Chinese input presents unique challenges to the field of human computer interaction. This study provides an anatomical analysis of today’s standard Chinese input process, which is based on pinyin, a phonetic spelling system in Roman characters.
Through a combination of human performance modeling and experimentation, our study decomposed the Chinese input process into sub-tasks and found that choice reaction time and numeric keying, two components resulted from the large number of homophones in Chinese, were the major usability bottlenecks. Choice reaction alone took 36% of the total input time in our experiment. Numeric keying for multiple candidates selection tends to take the user’s attention away from the computer visual screen.
We designed and implemented the EASE (Eye Assisted Selection and Entry) system to help maintaining complete touch-typing experience without diverting visual attention to the numeric keys. The EASE approach used a common selection key (spacebar) and implicit eye-tracking to replace the numeric keystrokes. Our experiment showed that such a system could indeed work, even with today’s imperfect eye-tracking technology.
Source: University of Tampere
Authors: Jingtao Wang | Shumin Zhai | Hui Su