosys.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
>
> >From personal (Xbox games) experience, I'd definitely say ABCDEF.
>
> But I'm a rubbish typer.
>
> But even people who are good typers know their ABC's--the reverse is
> very often not true.
>
> </2 cents>
>
>
> Jan Koehler asked:
>
> TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down arrow
> buttons.
>
> Which format is better for users?
>
> 1. QWERTY
> 2. ABCDEF
>
>
> **************** CAUTION - Disclaimer *****************
> This e-mail contains PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION intended solely for the use of the addressee(s). If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender by e-mail and delete the original message. Further, you are not to copy, disclose, or distribute this e-mail or its contents to any other person and any such actions are unlawful. This e-mail may contain viruses. Infosys has taken every reasonable precaution to minimize this risk, but is not liable for any damage you may sustain as a result of any virus in this e-mail. You should carry out your own virus checks before opening the e-mail or attachment. Infosys reserves the right to monitor and review the content of all messages sent to or from this e-mail address. Messages sent to or from this e-mail address may be stored on the Infosys e-mail system.
> ***INFOSYS******** End of Disclaimer ********INFOSYS***
> ________________________________________________________________
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--
--Niklas

19 Jan 2006 - 6:59pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> Bar-top computer games have gone to using ABCDEF order for name entry
> in the past few years.

So have those connected, digital jukeboxes - the kind where you can play
songs downloaded from a central server. They use ABCDE.

-r-

19 Jan 2006 - 7:06pm
niklasw
2005

In an only up and down navigation I'd agree with the five of you, but
if you can use up/down/left/rigth I'd definitely go for the qwerty as
users most probably has learnt the QWERTY layout and instinctively
knows where to go for the next letter.

The ABCDE version annoys me as 'my brain' keep falling back to going
for the letters in the qwerty layout.

-N

On 20/01/06, Julie Stanford <julie at slicedbreaddesign.com> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> We just had an impromptu discussion on this issue with 5 UI designers in a
> room who needed a break. :-) 5/5 agree that it should be ABCDEF (just like
> Tivo) because you are never going to touch type on the screen with the
> remote control so no one is going to use it like a QWERTY keyboard.
>
> Julie
>
> _____________________________________
> Julie Stanford
> Principal, Sliced Bread Design | www.slicedbreaddesign.com
> 650-799-7225
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> > [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On
> > Behalf Of Nathan Vincent
> > Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 3:44 PM
> > To: discuss at ixda.org
> > Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] TV on-screen keyboard
> >
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant
> > quoted material.]
> >
> >
> > >From personal (Xbox games) experience, I'd definitely say ABCDEF.
> >
> > But I'm a rubbish typer.
> >
> > But even people who are good typers know their ABC's--the
> > reverse is very often not true.
> >
> > </2 cents>
> >
> >
> > Jan Koehler asked:
> >
> > TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down
> > arrow buttons.
> >
> > Which format is better for users?
> >
> > 1. QWERTY
> > 2. ABCDEF
> >
> >
> > **************** CAUTION - Disclaimer ***************** This
> > e-mail contains PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
> > intended solely for the use of the addressee(s). If you are
> > not the intended recipient, please notify the sender by
> > e-mail and delete the original message. Further, you are not
> > to copy, disclose, or distribute this e-mail or its contents
> > to any other person and any such actions are unlawful. This
> > e-mail may contain viruses. Infosys has taken every
> > reasonable precaution to minimize this risk, but is not
> > liable for any damage you may sustain as a result of any
> > virus in this e-mail. You should carry out your own virus
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> > reserves the right to monitor and review the content of all
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> > ***INFOSYS******** End of Disclaimer ********INFOSYS***
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> >
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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--
--Niklas

19 Jan 2006 - 7:08pm
sandeepblues
2003

An idea...not sure if it works. Requires some
congitive thinking, but fewer keystrokes.

Arrow keys are really annoying...like entering street
names in an GPS device in a rental car. RSI prone
etc.

I think that remote control users are experts can the
number key. They can press them in the dark without
looking...therefore, they can press them while looking
at the screen.

User presses the keys 1 through 5 to expand the
character sequence.

1 2 3 4 5
A-F G-K L-Q R-U V-Z

So, if user pressed 4, then

1 2 3 4 5
R S T U <Go back>

Then, user can press another number....

=================

A better idea:

Provide numbers on the left corner of each keyboard
key on the screen. Users of remote controls are used
to pressing 2 numbers in quick sequence for channels >
9.

01 -> A
02 -> B
03 -> C
...
26 -> Z

When user presses 2, highlight B and Z keys. Then,
user presses 6, you know it is Z.

If you use this, then definitely, use QWERTY.

Sandeep

19 Jan 2006 - 10:38pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Sandeep Jain <sandeepblues at yahoo.com> writes:

>I think that remote control users are experts can the
>number key. They can press them in the dark without
>looking...therefore, they can press them while looking
>at the screen.
>
>User presses the keys 1 through 5 to expand the
>character sequence.
>
>
> 1 2 3 4 5
>A-F G-K L-Q R-U V-Z

If you're going to do that (and it has merit), use a standard
telephone texting layout (2=ABC, 3=DEF, etc.). No sense making users
learn a unique layout just for this thing.

>A better idea:
>
>Provide numbers on the left corner of each keyboard
>key on the screen. Users of remote controls are used
>to pressing 2 numbers in quick sequence for channels >
>9.
>
>01 -> A
>02 -> B
>03 -> C
>...
>26 -> Z
>
>
>When user presses 2, highlight B and Z keys. Then,
>user presses 6, you know it is Z.
>
>If you use this, then definitely, use QWERTY.

Clever method. I like it. 22 out of 26 letters (at least) are going
to be at least two arrow keys away, and most will be more than that,
so this method is fewer keypresses on average.

But why use QWERTY even in this case? The only reason for a QWERTY
display is if the user can do letter touching, to make use of already
learned skills from typing. With no touch ability, QWERTY display
becomes nothing more than a "Woo woo, you're entering text!" bell. I
don't think you get any advantage at all from it.
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew Seattle, WA cfmdesigns at earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 1/19)
(Subject: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

19 Jan 2006 - 7:05pm
Amanda Mallinger
2006

Personal opinion: Option 2.
Reason: While I can type just fine, if you ask me to look at a keyboard,
rather than feel it, all my skills fly right out the window.
Additionally: There is some precedence. I don't play a lot of console games,
but the ones I have played use the ABCDEF version. (There may also be games
out there that go the opposite direction - again, I don't play a lot of
games.)
Finally: Are your users of only English speaking background? If not, you may
run into regionalization issues with QWERTY more than you would with ABCDEF.

Amanda Mallinger
Resultsplus! Product Development Manager Metafile Information Systems

Jan Koehler asked:

TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down arrow buttons.

Which format is better for users?

1. QWERTY
2. ABCDEF

20 Jan 2006 - 12:26am
Håkan Reis
2006

Most defenately the ABC version. And avoid a keyabord layout. However,
I'm wondering what kind of data should be entered. If it is jus short
names for gaming purpose then thats it. However if short messages or for
example web addresses should be entered why not look into T9
(http://www.t9.com/), use the model from mobile SMS writing. I even used
Nokias, 7280 (http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_7280-884.php) with only a
scroll wheel and it actually can do SMS messages. (well it takes a bit
longer but it wasnt as painful as I first expected it to be.)

/ Håkan

------------------------------
Håkan Reis
Senior .NET Consultant - MCAD
Dotway AB

hakan.reis(at)dotway.se
blog.reis.se

Jan Koehler wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down arrow buttons.
>
> Which format is better for users?
>
> 1. QWERTY
> 2. ABCDEF
>

20 Jan 2006 - 3:15am
Thomas Költringer
2006

Hello Jan,

I am currently working on a text entry system using a game controller.
There you have similar conditions like using a remote control (4
directs, buttons for selection). I tested a soft keyboard with QWERTY
and ABC Layout (5 participants each) and after 10 session (one session
15 minutes) of text entry there was no significant difference in speed
and error rate. Because my users were used to the QWERTY layout they
were a little bit faster (not significant) in this condition first.

Ingmarsson et al presented a text entry method called TNT [1] at CHI
2004. This text entry method is similar to the idea Sandeep Jain
mentioned in his e-mail.
http://www.ida.liu.se/~davdi/publications/p644-ingmarsson.pdf

best regards

-Thomas

[1] Ingmarsson, M., Dinka, D., and Zhai, S. 2004. TNT: a numeric keypad
based text input method. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on
Human Factors in Computing Systems (Vienna, Austria, April 24 - 29,
2004). CHI '04. ACM Press, New York, NY, 639-646.

On 20.01.2006, 00:24 you wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

> TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down arrow buttons.

> Which format is better for users?

> 1. QWERTY
> 2. ABCDEF

> thx

20 Jan 2006 - 8:31am
Thomas Vander Wal
2004

QWERTY is designed for-two handed typing, so by logic the the
ergononmic will be off. Were QWERTY provides benefit is creating an
efficiency with fingers performing vertical and not horizontal
movements to get what was needed. With an on-screen display with
arrows there will be a lot of transversing the "keyboard"
horizontally, which is not going to be efficient.

The people using the "keyboard" will drive if an ABCDEF layout is
better or not. Since the QWERTY in an on-screen benefit those that
have learned its layout, but it still leaves a lot of horizontal
transversing. QWERTY would not benefit from rearranging the keys to
minimize the horizontal movements and to bring the letters into a
tighter box. A 6x6 grid of ABDCEF plus the 10 numbers could optimize
the movement patterns. The diagonal from A to 9 (based on numbers
being layed out 0123456789) as well as its corner-to-corner equals is
10 clicks, which is equivilent (give or take one depending on a QWERTY
being squared up) to the needed clicks.

All the best,
Thomas

On 1/19/06, Jan Koehler <jannko at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down arrow buttons.
>
> Which format is better for users?
>
> 1. QWERTY
> 2. ABCDEF

20 Jan 2006 - 9:15am
Paul Trumble
2004

Since we're talking about a virtual keyboard, not a physical one, why
wouldn't you want to offer both and let the user decide. Some people
probably know the layout of a qwerty keyboard better than they know the
alphabet. Obviously, the reverse is also true.

Paul Trumble

20 Jan 2006 - 9:45am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

I've found this topic quite interesting, and I'm curious as to what
you all think about pop-up keyboards meant for stylus input on
handheld devices. Based on previous comments, I would think the ABC
arrangement may be more appropriate for entering simple text.
However, the presence of keys such as shift, return, delete, etc.
would make a QWERTY layout more appropriate, since their placement on
a standard keyboard is the only precedence.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

If there's anything more annoying
than a machine that won't do what you want,
it's a machine that won't do what you want
and has been programmed to behave
as though it likes you.

- Don Norman

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20 Jan 2006 - 10:40am
Barbara Ballard
2005

On Jan 20, 2006, at 8:45 AM, Jack Moffett wrote:
> I've found this topic quite interesting, and I'm curious as to what
> you all think about pop-up keyboards meant for stylus input on
> handheld devices. Based on previous comments, I would think the ABC
> arrangement may be more appropriate for entering simple text.
> However, the presence of keys such as shift, return, delete, etc.
> would make a QWERTY layout more appropriate, since their placement on
> a standard keyboard is the only precedence.
>

The answer is "it depends". If you have users who are unfamiliar
with typewriter layout (QWERTY), then alphabetical layouts are
better. Of course, there aren't that many users like that.

If you have space that does not fit a typewriter layout then
definitely use alphabetical layout. If the users are going to use
the keyboard very frequently, then an alternate, optimized solution
is probably better. (I'm using the FrogPad when one-handed and have
found that the learning curve is easy).

Also, with a virtual keyboard there is no requirement to keep the
layout static. There are obvious advantages but I'm sure we could
all generate a reasonable virtual keyboard solution for grammatical
language (correct spelling) input.

There are also tons of studies in this field. Two researchers at
York University have a fairly comprehensive review of the options and
their benefits: http://www.yorku.ca/mack/hci3.html

---
Barbara Ballard 1-785-838-3003
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com

20 Jan 2006 - 11:10am
Thomas Költringer
2006

Hallo Jack!

On 20.01.2006, 15:45 you wrote:
> I've found this topic quite interesting, and I'm curious as to what
> you all think about pop-up keyboards meant for stylus input on
> handheld devices. Based on previous comments, I would think the ABC
> arrangement may be more appropriate for entering simple text.
> However, the presence of keys such as shift, return, delete, etc.
> would make a QWERTY layout more appropriate, since their placement on
> a standard keyboard is the only precedence.

The QWERTY layout is even not the best layout for a "normal" keyboard.
several studied reveal, that using other layouts (e.g. Dvorak) can
improve typing speed up to 30%. We cannot change the hardware
keyboards, because relearning is hard when you think that it takes
years to become an expert users.

Pen input differs from keyboard input, because it's more sequential
(one character after another) rather than parallel (more characters at
the same time) using a normal keyboard. Thinking of that and other
considerations Shumin Zhai [1] from IBM did a lot of work on
performance optimization of soft keyboards. He developed the ATOMIK
[2] (Alphabetically Tuned and Optimized Mobile Interface Keyboard)
layout. Together with the OPTI [3] layout these keyboards seam to be
the best for expert users. The learning curve is not that high, so
this might be a feasible alternative.

Kristensson and Zhai also presented SHARK^2 a text entry method that
combines a soft keyboard and gestures. There is a demo version
downloadable at the IBM website [5]. I want to have this on my mobile
device.

greetings

-Thomas

[1] http://www.almaden.ibm.com/u/zhai/
[2] http://www.almaden.ibm.com/u/zhai/papers/ZhaiHunterSmithHCIGalley.pdf
[3] http://www.yorku.ca/mack/CHI99a.html
[4] http://www.almaden.ibm.com/u/zhai/papers/KristenssonZhai2004.pdf
[5] http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/sharktext

20 Jan 2006 - 11:40am
Jack L. Moffett
2005

Thanks for the references, Thomas.

> The QWERTY layout is even not the best layout for a "normal" keyboard.

True, but it is the standard. Gains in typing performance are not
important enough to me to make the effort to switch to a Dvorak
layout. And while I have a lot of respect for research such as you
mentioned, I don't believe their solutions would be suitable for the
applications of which I'm thinking.

To be more specific than my last message, I do a fair amount of UI
design for mobile field workers. For example, I'm currently working
on a project with a company that manufactures electrical system
components. We're developing an application that helps technicians
record information about an electrical system on site. We're
suggesting the use of tablet computers, and as the task requires the
entry of text, pop-up keypads are part of the UI. Now, I'm imagining
the technician that I observed in the field walking up to a panel to
record information about a circuit breaker, tapping to open the
keyboard, and getting a layout like those designed specifically for
stylus use. He'd probably look at it and say, "What the (insert
colorful expletive of your choice) is this?!"

So, even though, if given the chance, the new layout may increase
performance after some amount of use, the initial reaction of the
users is enough to keep me from including it. There is enough
resistance to the introduction of technology without making it
entirely unfamiliar.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.690.2360 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

When I am working on a problem,
I never think about beauty.
I think only of how to solve the problem.

But when I have finished,
if the solution is not beautiful,
I know it is wrong.

- R. Buckminster Fuller

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19 Jan 2006 - 7:20pm
Baldo
2005

> Which format is better for users?
>
> 1. QWERTY
> 2. ABCDEF

Why QWERTY born?

let's read what wikipedia says:

"Frequently-used pairs of letters were separated in an attempt to stop
the typebars from intertwining and becoming stuck.... ....... QWERTY
also attempted to alternate keys between hands, allowing one hand to
move into position while the other hand strikes home a key. This sped
up both the original double-handed hunt-and-peck technique and the
later touch typing technique...."

So, let's focus on the "alternate keys between hands". If u wanna use
a "TV on-screen keyboard" and u can move only with 1 step movement,
but should avoid QWERTY layout and prefer something else (the only
second choose is ABCD layout).

Maybe u can make some statistic analysis to know where to break the
line to minimize movements of cursor (a square should be good.. don't
you think?)

20 Jan 2006 - 5:42pm
Fredrik Matheson
2005

Hi Jan,

can the on-screen application use the 0-9? If so, a T9-type clone (or even
just plain text messaging abc, def, ghi, etc) would do well.

If not, you might want to consider using a method called Trikey (as in
tri-key, not tricky!) described here: http://trikey.iu.hio.no/

In brief, it's a method for allowing text input at a decent speed using only
three keys. Thus, you could use the arrow buttons and have one to spare for,
well, whatever you want.

How frequently will the on-screen application be used? Once? Daily? All the
time? If very often, I'd suggest looking into using the keypad in the same
way users do on their mobiles.

Lastly, what market and country is the product aimed at? Don't forget to
leave space for the international characters if you plan to take it outside
the English-speaking domain.

- Fredrik

Fredrik Matheson
Interaction Designer
Oslo, Norway

19 Jan 2006 - 7:46pm
Narciso Jaramillo
2006

An alternate shortcut method I'd love to see in more consumer devices is
to allow cell phone-style input using the number keys. The simple
version assigns ABC to 2, DEF to 3, etc., where pressing the given key
multiple times cycles through the letters. The smarter version lets you
just type the numbers corresponding to each letter, and looks up the
possible matches in a dictionary; this would be great for choosing shows
from a TV listing, for example.

The downside is that most remotes probably don't have the numbers
labelled phone-style, so you'd probably need to show the number pad on
the screen to remind people of the mapping. And of course you'd still
want to include the standard arrow keys for people who aren't used to
phone-style entry.

nj

22 Jan 2006 - 11:01pm
Anirudha Joshi
2003

If you are time/budget crunched, try ABC, QUERTY or any other
variants. On the other hand, if there is some opportunity to innovate,
or even to use innovative solutions try some of the excellent
suggestions so far. Just adding one more:

- try dasher http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/ - it will work
really well with the remote and will need just one extra button to be
added (plus some sensors in the TV).

24 Jan 2006 - 4:37pm
mariaromera
2005

Hi Jan,

I've seen two different ways to handle this on a TV-- the first was within a game, the other digital TV.

In the game, the context is that you enter your name at the end of the level. This uses a Playstation 2 controller, and they make you use the up/down keys to scroll to the letter you want. On screen they show up/down arrows on either side of the letter you are currently entering.
- pros: simple navigation, easy to localize to other languages/character sets.
- cons: tedious and time consuming to get to letters at opposite ends of alphabet

In terms of the Digital TV example, the context is that you are entering the name of a show you want to search for in the schedule (guide). This uses the TV remote, utilizing up/down/right/left/select keys, and diplays the letters alphabetical in a **square grid**. There is a highlight that moves through the grid to show you where you are.
- pros: simple navigation, grid makes scrolling closer than a keyboard layout, easy to localize
- cons: well, it's still a little slow, but it's ok.

Now, I have experience doing text entry for mobile devices and localization of this software, so I have some further thoughts on this. As someone else mentioned, I think it would be entirely acceptable and very useful to utilize the sort of numeric pad text entry used on mobiles (aka "predictive text"). This would probably involve a software deal with one of the companies that make the engine -- Tegic (T9), Motorola (iTAP), or Zi (eZiText). The way it works is you integrate their engine, which is available for many languages (~40 including complex and script languages), and they interpret the key presses to make the words using a language database. There would be some UI work involved too, as you would need to show alternate words (i.e. 2-2-8 spells "act", "cat", and "bat").

I think an ideal solution would be to have the text engine available for those who want to use it, but also keep the letter grid for those who would prefer to scroll on the screen. The default would be to have predictive text turned off. When it's off, users could still press the numeric keys to "jump" to that letter of the alphabet in the style of what is called multi-tap on mobiles -- to get the letter "c" you press 2 three times. This would speed scrolling considerably.

Hope that helps.
Cheers,
Maria

From: Jan Koehler <jannko at gmail.com>
To: discuss at ixda.org
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2006 15:24:45 -0800
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] TV on-screen keyboard

TV on-screen keyboard to be used with remote control up/down arrow buttons.

Which format is better for users?

1. QWERTY
2. ABCDEF

thx

---------------------------------

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24 Jan 2006 - 10:53pm
ldebett
2004

On an international note, QWERTY isn't actually that... it can be
QWERTZ. And you might want to account for many other characters beyond
the "standard 26" like the ß, ü, ñ, ç, ø, å, etc. The ISO 8859-1 (or
other) standard can be a guideline...

~Lisa

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