The Elderly’s Text Entry on Smart Phones and Tablets: Challenges and Implications
Authors: Jia Zhou, Pei-Luen Patrick Rau, Gavriel Salvendy, Jie Zhanga
Abstract: This study aimed to investigate the elderly’s text entry experience on smart phones and tablets. An experiment was designed and conducted. During the experiment, 32 elders entered Chinese characters when using four applications (i.e., Contact, Microblog, Google Search, and Email) on four devices (i.e. Apple iPod Touch, Dell Streak, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Apple iPad). They used two input methods (i.e. handwriting and typing) to enter text. The results indicated that although text entry on smart phones and tablets could avoid certain problems with feature phones (e.g. multi-tap), it also caused new problems for the elderly. They made 13 types of errors. The number and outcome of each error was recorded. This made it possible to check which error happen frequently but is easy to recover from, and which error seldom happen but is difficult to recover from. Based on the analysis of text entry errors, design suggestions were provided to improve the elderly’s text entry experience.
Keywords: Text Entry, The Elderly, Smart Phones, Tablets, Errors
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