Research was conducted with 91 children between 9 and 11 years of age. The children learned and tested the interfaces with three games.
Two paradigms were reviewed: one pen-based interface and two keyboard-based interfaces. The pen-based interface was Graffiti and requires additional time to learn, its strokes are difficult to repeat, and it misinterprets characters. One soft keyboard was patterned after the QWERTY keyboard. The other soft keyboard was a researcher-developed alternative that utilized a child-friendly alphabetic order of keys.
The results indicate that the QWERTY keyboard was faster than both the ABC keyboard and the Graffiti interface. The ABC keyboard was more accurate than both the QWERTY keyboard and the Graffiti interface. The confusion matrix for Graffiti showed the children had significant trouble duplicating the strokes required to enter a letter and many times entered something that was interpreted as a symbol and not the intended letter. The children preferred the QWERTY interface over the ABC and Graffiti interfaces.
Both the quantitative and qualitative results of the study indicate the children prefer using the QWERTY interface. However, there is some evidence that the ABC interface is a valuable design to pursue for children in the concrete developmental stage.
|Keywords:||Children, Graffiti, Interface, Qwerty, Keyboard, Soft Keyboard|
Associate Professor of Information Technology, Science and Technology Division, Graceland University, Lamoni, IA, USA
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