Let Me Help You: Improving the Novice Experience of High-Performance Keyboard Layouts with Visual Clues

Dominik Grüneis, Marc Kurz, Erik Sonnleitner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the advent of smartphones, work tasks shift progressively towards mobile phones. The main hurdle of this progression is the substantially slower input speed of smartphones in comparison with physical keyboards. This input speed could be improved by using keyboard layouts optimized for use with smartphones. As these keyboard layouts are not commonly used, switching to them results in a poor novice experience with an initially decreased text input speed. Previous investigations confirmed that this poor novice experience can be attenuated by using visual clues accentuating the most probable keys. This gives rise to the question of which visual impression leads to the best performance improvement. Therefore, this article evaluates the performance of six visual clues with different visual impressions via a user study conducted with 28 participants. The results showed that the visual clue with a pop-up animation and the visual clue with an increased font size performed the best with a 4% and 3%, respectively, typing performance improvement. Nonetheless, the questionnaire and personal preferences part of the user study showed that a 4% performance gain is not enough to crown one individual visual clue as the best visual clue to be used with every individual. This leads to the conclusion that functionality to choose one personal preference is more important than focusing on one specific best clue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9391
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • human-centered computing
  • mobile computing
  • text input


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