Input Devices and Input Models

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Reading Responses

Soo Hyoung Cheong - 2/21/2013 17:28:30

1)voice: strength of this method is that assuming the text entry is done correctly and also it is very quick. However, the shortcoming of this method is that, it is very prone to error, since voice recognition is not as reliable. Direct touch: Usually the auto-completion works with direct touch text entry, so that is the strength that it can utilize; however, typing on small screen can get pretty time-consuming Stylus: you are able to do more exact text entry. However, it is like typing with one finger, so it can get pretty tedious. 2) Direct touch: strength is that it is easy to do, in that all material you need is just your finger. The Shortcoming of it is that fingers are usually larger than the actual thing you are trying to press, so it is slightly prone to error. Stylus input: strength is that it is more like that the input is very correct. The shortcoming is that it requires more time to find the stylus, pick it up, and then start pointing tasks. 3) voice is more suited for quick commands or sending a voice message. Direct touch is good for the purpose of receiving feedback, and making the screen to user interaction more realistic. Stylus is suitable for drawing and doing tasks that require precision.

Eun Sun Shin - 2/23/2013 10:18:51

1) Voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry make it convenient for users to input text. When a user's hands are occupied (cooking for example), then voice is useful because they will not have to touch their devices much. However, users who try to use voice often face difficulty because devices often do not correctly understand what people say and thus write incoherent sentences. Direct touch is useful compared to a stylus because users do not risk losing a stylus pen and because it gives users more faster control than a mouse for example. However, direct touch may be too sensitive, so user may get frustrated when the device reacts to minor touches with no intentions. Users also cannot use touch if their hands are occupied (because they were eating for example). A stylus gives users precise control when writing, making the pen very useful for artists. However, the stylus depends heavily on the pad and the pen, and if at least one is missing or not working properly, then the user cannot input text. The stylus also takes time to translate the user's handwriting into text on the device. 2) Direct touch for pointing tasks is useful because it not only senses position but also contact. Users will be able to quickly move from point a to point b which is why direct touch devices dominate in acquisition times. However, better acquisition times does not directly mean increased performance. If a button is small, then users with bigger fingers will have difficulty using the device with ease. A stylus on the other hand can prevent such difficulties because it allows the users to more precisely and accurate click on what they want. While direct touch may allow multitouch, a stylus often comes with one pen, limiting the user to one pointing task at most. 3) Direct touch is better than a mouse/keyboard for multitasking (if the device is able to sense multiple touches). Voice is better than a mouse/keyboard when it comes to more quickly doing a series of tasks. For example, Siri on the iPhone is able to set up alarms, show a list of nearby point of interests, and other tasks that require multiple steps in just one step (of commanding).

Jeffery Butler - 2/23/2013 10:55:03

1) A strength for stylus is that the user can switch between a command mode and a writing mode which enables the user to do a lot more with the interface. However, the stylus technology has to be able to tell the difference between the command mode and the input mode. A direct touch strength is that the user cannot lose it median of communication between the interface while with a stylus they can lose the object which would make the interface useless to the user. Direct touch shortcomings are that the user has to look at the screen to press the correct space to input the correct letter which makes the user constantly switch their vision between their input and the keyboard, the direct touch cannot feel key boundaries and the user cannot rest their fingers with the contact of the display. On the feedback sides of things, it is very easy for developers that have mouse user control to supply feedback while with the touch screen this is a very difficult issue. With Speech, some strengths are that the user can at the same time use speech as a communicative purpose while also telling the computer what action it should perform. Unfortunately, the shortcomings far out weight the strengths of speech because our current technology cannot handle a human to computer conversation at an adequate level. 2) In the article, the author suggests that a stylus object such as a pen has the following advantages, the stylus has high precision, the stylus can have buttons that relate to the interface in some way and the stylus has a single well defined point. The shortcomings of the stylus are the user’s hand still blocks some of the screen while pointing, the stylus is separate from the interface so the user can lose the stylus, and the interface cannot tell the difference between an accidental input and a direct stylus input which leave less room for human error. The strengths of the touch input for pointing tasks are that there can be 1-10> regions for touching enabling the user to use more than one touch for input, the user can use both hands to work the interface, the user’s fingers are always with them so the interface can always be used, and the user has more input options such as zooming in through pinch. On the other hand, the shortcomings of the touch event are that, the user can have a fat finger which will consequentially show up as to points or they will point to something they weren’t intending, accidental inputs are common where the user on accident touches the screen or the interface reads an input where they wasn’t any intended input. 3) A mouse and keyboard have a difficult time relying feedback to the user such as changing the cursor to the hour glass or highlighting the particular target that the user is attempting to use. Another situation where the mouse and keyboard are less efficient than the stylus and touching is with Absolute Mode. In this particular mode the users can touch either edge of the screen without having to drag a cursor from point a to point b.

Christina Hang - 2/23/2013 20:02:21

Although voice allows you to use both hands for other tasks like holding your phone, driving and so on, voice input may be error prone for text entry. Often times people cannot hear clearly when conversing through the phone, so a machine might have an even harder time recognizing specific words. Voice also allows for a faster input, but if the machine “hears” the wrong words, then speed doesn’t really help the user. Direct touch can also provide speed once the user is accustomed to typing on the screen. However, Hinckley points out that direct touch can occlude the screen, thus hiding the letters the user wants to input. There is also the problem of tactile feedback, where the user would know that they mistakenly inserted a letter when typing on a keyboard but they wouldn’t know when using direct touch. Also, small buttons and big fingers will lead to typing errors. A stylus will solve this big finger problem, but a stylus is easy to lose not like your fingers. Also, text entry with a stylus is slower than direct touch and voice, because the user has to manipulate a physical tool so the acquisition time is higher for a stylus than direct touch. A stylus will not solve the occlusion problem, because the hand holding the stylus will still block the users view. Direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks is better than a mouse because the user wouldn’t have to drag the cursor from one side of the screen to the other side. However, direct touch is not as accurate as a stylus, because one finger can trigger several contact regions where as a stylus is a single well-defined point. Direct touch and stylus input is also great for pointing because it doesn’t need a visual feedback in the form of a cursor like a mouse, and they don’t take up space. The user does not have to worry about hitting objects with direct touch and a stylus like they would with a mouse; they won’t have to lift the mouse to continue dragging towards the edge of the screen. This also means that these input methods are potential better for tracking and dragging than using a mouse. Although handwriting is better using a stylus than a mouse, recognition of natural handwriting is still problematic for a machine.

Alvin Yuan - 2/23/2013 21:08:03

For voice, the user is not required to be in some position (as is the case for writing) nor does it require any visual focus on the user (they can look elsewhere and speak at the same time). Voice can be very troublesome with error correction, capturing background noise/conversations, privacy, and the user environment (such as being in a library). Direct touch is accomodating in that it does not require the user to have an intermediary and is typically appropriate for most environments (whereas making sound may not always be appropriate). Problems with direct touch include accidental touches, occlusion, requiring hands to be bare (for capacitive) or the user to apply pressure that might lead to fatigue (resistive), and limiting users' hand positions and visual focus (possibly requiring two focuses as is the case with on-screen keyboards) when entering text. Using a stylus allows for high precision in positioning input and allows for more freeform text entry (such as supplementing text with diagrams or organizing text more flexibly). Weaknesses of using a stylus is that the user now needs another physical device to input text, the user may rest his wrist or fingers on the screen and this may disrupt input, and typically may require use of both hands (one hand to hold the pen, one to hold the receiving device).

For pointing, direct touch benefits again from not having an intermediary and can feel very direct in that pointing to objects of interest with our hands is already a common action. It suffers from occlusion (hand blocks the user from seeing what he is pointing to), precision (user may think he pointed at a slightly different location), and does not perform well on large surfaces (involves more arm reach). The stylus does better with occlusion and precision, but also suffers when surfaces are large. Many of the previous strengths and weaknesses mentioned before for these two input types still apply (such as direct touch still may cause fatigue and stylus still may have trouble with letting users rest their fingers or wrists on the surface).

Direct touch can support multi-touch operations, which can simplify many tasks such as rotating objects. When portability is an issue, direct touch also proves itself to be a strength over carrying intermediary devices. A stylus provides the user better control compared to a mouse in sketching. As mentioned before, voice can be well suited for tasks where hands and visual focus are not necessarily free, such as driving.

Mukul Murthy - 2/23/2013 22:10:38

1. There are many different methods for a user to enter text. One of these, voice, has the advantages of speed and experience - humans practice speech from the time they are babies. For a reasonably small set of vocabulary, speech to text conversion is quite good. However, one of the downsides is that speech to text conversion does not work well for larger vocabulary sets or when more grammar is used. There is often training necessary, and even then users may have a hard time creating new words (such as names) or making up words or slang. Another downside to voice entry is that there is often background noise, or the user is in a location where they cannot speak. Direct touch is very convenient because the user needs no mechanical intermediary; they always have their fingers on them. The article states that humans tend to be pretty good at using either hand for direct touch input. However, one downside is that typing using only thumbs tends to be pretty slow. The article discusses many different types of touch keyboards, including mechanical and on-screen keyboards. Mechanical keyboards add to the size and weight of the device, and on-screen keyboards can be difficult and slow to type on because the letters are close together and there is no tacticle feedback. A stylus has the advantage that it is much more precise than direct touch because it has a narrow tip. This means that a user using a stylus will typically make fewer mistakes. However, a stylus for text entry uses one of the few strengths finger entry has - since we have multiple fingers used for text entry (typically thumbs), speed can be increased because another finger can move to the next key before while the previous one is still being typed. With a stylus, there is only one point of contact, so it is even slower than using fingers on keyboards. Users can write words and have the system convert it to text, but writing speed is typically about 15wpm according to the article (not very fast).

2. For pointing tasks, direct touch has an advantage that the user can touch their finger to exactly where they want to point to. It is fairly precise. An interface designed for direct touch will usually have larger touch target areas, which according to Fitt's law will allow the user to select their option faster. There is also no acquisition and reacquisition time. One drawback to direct touch is that fingers can be fat, leading to a large occlusion area from both fingers and hands. This problem of occlusion is amplified in gestures like pinch-to-zoom, where much of the screen could be covered. Using a stylus for pointing tasks is very precise, again because of the narrow contact tip. Since a stylus usually has a skinny barrel, there is less occlusion than when using fingers. However, one of the drawbacks of a stylus is the need for the mechanical intermediary. Styluses are very easy to lose. Another drawback is that there is a high acquisition time (unsheathing the stylus) and reacquisition time (repositioning the stylus for use). People also usually use the stylus only with their preferred hand, so it is not as flexible.

3. One other task that direct touch and stylus inputs are better for is for drawing and sketching. Using a stylus is like using a pen; drawing is much easier to do this way than with a mouse. This is one reason why drawing apps (such as the ones we wrote) are so prevalent for touch screen mobile devices, and many newspaper artists draw on tablets - it gives the user much more control. Direct touch and stylus inputs are also suitable for any task that must be performed on the go - it's very easy to use fingers or a stylus anywhere, but not so easy to carry around a mouse and keyboard and use them on, for example, a train.

Timothy Ko - 2/24/2013 12:45:01

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry

Strengths: • Handwriting and annotations are much easier with direct touch and stylus • No external hardware (like a hard keyboard) needed. This is especially useful for smaller devices like smartphones or tablets. • Stroke, and voice, based entry is less fatiguing for the hands than typing on a keyboard Shortcomings: • Occlusion: Except for voice, you need a soft keyboard, which takes up part of the screen. • There’s no tactile feedback like a hard keyboard has; as a result you need to come up with different ways to provide feedback (clicks, highlighting keys on soft keyboards) • You often have to look at the keyboard when typing (since no touch means you don’t know where your fingers are typing), which is especially a problem for large screens, since you probably can’t see what you are typing as you type it (phones get away with this since the screens are small enough to include everything in your vision). • Text entry often requires recognition, especially for voice. This has more delay than regular keyboard entry. Recognition is also more error prone, which means you need a way to correct the errors, which takes even more time for the user.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks

Strengths: • There’s no need for tracking a cursor; you can just point at what you want. • Moving between items can take less time, because you get to use more of your muscles/body (arms, and maybe even shoulders, in addition to hands and wrists) to aid in movement • Ideal for small input displays; having a mouse for a smartphone would not only be unnecessary, but inconvenient Shortcomings: • Occlusion, your hand and/or stylus is often blocking parts of the screen; your arm can too if you are working with a large touch screen • There is less accuracy, since you have to select when you point (whereas with a mouse you can hover over icons and such before actually selecting them), and since your fingers are fatter • Latency is also a factor here, and it is a bigger problem with direct input devices than it is for indirect ones; the reason is that latency is more readily perceived on direct input devices

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

• Voice is good for tasks that are better done hands-free. For example, dialing numbers by voice while driving is actually feasible, whereas by touch it’s extremely dangerous and also illegal.

• Drawing is done better by direct touch or stylus because people are more accustomed to drawing in this way. There is also less strain on your hand since all you have to do to draw is touch the screen. With a mouse you have to hold a button and drag in order to draw. Styli, and to a lesser extent direct touch, also provides more precision for drawing than a mouse does because it allows for a tripod grip/lever since you can use your arm to help support drawing.

• I would also argue that password inputs are better done with direct touch and styli, and perhaps even voice, for the fact that they are often memorized by the movements and gestures involved, rather than the actual character combination. This is especially true for those “connect-the-dot” touch passwords, like the ones you see on Android devices.

Shujing Zhang - 2/24/2013 16:49:10


  • Voice:

Strength: Voice requires no mechanical intermediary, so user can start interact immediately. Second, it is also the fastest among three means of input – the acquisition time is low you don’t need to write it down. Third, it is convenient. No active force interacting with the screen is required. Shortcomings: Low precision – the precision often depends on the accent, accuracy of the devices. There is no 100% accurate translation from voice to text. Second, there is no elementary input, so if the user want to delete or copy/paste the text, he/she should still turn to touch or stylus for editing the text. Third, voice will generate a lot of false input when there are background noise or accent.

  • Direct touch:

Strength: First, it does not require a mechanical intermediary, so there is nothing to lose. Second, the user can start interacting immediately, there is no additional acquisition time required to grasp or unsheathe a stylus. Third, there are more hand elementary inputs; it comes handy when you want to have more gesture for inputs. Shortcomings: First, the precision is low when you try to select something. Second, direct touch does not equipped with barrel button like some stylus, so it is less convenient when you want to erase something. Third, direct touch can easily generate false input in that the finger can tap to more areas or rest on the screen while holding devices.

  • Stylus:

Strength: Stylus has lever-arm that affords a tripod grid for precise control. Second, it has small tip allowing one to indicate small objects on the screen. Third, if it has some bottom that performs some functionality, it will be handier than other methods. Shortcoming: Less hand elementary inputs compared to direct touch, but can be mitigated by bottoms on the stylus. Second, requires mechanical intermediary, so the acquisition time is the longest. Third, when using the stylus, the palm can accidentally touch the screen and generate some false inputs.


  • Direct touch:

Strength: Acquisition time is low, so it requires less time to finish the pointing tasks. Second, for larger screen the multiple touches will have advantage over stylus, the efficiency of pointing task will out perform stylus easily. Shortcoming: The precision is relatively low compared to stylus since the nominal target size for rapid acquisition via touch is about 10-18 square millimeters. Second for optical touch-screens, the device may sense touches when none occurred.

  • Stylus:

Strength: The precision is very high since the contact is only one point and with the help of lever arm. Shortcoming: The acquisition time is high. It is not applicable for multi-touching pointing tasks.

3) Tasks that are better suitable for methods other than mouse+ keyboard are as follows: Drawing/sketching, Games, picture special effect rendering, reading electronic books(involving switching pages, enlarging and reducing sizes).

Colin Chang - 2/24/2013 19:04:40

Some people claim that voice, direct touch, or stylus/handwriting are more natural ways of providing input to an application. Such labels often gloss over a more nuanced picture of strengths and shortcomings of input methods. Based on the Hinckley chapter, discuss:

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry I don't remember reading about voice, in the article, but off the hip, one strength of voice is that it is a viable 'input device' to even the illiterate and requires no additional model of communication to learn (like typing as a skill or even reading). One disadvantage is that, at the technology's current stage of development, is its lack of precision. An advantage of direct touch is that it does not require an intermediary device (like stylus writing requires a stylus and typing requires a keyboard). A disadvantage of direct touch is also the lack of precision (the article calls it the 'midas touch problem') - when trying to touch type on a keyboard you may type the incorrect, close key if it does not offer physical feedback. Just the opposite advantages and disadvantages is true for the stylus: precise (at least, moreso than touch, and perhaps less so than mouse) but requires an intermediary device. 2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks Pointing tasks for a stylus require a greater amount of 'acquisition time', which I will assume matters in this case (at least moreso than in text entry) since it is not necessarily a continuous activity (like text entry is) - a disadvantage. One advantage, like before, is the precision. Imagine pointing at very small things, for instance. Touch has visa-versa advantages and disadvantages (low acquisition time, but also lower precision) 3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard. Certain higher-level actions work well for touch. Zooming makes a lot of sense for touch (multi-touch gestures, specifically). As for the stylus, drawing is better suited for it than mouse+keyboard.

Michael Flater - 2/24/2013 19:16:15

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry.

As outlined in the paper, technologies for voice, touch and stylus for text entry are still not as good as the traditional keyboard. Touch and stylus can slow a user down as compared to a Keyboard as well. There is more to this than just speed and technology. For instance, some people find writing to be a better pace than typing and this allows their thoughts to flow more naturally from pen to paper. I, having grown up writing papers on a keyboard, find the act of typing to be more natural while putting thoughts onto paper (or screen). Voice is another story but still keeps with the overall picture that I am trying to paint. People don't write like they talk, in fact, they shouldn't. People pause, correct themselves, and make huge contextual errors while talking, such as incomplete sentences. This is not to say that voice recognition isn't suited for all people, it could be very helpful for people with disabilities.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks.

The real question here is actually which is suited better for pointing. I would think a finger is much better suited, but I do lots of pointing with my pen throughout the day. The drawback of touch is that a stylus can use an intermediary for the input. This allows users to also touch the screen with their fingers and not mess up the task at hand. Obviously, as the text points out, the stylus is another piece of equipment to buy, forget at home, or lose. It also, depending on how it is implemented, could create a disconnect from the screen and the pad to which the stylus operates. This has its limitations for some people when compared to touch, that would typically be directly on the screen itself.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

I find direct touch to be much better suited for small devices such as a phone. The virtual keypad on the iPhone is small and leads to errors more often than real keyboards but for navigating a map, with the pinch and tapping abilities, it is a more natural fit than clicking buttons with a mouse.

Tiffany Lee - 2/24/2013 19:34:06

1) A very natural way for text entry is through voice. This requires no learning, unlike typing. However, it also has some shortcomings such as the fact that it can become tiring and can also be inaccurately interpreted by the device. Direct touch requires learning and needs practice in order for typing to become efficient which is another drawback. Furthermore, in direct touch, the keyboard blocks screen space, the hands can block the keyboard making it hard for typing to be accurate, there is a lack of natural feedback for typing since the user can't feel the natural boundaries of the keys, and typing splits the users visual attention. Direct touch also has some strengths such as the fact that this way of text entry is great for mobile devices because there is no intermediary device needed that can be lost or makes the device heavier or larger (external keyboard). The use of a stylus for text entry is similar to voice, in that it is natural way of text entry that requires no extra practice to master, a strength. However, this type of text entry is slow, handwriting recognition can sometimes be wrong, and the use of a stylus can be burdensome because it is easy to loose the stylus and it requires more acquisition time.

2) The direct touch strengths for pointing tasks include: multi-touch possibilities, more possible movements than the stylus, and the fact that the user does not need an intermediary mechanism - allowing for a low acquisition time. Direct touch also have some shortcomings that include the fact that the user's hand may occlude the screen, it may not be as precise as the stylus, and false inputs can be common. Precision is the stylus's main strength. However, the stylus only allows one point of contact, it takes time to unsheathe the stylus resulting in higher acquisition time, and the stylus can easily be lost; all of which are shortcomings.

3) Some other tasks these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard are drawing tasks, certain games that require actions that simulate real life actions such as fruit ninja, and mobile applications that require the least amount of ancillary devices such as a keyboard.

Kimberly White - 2/24/2013 21:26:40

1. Voice text entry, while "natural", can make mistakes easily. Because of differences in pronunciation, background noise, and the overall difficulties of voice recognition, the application may pick up incorrect words or phrases. Having to speak to enter text also means being audible to those around you, which may make entering private information (like a password) difficult, and can disturb people around the user. Spoken entry could also make some characters harder to type, or require a second part to the interface to access them. Depending on the user, having to speak (as opposed to typing) may also slow down input.

Direct touch for text entry poses a problem of fingers being big, and there being a lot of letters. One fix for this is auto-correct, though that's far from perfect. The upside of direct touch text entry is that the user doesn't need any special tools, like a stylus or keyboard.

A stylus fixes the direct touch issue of big fingers, but adds a problem of requiring a stylus, which can take time to take out, and can be lost.

2. When it comes to styluses and direct touch, a stylus provides the affordances of a pen, while also allowing the pen to have buttons and other options, such as an "eraser" on the end. On the downside, a stylus can be lost or forgotten (as opposed to fingers, which most users will always have with them). A stylus also allows for more precision, and cover less of the screen than a finger would. Direct touch, on the other hand, cannot be forgotten and allows for more gestures (though less precise), such as pinching or rotating.

3. Some tasks simply lend themselves better to non-keyboard controls. For example, voice input could allow an application to use the pitch of the voice, instead of trying to pick out words. Multi-touch sensors allow for gestures like pinching, or rotating about a point, which mouse input cannot do. Stylus input makes drawing easier and smoother, for graphical applications.

Erika Delk - 2/24/2013 22:24:27

1. Voice is strong in that it does not require a "mechanical intermediary" and almost everyone can do it without any learning curve. It is weak in that accuracy is poor because people do not always speak clearly and it is still very different than having a real conversation. Touch is good in that it is more accurate than voice, it is bad because it splits the user's attention between the screen and the keyboard. Stylus entry is more accurate even yet and lets the user interact with the data the same way they would if they were using a pen, but is painfully slow and has poor acuracy.

2. Direct stylus input is good in the sense that it is very precise, the shape of the object allows us to use it as a lever. It is bad because the user has the to spend the extra time picking up a separate object. Touch is good because unlike styluses, there is no acquision time, but bad in that it is much less precise.

3. Touch is good for tasks involving basic object manipulation, like selecting a button or dragging an icon. Voice is good in situations where the user is not in a position to see the input method (like when they are driving, etc). Stylus entry, on the other hand, is best for things like computerized art,etc, where having physical similarity to a pen is very beneficial.

Elise McCallum - 2/24/2013 23:23:28

1) One advantage of a stylus for text entry is that it features a pointed tip and is very similar to a pen that one would use to write on paper. This thus affords writing, and allows the user to input defined text that matches their normal handwriting (as opposed to using one's finger, which has a far less defined tip). One disadvantage of using a stylus for text entry is that one must be in possession of a stylus in order to use it, while a finger is ever present (barring any freak accident). An additional disadvantage is that character recognition is not error-proof. Letters could easily be mistaken for others (i.e. an “a” for an “o”), which causes errors for the user and requires additional corrections. One advantage of voice for text entry is that it saves the user time, as they no longer have to input every word letter by letter. It is also more natural, and directly reflects how they would speak (since it is transcribing spoken word). An additional advantage is that there is no occlusion with voice entry, as there is nothing to block the screen from the user, and the user is thus able to see whatever they have been saying/ are responding to. One obvious disadvantage of voice for text entry is that the recognition software available today is far from complete. Any slight mispronunciation (which is common, especially for non-native speakers) will not be transcribed correctly, resulting in an error of text input. This means the user will have to use another input method in order to correct the error, detracting to the time initially saved from the application. There may also be a further issue of latency, wherein the user has to wait for what they said to appear on the screen in order to see if they made any mistakes, or remember what they said earlier. An advantage of direct touch for text entry is that a user can use both their dominant and non-dominant hand to interact with the system easily. The stylus generally can only be used the dominant hand, as that is the one the user is accustomed to using for writing. This makes tasks such as typing with an on-screen keyboard easier using direct touch (with two thumbs at once) as opposed to individually tapping each letter with a single stylus. A disadvantage of direct touch for text entry is that it is easy to accidentally hit the wrong key (e.g. when using an on-screen keyboard), and it takes extra strokes to erase the mistake and input the correct letter/symbol. 2) One advantage of the stylus in pointing tasks is that it is more precise than the finger (or direct touch). Because it bears a fine point, a stylus can point to a more specific part of the screen than the finger. It also means the user is not limited by the type of screen (i.e. one activated by pressure versus conductivity), as a stylus should work for both. The user can also wear gloves without the concern that the screen will not be able to pick up the signal of where they are pointing. The disadvantage again lies in the fact that a person must have with them the stylus in order to use it. There is also a minor problem of occlusion, in that the stylus blocks the user from seeing what he or she is actually pressing. An additional disadvantage is that of latency, as the time between pointing with the stylus and seeing the result may be delayed (making it more difficult to catch errors early). An advantage of direct touch in pointing is that a user can take advantage of having more than one point to use for interaction. This means the user can perform actions such as pinching or spreading (used generally to zoom in or out of an interface) by pointing to two parts of the screen at once and then dragging. This is impossible to do with a stylus, as a stylus has only one point. A shortcoming of direct touch in pointing is that, depending on the type of screen, the user must ensure they are taking the appropriate actions to interact with the interface. This may include removing gloves, or putting extra pressure on the screen. Additionally, the finger is less precise than a stylus, as it has a wider surface area. Thus, if two buttons are too close together, then the finger may have difficult pressing only one and not both, and further difficulty pressing the correct button. An additional disadvantage is a finger occludes the screen so that the user cannot see the part of the screen they are interacting with. Since the finger is wider than the stylus, there is more occlusion with direct touch. An additional disadvantage is that of latency, as the time between pointing with direct touch and seeing the result may be delayed (making it more difficult to catch errors early). 3) In addition to the pinch and zoom mentioned in the pointing section, these input devices are also better at selecting multiple objects, as it is easier to tap on five things with five fingers than manually move and select each item individually through a mouse and keyboard. Direct touch is also better for shape-based input or selecting a region based on orientation or relative position (something which is hard to achieve using a mouse with only one orientation). This set of devices also works better for “phrasing,” as there is continual pressure-induced feedback for performing such actions as expanding context menus. Scrolling can also be made easier by the direct touch method, as one can scroll and stop faster.

Brian L. Chang - 2/25/2013 1:16:24

Voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry might be a little more nature to what we do in a normal day. These direct forms map to everyday interactions like speaking and writing with a pen. They, however, can be much slower and require more of your attention when you are inputing. They also are often prone to errors and must be corrected some how. As mentioned in the reading, on larger screens this can be a big problem since users do not realize they made a mistake until later since the area of input may be far away from the area of output.

    For pointing tasks, direct touch and stylus input can be very helpful since they only require you to move your finger and press. This maps very nicely and is very nature for a user. There is not too much shortcoming to pointing tasks unless the hardware is a "hard-touch" screen. Another minor shortcoming is that depending on the hardware, a special pen maybe required and different types touches may not be distinguished.
    Tasks like scrolling and rolling through a dial are also more suited to direct touch. Stylus allow for pinpoint precision when used correctly and voice inputs are useful when youre trying to make a digital copy of a song/voice. Mouse+keyboard input would be quite troublesome for these especially trying to recreate a song/voice.

Ryan Rho - 2/25/2013 1:24:47

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry


  * It covers familiar input using a keyboard as a direct touch, and using a voice when your hands are not available.

  * In addition, the input also covers detailed manipulation using a stylus, so that the input also accepts drawings and sketches.
  * Thus, the device covers a variety of inputs so that its applications can have rich user experience.


  * Since there are several ways for input, the device should handle well for switching from one input to another. For example, the user could use the voice and then use stylus consecutively.
  * First time users would feel hard to learn the several inputs at the same time. They would firstly think that voice is familiar because it is a natural way for humans to communicate. However, it is not as accurate as other inputs.
  * When it comes to voice, there will be frequent errors compared to other inputs. Thus, people will use voice mostly in specific conditions, such as driving, compared to other inputs. As a result, the application using these inputs think about its user interface differently.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks


  * While you can have a detailed manipulation with a stylus, you can still select a task even though you don't have a style by using direct touch.
  * Not only you can point tasks with either direct touch or stylus, but also you can write a note or sketch using direct touch or stylus.


  * Since it handles both direct touch and stylus for pointing tasks, the screen has to deal with differentiating between direct touch and stylus. In addition, direct touch should especially handle the discrepancy between where the user touches and where the user actually touches.
  * The application that utilizes this input should consider the fact that direct input may be less detailed than the stylus so that the size of each task should be considered.
  * The device must consider single-touch vs. multi-touch difference because using a stylus usually means a single touch, but direct touch may also allow multiple touches, allowing multiple pointing of tasks.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

  * Interactive video games that involve with multiple touches with voice commands.
  * Giving commands on small devices such as smart watches which may be more suitable using a direct touch and voice.
  * Digital note-taking which should provide user experience of mapping with the real notebook and a pen with a screen device and a stylus.

Haotian Wang - 2/25/2013 1:33:05

1) Voice's strength is its speed in input as well as its ease of use. The weakness of voice is that it is prone to error. Direct touch has the strength of being able to correct errors in writing, making it more accurate. However, it's much slower and requires additional eye coordination. A stylus is advantageous in that it's the most "natural" way to write, yet it's very difficult to manipulate the written text to turn it into stored characters, which the user would want to manipulate later. 2) Direct touch has the advantage of being faster to use, in that there doesn't need to be time to take out your finger or to find your finger. It's disadvantageous because it is less accurate, and so bad for pointing at small things. A stylus is advantageous in its accuracy, but disadvantageous in that it will eventually be lost, and it needs to be taken out every time before use. 3) Voice has an advantage over mouse-keyboard when the use case is mobile, since it would be difficult to bring a mouse-keyboard. Direct touch is advantageous when multiple simultaneous contacts are needed, such as pinching to zoom, which is a crucial feature on small screens which require enlargement. Stylus is better for drawing, where a mouse would be too inaccurate because it is indirect.

Cong Chen - 2/25/2013 2:08:35

1) The strengths of voice for text entry is that a user can directly say what he or she wants to be typed into the text entry; it is a direct interaction and there is no middle medium such as the keyboard for inputing what the user wants to say. This way, there is less overhead time involved for the user in terms of typing. However, there are shortcomings because the computer has to process what you say and find the appropriate word to fill in. Because of this, there can be more overhead if the program is bad and also, there are chances of mistakes that would require the user to go back and fix, adding more potential overhead time.

The strengths of direct touch is that the user can type onto a keyboard or draw out the character. This is particularly advantageous for language inputs other than english such as Chinese. The shortcomings are that you would be using a keyboard on a touch screen. Thus, it is more indirect as you much pay attention to the screen for feedback; you do not have a physical keyboard to feel and work with. Likewise, because it's touch screen, the pop-up keyboard can cover up parts of the screen and make typing hard, making it easier to make mistakes.

The strengths of a stylus for the text entry are that the user has more precision and thus, can also draw out characters but with more precision. This way, the user can get the character right with a higher chance. The shortcomings are the time it takes for the user to get the stylus out or if the user loses the stylus, it is a pain. Likewise, the stylus makes it difficult to type away on a keyboard cause you only have 1 point of precision and cannot do multiple inputs (use 2 thumbs to type on touch screen)

2) The strengths of direct touch for point tasks are that it is very direct; the user touches where he or she wants to point. It is intuitive and straightforward. Likewise, user can get precise by physically moving their finger to the target. The shortcomings are by placing a finger on the object you want to mark, your physical finger blocks out the screen, making it so that you cannot actually see the screen for what is happening.

The strengths of a stylus for this task is that a stylus is very precise (it is a point). Likewise, the user has a medium to use (the pen feel of the stylus), allowing the user to see what he or she is pointing to and also, it gives the user a very natural feel in terms of pointing as if they were working with a pencil and paper. The shortcomings are that using a stylus takes time to get out and if you lose it, you have to replace it.

3) The voice input method is better suited for simple tasks of moving between certain slides or things on a computer. It is ideal for moving among a set of things, like points on a line or slides in a slideshow. This way, you can give simple commands of moving forward or whatnot and because there is not too much flexibility in the system, it is easy to process and intuitive and not complicated on the user.

The stylus method is well suited for drawing tasks on the computer because it bridges the analogy of drawing with a pencil and paper really well. Humans are not used to drawing things with a mouse; it is difficult to be precise and have control. Having a stylus gives the user much more precision in their actions and thus, it is more ideal for drawing applications.

The direct touch method is well suited for devices (as it is already well used for mobile phones). The advantage of direct touch is that you do not need additional hardware (like the stylus) so it is convenient to use it for portable devices that are small. Likewise, touch based interfaces gives the user a lot of control and power in terms of controlling applications and navigating (like pop up keyboards, drag and drop, etc). Though non of these "virtual" input mediums are the best, they are reasonable in the that the user has the option of these input methods that people are used to. The goal is to keep mobile devices mobile.

Dennis Li - 2/25/2013 2:17:37

1) The stylus provides a familiar medium for text entry. The pen, commonly something all users are comfortable with, is precise and allows the user to write in their own unique font. The flexibility of the stylus does not limit what characters a user can enter. On the other hand, the stylus is perhaps not as fast at text entry than the keyboard for some users. Additionally, there is the hassle of retrieving and keeping track of the stylus. Contrarily, touch allows the user to always be ready to input text using touch, one also has little to fear when it comes to losing their fingers. The downside of touch is that text entry using the finger is likely not as rapid or accurate as with a stylus. With voice, we are given perhaps an even faster and rapid input device than both direct touch and the stylus. Like touch, voice is virtually always available to us and has less chance of being lost than stylus. Consequentially, voice is still not perfect. Most notably, voice is the least discrete of the three entry forms. Also entry through voice is most error prone and usually only suitable in a quiet controlled environment. Who knows what a device's microphone will pick up.

2) Again the strengths of the touch are the accessibility and low latency of fingers. Additionally, with the current trend in multi touch, fingers perhaps offer multiple layers of complexity for pointing input options. The greatest shortcoming of touch, however, is accuracy. With the sylus, you are given a tool with a much finer edge and level of precision than the fat finger. Aside from this advantage, however, touch is superior is near every way.

3) Touch is better for pointing actions that require great amounts of movement. Because you have two hands, and can move your hands quite quickly and accurately, touch becomes quite appealing for applications that require you to point at a tool bar that is far on the edge of the screen. The strength of the stylus lies in its flexibility. For those not used to entering characters in a foreign language, such as Chinese, it may be much easier and faster to use a stylus rather than the keyboard. Drawing is also obviously easier with a stylus or finger than the mouse. Voice is most useful for the lazy user. It may be appealing to be able to simply ask the computer to open a file rather than have to search for it in a series of folders.

Kevin Liang - 2/25/2013 2:39:03

1) Hinckley mentions that the stylus with stroke gestures is great for text entry once the user masters it but it does have a learning curve to it. One downfall for stylus entry is that it can be slow. For example when you try to use a stylus as handwriting with word or letter recognition, it may be pretty slow. Voice for text entry is also great and also has its downfalls. With easy vocabulary, it works very well. For example speaking a person's name in your contacts to call works well. Where it falls is grammar. English grammar is complex and voice recognition is not smart enough to detect exactly what it is you're trying to say with correct grammar. Another downfall is that the quality of the microphone can affect the user input and therefore return incorrect results. A shortcoming of direct touch is that it demands "significant visual attention" (user to look at the screen). If a user mistyped a letter, it may not even be apparent because the user is so focused on staring at the keys. Direct touch provides ease of typing though. All it takes is a tap and often has word correction for small typing errors.

2) A stylus is very helpful for handwriting, drawing, and sketching. It is also very efficient because of the sharp tip that allows you to accurately tap small objects on the display. A shortcoming of this is that a stylus is slower to use and often takes more time for preparation because a user has to pull the stylus out of their pocket or wherever it is stored. Also you cannot perform certain actions with a stylus such as pinching. Anything that requires multi-touch basically cannot be performed with a stylus. Direct touch has an advantage because everybody carries their fingers with them and thus is easily accessible. The downsides of touch is the upsides of stylus. Some people may have thick fingers and therefore may be hard to target a specific button. Touch wins with convenience but loses to the stylus on accuracy.

3) Voice is great for command based tasks. This is not mentioned in the article, but Siri is a good example of voice to command. It can make things much faster and easier if Siri recognizes what you are saying properly. Voice is extremely powerful if we develop the technology to recognize it properly because it is the fastest way of communication. We talk faster than we can type, we talk faster than we can input a specific task onto our phones (e.g. calendar scheduling). The only downfall of voice is if the the software does not do a good job in recognizing our voice input.

Ben Dong - 2/25/2013 3:28:23

For text entry, voice is convenient but relatively inflexible and potentially inaccurate. As the reading states, the keyboard is unlikely to be replaced, as touch-screen replacements are not as effective. Touch screens require significant visual attention in order to enter the correct keys. There is no decent feedback system, and the keyboard often occludes the screen itself. Extended use is fatiguing because users cannot rest their fingers on the keys as they could with a mechanical keyboard. A stylus for handwriting is also a poor replacement for a keyboard, since it is much slower.

For pointing tasks, direct touch and stylus input offer various tradeoffs. Direct touch offers better multitouch support, often with shape information. However, stylus input is generally more precise. Both lead to some occlusion of the screen in various ways. The stylus is better suited for drawing paths with less fatigue, but direct touch allows for certain gestures such as pinching. The stylus requires time to acquire, but makes up for that with extra buttons for the program to use. Both input methods require some correction for false inputs.

Direct touch and stylus input tend to be better for interactive activities that require immediate visual feedback. In addition, activities which can be naturally done with a pen are typically much easier with touch entry. For example, a classic example would be drawing a picture. However, the mouse and keyboard can be more precise or efficient for other tasks, and the keyboard is certainly far superior for text entry.

Sihyun Park - 2/25/2013 5:46:34

1. Given that the interpretation of voice is perfect, the user can enter text the quickest using voice, as the speed of entering text would be the same as speaking the text. However, the premises that the interpretation of voice is perfect is extremely hard to achieve, and voice interpretation is prone to error in the real-world, making the speed of entering text far slower than ideal. Direct touch does not require any additional input device, allowing the user to carry around just the device without additional equipments. However, this comes at a cost of typing directly at the screen, which means the user must keep his/her attention to the screen showing the on-screen keyboard. This poses a problem for blind people, as well as regular users, whose attention is divided, not to mention the lack of tactile feedback. Stylus gives users far more precision when typing text, but comes at a cost of the risk of losing the stylus. A design hybrid where the user would make strokes across the on-screen keyboard can be a solution, but requires some learning curve.

2. For pointing tasks, direct touch allows the user to interact with software user interface as they would with real-life objects, thereby providing the most natural user experience as possible. In addition, the user can use a number of pointing devices at once (e.g. 10 fingers), so there are far more ways of interacting with the interface. However, direct touch lacks a secondary mode of input (e.g. right-click) and the amount of area that the pointing device makes contact with the screen is larger than the stylus and indirect input devices, lowering the accuracy of the input. The stylus, on the other hand, provides far greater accuracy, as the surface area of contact is smaller and the user is most likely already familiar with using a similar device (e.g. pencil & pen). Stylus also allows secondary buttons, just like the mice. However, there is a high risk of losing the stylus, and the user can only interact using one pointing device at a time (as opposed to ~10 for direct touch.)

3. These input methods are well-suited for applications that simulate tasks that people would do in real-life, or applications that involve direct manipulation of the screen. A good example of this is a painting app. It is far easier to draw using one's finger or a stylus than a mice, as users can directly manipulate the screen and users are already familiar with drawing using their fingers or pens/brushes. Many game applications also use this to their advantage, like Tap Tap Revenge. In Tap Tap Revenge, the user directly touches the screen according to the taps that fall towards the bottom of the screen. This mimics the users' real-life behavior of tapping when listening to music. As direct input methods allow users to directly manipulate the screen and guarantees affordances that mimics real-life objects, direct input methods are well-suited for such applications.

Jian-Yang Liu - 2/25/2013 8:25:17

1) Strengths: Offers an expressive mix of writing, sketches, and diagrams that mouse/keyboards don’t allow. When used to annotate a document, can implicitly emphasize important points in context. Can help users generate a breadth of design concepts. Shortcomings: Doesn’t allow for heavy typing. Key size dictated by screen dimensions. Demand significant visual attention so as to make sure the entered text is correct. Can be intensely fatiguing, because one cannot rest fingers on the display and must keep fingers pulled back so as not to accidently activate buttons/keys. Converting lengthy passages (from voice to text, or handwriting to text) to error-free text remains tedious.

2) Strengths: Can allow multi-touch Does not require moving indirect input device to the target location, but can simply press on the location immediately (minimal acquisition time). Not only senses position, but also contact events that traditional pointing devices lack. Shortcomings: Finger/stylus covers the area where the user is pointing. Mismatch between sensed input position and the apparent input position due to viewing angle (currently only less than 2mm) Often lack buttons suitable for right-click, which can lead to heavy use of awkward interface band-aids as touch and hold. Must be streamlined for rapid activation, but to prevent accidental activation. Doesn’t allow hover states, which can show the user the target that will result before committing to it. Doesn’t allow for good feedback with regard to potential causes of unexpected behavior (users receive the source of feedback as only the application)

3) Sketching/drawing Brainstorming Writing short messages to others (SMS) Tasks that require bimanual (or more) input

Aarthi Ravi - 2/25/2013 8:26:42

1) Strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry:

Strengths Voice - No occlusion. No mechanical intermediary required.Does not require any activation force/pressure. Acquisition time is minimum. Direct Touch- Moderate level of precision as it only fails when the hand occludes the screen or when the region of contact is displaced. No mechanical intermediary required.Does not require any activation force/pressure. Acquisition time is close to minimum. Stylus- Highest level of precision as it has only a single point of contact.

Shortcomings Voice- Lowest level of precision as accuracy depends on the underlying algorithm to convert voice to text and these algorithms always introduce errors. False inputs when the algorithm fails to convert speech to text accurately. Direct Touch- Hand largely occludes the screen causing one to make error while entering text. False inputs are produced when the palm accidentally touches the screen or the device senses touch when none occurred. Stylus- Hand slightly occludes the screen could introduce a few errors in text entry. Requires non-zero Activation Force.False inputs when the palm accidentally touches the screen.

2) Strengths and Shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks

Strengths Voice- No occlusion. No mechanical intermediary required.Does not require any activation force/pressure.Acquisition time is minimum. Direct Touch- Moderate level of precision as a few errors are introduced by occlusion and larger area of contact. No mechanical intermediary required.Does not require any activation force/pressure. Acquisition time is close to minimum. Stylus: Single point of contact therefore error of wrong selection is minimized. Highest precision as it has only a single point of contact.

Shortcomings Voice - Lowest level of precision as voice recognition is not very accurate and requires a lot of training. False inputs when the algorithm fails to recognize accurately. Direct Touch: 1-10 points of contact comprising of a region which could produce error in selection.Hand largely occludes the screen causing one to make errors while pointing to tasks.False inputs are produced when the palm accidentally touches the screen or the device senses touch when none occurred. Stylus:- Hand slightly occludes the screen that could produce small error while pointing at tasks.Mechanical intermediary required therefore takes time to learn how to use it and also it can be easily lost.False inputs when the palm accidentally touches the screen.

3) Tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard: Pinching- for zoom in and out (Direct Touch) Multiple Selection(Direct Touch, Voice)

yunrui zhang - 2/25/2013 9:05:00

1) Strengths:Save space and provide more convenience by not having virtual devices and combine input and display in one area.Some devices are able to do user identification through fingers,shape based input, Shortcoming: latency, lack buttons and state transitions, occlusion 2) Strength: pressure and contract area sensing, in-air hand postures and "Direct" sensing, Shortcoming: occlusion, parallax, and latency 3) These input method are better are drawing, picture editing, games that mimic real life devices such as piano, some games that require multiple touch and tilt detections.

Glenn Sugden - 2/25/2013 9:21:56

As the text made clear, some of the strengths and shortcomings for the answers below are akin to shortcomings or strengths of a task completed with another input method. In an effort to reduce reiteration, I'll try to highlight the more apparent positive or negative for each answer below.

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry

Touch: Feedback (via keys, either mechanical or virtual "clicks") can be important for accuracy, you can give less attention to the keys (after the training period) and more attention to the text entry, and can be very fast after a bit of practice. However touch occludes many keys, lengthening cognitive->travel times. Voice: Can give far more attention to data entry than shifting to a keyboard, can also be much faster if very accurate (but painfully slow if not), Makes far more screen real estate available (when you don't have a keyboard in the way), can interfere with composing thoughts, and is inherently non-private. Stylus: far greater precision on smaller keyboards, can be the slowest method compared to other trained methods, allows for expressiveness & annotations, including additional input gesture tasks (E.G. deleting a word or phase by crossing it out).

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks

Stylus: Users bring familiar skill-sets, allows for very precise control (E.G. small objects), allows for additional functionality: tip pressure, buttons, an "eraser," triggers, etc. A stylus also minimizes parallax for extreme viewing angles). Touch: Nothing to lose compared to a stylus, provides immediate interaction, allows rapid interaction with multiple objects, and possibly allows user identification (fingerprints). However, occlusion and fatigue can also be two big drawbacks.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

Absolute pointing (E.G. Wacom tablet), accurate swiping gestures, absolute scrolling (to a specific position), making multiple, quick choices, pinching (zooming), rotating (two fingers), and any task that would otherwise require a lot of acquisition time.

Brent Batas - 2/25/2013 10:32:04


Voice input for text entry is fast (you can speak much faster than you can type), and it requires no computer-specific skills like typing would. However, error rates increase dramatically as input becomes more complex, or if the audio signal is sub optimal.

Direct touch for text entry is good because it enables the use of a soft keyboard, which means you can type on the same screen you are looking at, so you never have to look away from the screen. However, in general, soft keyboards are never as good as their mechanical counterparts; soft keyboards are smaller and less precise, and generally require you to be looking at the screen, whereas with mechanical keyboards, you can utilize physical touch to navigate the keyboard even without looking.

Stylus for text entry is good because it enables you to enter text by writing it as if by hand, which is an affordance that people tend to know before they know how to type. It allows people to make use of handwriting skills that they might not otherwise be able to leverage with other text inputs. The stylus is also nice because it allows you to hold the device in one hand, and use the stylus with the other. However, entering text with a stylus requires a lot more effort than other inputs, and also you have the problem of your text not being recognized by the computer. Also, a shortcoming of the stylus is that you can physically lose it.


Direct touch for pointing tasks is good because it requires no additional devices (like a mouse or keyboard)—it just requires your finger. You can interact with the system immediately, and don’t have to worry about locating—or losing—an external device like a stylus. This makes direct touch especially good for mobile devices. Also, direct touch allows cool single and multi-touch gestures like pinching, panning/swiping, zooming, and scrolling just to name a few. A shortcoming of direct touch is that it can be imprecise, since your finger is often bigger than or not the same shape as the area you actually want to click. Also, fingers in general come in different sizes, can get wet, oily, dirty, etc. and people may try to point in different ways.

Stylus for pointing tasks is good because it is more precise than your finger at pointing. It also offers some affordances, like one side of the stylus is the pen, and the opposite side is an eraser. A shortcoming of the stylus is that you have to take time to pull it out/sheath it when you want to use it or put it away. This can become bothersome when you are rapidly switching between input and non-input. Also, as mentioned above, a shortcoming of the stylus is that you can physically lose it.


Stylus input is especially good for drawing and sketching. It is much more natural to draw and sketch using a stylus, which resembles a physical pen. Drawing with a mouse just does not leverage the muscle memory associated with drawing and sketching. Stylus input is also good for a digital signature, since anyone can replicate a typed signature, but a handwritten (or stylus-written) signature is much more unique.

Voice input is especially good if automated recognition is not required. For example, recording something to be listened to by someone else, or having a real-time voice chat conversation (like Skype), make use of the ease and speed of voice input. Similarly, voice input (voice chat) while gaming is by far the most superior communication option (other than communicating in real life of course), because not only is it fast, but it also means you can keep your hands focused on the game controls, which gives you a decisive advantage over opponents that aren’t using voice communication.

Bryan Pine - 2/25/2013 10:47:27

1) Voice: Voice is a unique form of text entry because it leaves the user's hands free to perform other tasks. That makes voice useful for text entry that would otherwise be impossible or dangerous (example, voice-entering a text message while driving). However, in other situations the auditory requirement could be a serious drawback. If voice entry were the ONLY way to send a text, it would be pretty much impossible to sneak a text in a theater or in class. Voice-based text entry also limits your vocabulary to words that the system recognizes. On a positive note, voice does leave the screen completely unobstructed, leaving the whole screen space for the application. The user can see immediate feedback on the screen and know whether the system interpreted the voice commands correctly. Unfortunately, due to the frequency of errors (both from background noise and from the machine incorrectly interpreting your words), a purely voice-based text entry system has serious problems. If the system does misinterpret a word, the user would have to supply some sort of backspace or delete command (also by voice), and if that command were misinterpreted then what can the user do? Furthermore, if a device has a more systematic problem understanding certain words because of the user's accent, text entry by voice could become very frustrating very fast. In general, voice is useful for situations where accuracy is not critical and the user might not have free hands. It should also be combined with some other form of text entry, at least for error correction.

Direct Touch: Direct touch is useful for text entry when speed and accuracy are important and the user has two hands free and full attention to focus on the text entry task. Assuming the touch screen supports multiple touches and the user can use a two thumb keyboard, text can be entered efficiently and accurately (up to 60wpm!). However, direct touch does put the user's hands in the way of a lot of the screen, which could obscure the feedback or other functions of the application. The problem is even more significant if the user cannot see the output screen from the input screen, because it is difficult to give the user feedback about what characters were actually pressed or where they were inserted. Direct touch can use autocorrect / autocomplete features to speed up the process and increase accuracy, but those come with a cost of time spent correcting unwanted changes. Whether those features should be used depends upon how often the user will want to enter text that the system does not recognize as a word. The main drawback to direct touch text entry is that the character button size is usually limited by the screen size. The system has to display all of the characters on one screen because otherwise the user would incur scrolling costs unacceptably often. However, on a small touch device like a phone that means that the buttons are smaller than the user's fingers. Well-designed systems can try to combat this problem, but mistakes in which the user presses the wrong button are unavoidable. Autocorrect can help here as well, but again it has its own costs. Finally, because direct touch entry buttons feel no different from the rest of the screen, it is very difficult for the user to develop any kind of muscle memory as keyboard users have. That means that users will have to devote their full attention to the keyboard and not to the feedback that the system is showing. Text entry is still very useful and versatile, but it can be difficult and annoying if the user is distracted.

Stylus: A stylus is cool because it allows the user the freedom to expand the definition of "text" to include pictures and handwriting style. For some tasks, like taking notes on an already-written document, the position of the text is very important, and stylus entry gives the user a lot more control over the position of the text on the screen. A stylus also has the advantage of muscle memory; users will usually write automatically and will be able to focus their attention on the output feedback rather than on the input method. The major drawback to stylus text entry is that it is very difficult for the system to correctly translate the writing into an internal representation of words. Often, the system will be forced to consider the text as simply a picture, which means that the information in the words is lost. Because of this, stylus systems are not ideal for long text entry tasks, or tasks where the system needs to know what words have been entered (for example, coding by stylus would be terrible). A stylus is better used for short entry tasks, and ideally when the system does not need to treat the entered text as anything more than a picture.

2) Direct touch: Direct touch is useful for pointing because there is a direct mapping between the user's action and the task. To point at something, the user literally just points and prepares to press. There isn't (usually) a cursor to indicate where the user is pointing at, but that isn't a huge problem because the user's finger is there to indicate that. However, a finger is not always precise for pointing, and users could have difficulty figuring out exactly where on the screen the system will register their press. In that instance, a cursor would help because the user would know where the system thinks he is pointing. Direct touch input also puts the user's hands in the way of the screen, which could obscure what he is trying to point at.

Stylus: A stylus has many of the same strengths and weaknesses as direct touch, but it is much easier to resolve the problem of how to indicate exactly where the user is pointing. The stylus could include a sensor that the system could use to determine its position, and a cursor could be displayed to the user. A stylus is also a little better about keeping the user's line of vision to the screen clear, since the hands are not directly in the way. However, a stylus is very easy to lose, so the system would need to support some other way of pointing just in case.

3) Voice could be good for selection, in many of the same situations that it is useful for text entry. In fact, some commercial devices do have a voice control mode for that reason. A stylus is very useful for a drawing task because of the similarity to pen and paper and the freedom it gives users in forming their input. Direct touch is also good for scrolling in many instances. The velocity of the touch can be used to determine how fast to scroll, which is difficult to do with a mouse.

Raymond Lin - 2/25/2013 11:24:23

Edward Shi - 2/25/2013 11:42:30

Direct touch keyboards are probably the most prevalent method of text entry. It is much faster than the 15 wpm average for using a stylus. Also, the QWERTY keyboard has been around since the 1800 and it's prevalence is due to the careful mapping of commonly paired letters on different sides to allow for alternation of hands while typing. However, the stylus allows for more fluid entries and is thus alsop reserved. There are drawings or note taking that is better suited for teh freedom the stylus provides as opposed to the keyboard. While page 1-25 did not directly talk about voice. I believe voice input as of now is limited and specific to the task. Voice can be quite quick and is useful when your hands are preoccupied with another task such as driving. However, voice input does not seem reliable right now and voice input is limited to a specified format. It is nowhere near as free as a stylus input and still not as free as a direct touch input.

Direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks provides an interesting comparison. The initial problem with stylus is that they are easily lost or may not be brought at the moment. The direct touch with fingers is never a problem. One important aspect of direct touch is that it is less accurate than a stylus. Nevertheless, stylus allows for multi touch and can be more convenient at times. There is normally a preferred hand for the stylus but most peoeple are proficient at touch screens with both hands. However, one may accidentally rest fingers on an area of touch.

3) Direct touch may be more suited for for drawing applications. It allows a sense of freedom that we are more used to with the pen. Obviously stylus is more suitable for drawing that mouse and keyboard. Voice application may be more important for communication between two people. As opposed to chat, voice is faster such as in voice chat. Also voice is an important input method when one is preoccupied with another task such as driving. It may also be more suitable for switching between modes as opposed to directly finding it and clicking on it. Voice might also be more suitable for digging up a file that is buried in other files. It may be quicker for the system to repsond to a voice input and find that file than clicking through multiple layers of folders.

Raymond Lin - 2/25/2013 11:51:07

1) Voice: Strengths primarily lie in its convenience and simplicity; By simply saying what you want to write, it inputs it for you.

          Shortcomings lie its accuracy; Speech recognition is not perfect so it might misinterpret words or get jumbled up by background noise.

Direct Touch: Strengths are probably the fact you can be super accurate.

             Shortcomings lie in the fact that you trade speed for this accuracy, in addition to requiring more concentration and effort.  Also keyboard can be something you need to re learn.

Stylus: Strength is that its a mix of speed and accuracy, in that you can do similar direct touch activities but more quickly and similar accuracy. You might be able to write as if you were on paper as well.

           Shortcomings lie in the fact your machine might not be compatible in the sense of smaller surface areas will be more difficult to use the stylus.


   Strengths of direct touch for pointing tasks are the more natural feel where you can just your finger to guide things.
   Shortcomings are stuff like not reading your input properly by the machine or inaccuracy of your activities in general.
   Strengths of stylus is that you will probably get more responsive and crisp feel because of the different material used at the tips.
   Shortcoming is that it doesn't feel as natural and could be harder to control.


  Stuff like drawing apps where you paint on your app would be far more suited for direct touch or stylus.

Ben Goldberg - 2/25/2013 11:54:36

1) The strength of voice for text entry is that you can input text hands free, useful for when you're driving. Its shortcomings are that it is error prone and can't be used in certain social situations like when in class.

The strength of direct touch for text entry is that you can input text on a device that has a touch screen but lacks a keyboard. Devices like an iPad would have a completely different form factor if you had to have a keyboard to input text. Its shortcomings are that it's much slower than a mechanical keyboard and it doesn't have the tactile feedback of a mechanical keyboard.

The strengths of a stylus for text entry are very similar to the strengths of a direct touch device. A difference is that a stylus can be more precise than using your fingers, which can lead to more accurate text entry on smaller screens.

2) The strength of direct touch for pointing tasks is that you always have your fingers with you so you can use your device no matter what. Also, it's very intuitive to point with your finger. The shortcoming is that fingers are kinda fat and imprecise pointing devices, which must be accounted for.

The strength of the stylus for direct touch is that it is very precise. The shortcoming is that one can easily lose the stylus. This can cause many problems if a program can only be used with said stylus.

3) The pinch-to-zoom feature of multi-touch screens is a nifty feature that isn't available with traditional mouse+keyboard setups, where you usually have to move your cursor to a button to zoom in and out. Also, using a finger or stylus to draw is usually much easier than using a mouse to draw.

kate gorman - 2/25/2013 11:56:23

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry These input devices lack a simple right click functionality, which is important for text input correction and options inherent to word editing we've come to learn, like copy/paste, etc.

These inputs demand an intense amount of visual attention (touch, stylus) unless audio feedback is given (voice). The attention is split between the keyboard and the output in the workspace as the user attempts to both input and check the output. There is no tactile feedback.

The advantages of these inputs are that they can be removed from the screen and allow for minimalist design when text entry is not required, allowing for more screen real estate. Voice can be used by the visually impaired or for those while driving.

Handwriting recognition via stylus input is a difficult task for the system, and can be very error prone which will require correction. They can be helpful for short phrases but not for long text input.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks These input devices are unable to inherently demonstrate errors to the users as mouse devices are in some ways. These ways include: showing the user they have tried to input out of range, that their input was improperly received and relocated a cursor to the wrong positions.

3) Gesture based input allows direct touch and stylus to be better suited for quick flipping through photos, events, etc. on a mobile device, because having a finger move towards the screen then retract is tiring and imprecise for the user. A gesture allows for the finger to contact any point on the screen wherever it is comfortable for the user. When using photoshop or any drawing or freeform input, regardless of on mobile or not, touch and stylus input is important here, because this requires a level of precision that is difficult to achieve with a mouse. A Wacom is a good example of stylus input utilized for freeform drawing as many artists and animators utilize. Selecting text is a job that is fit for a mouse and becomes rather difficult and painful on a mobile device.

Yong Hoon Lee - 2/25/2013 11:58:33

1. Using voice for text entry can be much faster than any other method, as speaking is often much quicker than writing or even typing. This speed can be restricted to some degree by the computer's processing speed or the algorithms the particular voice recognition software uses in order to process the auditory input, but modern voice recognition software and processors are often fast enough to process the text at normal speaking speeds. Furthermore, using voice for text entry leaves the hands and eyes free to perform other actions such as turning pages, and speaking generally requires less attention than writing or typing. Because most people are used to speaking while doing other activities, the user can translate that experience to the text entry task, making for a less focused text entry experience. Furthermore, like direct touch, voice is always available, and requires no specific equipment to use. Of course, the main drawback to using voice for text entry is that it often has the worst accuracy, as voice recognition software has not developed to the point where it can recognize words flawlessly, especially when speaking in domain-specific language or other jargon. Furthermore, if one is viewing the text while it is being processed, it is very difficult to make corrections through voice. Often, voice must be coupled with another text entry method that is more conducive to editing the text. Direct touch has the main benefit of being always available, as mentioned in the Hinckley article and similarly to voice. Indeed, if the user is in possession of the actual display, this method of text entry is available, with no other tools. Also, because the text is entered through direct feedback, the user has a lot of control as to what he or she wants to type, much as with a keyboard. In that way, the direct touch keyboard has many of the advantages of a physical keyboard, namely character-by-character input for very detailed text input. With technologies such as autocomplete and swiping, text entry can also be relatively fast, and often much faster than voice. However, the direct touch method is also rather error-prone, as evidenced by the litany of spelling errors in modern text messages and other smartphone communications. Furthermore, the keyboard interface can be rather awkward, as while the keys are positioned similarly to standard keyboards, the direct touch inputs are usually too small to use the learned muscle memory of a keyboard. Hence, direct touch inputs cannot take advantage of previously acquired knowledge about text entry and must rely on the user relearning the technique (using thumbs, for instance). Using a stylus for text entry has almost all of the advantages and disadvantages of direct touch, except that a stylus is not always present. Hence, if the user loses the stylus, they will not be able to input text. However, stylus entry does afford character-by-character typing as well as all of the other advantages in direct touch, as the stylus can work much in the same way as a finger can.

2. Direct touch can be useful for quickly accessing a variety of desired buttons or other inputs, as the finger can point and click directly on anything that it wants to access. Hence, there are not as many calibration issues or errors, as the user can often point directly at what he or she wants to access. This results in more accurate and sometimes more rapid pointing capabilities. However, because of a lack of a cursor, the only way to point at something on the screen (for communication purposes, for instance) is to physically point with the finger, and depending on the size of the device, the act of pointing may obscure much of the screen. Furthermore, because of the size of a finger, it is much more difficult to access small buttons or point with any great sense of precision. Stylus input has the same advantages as direct touch, namely that the input is direct and corresponds exactly to what is happening physically with the pen. Furthermore, styli are often smaller than a hand, and thus do not obscure as much of the screen. Also, similarly to a physical pen, the stylus has a tapered end which makes precision pointing much easier. However, as with using the stylus for text entry, the user may lose the stylus, which may be disastrous, as the device would be rendered impossible to use without a stylus. Hence, it is probably good practice to not limit the pointing capability to a stylus.

3. Direct touch can enhance immersion in some tasks such as games, especially for younger children, and thus may be more suited for educational software in which the child is mostly focused on tactile feedback. Furthermore, while voice recognition may be too inaccurate for reliable text entry, it is often accurate enough to aid in menu navigation, as seen in video game consoles or accessibility modes in computer operating systems. Stylus input can be more useful than mouse and keyboard for drawing tasks, as mentioned by Hinckley, as the natural implement used for drawing is the pen, and by design, the stylus exactly emulates the pen's design. Direct touch may also be more useful for menu navigation in applications in which the interaction is relatively infrequent but also regular, such as while reading. It may be easier for some to read on tablets than computers, because the tablet can be held and pages can be turned without much movement of the hands. On the computer, however, the mouse must be used to scroll through pages, which requires more movement.

Brett Johnson - 2/25/2013 11:59:48

1) Direct touch is advantageous in that because they require no mechanical intermediary, such as a stylus or pen, so the acquisition time is very low. Also, this means that there is no pen for the user to lose, which the authors say is only a matter of time. However, there is the problem of the touch screen registering touches when the user did not mean to. This is somewhat augmented by auto-correction, but even then, if the word is not in the dictionary the user must take time to back out of the auto-correct. Using a stylus, there are some different options a designer can use–handwriting recognition or a traditional ink interface. Handwriting recognition is powerful for later searching the text entry and making it look neat, but is very error prone. Voice is a powerful input modality because there is very low acquisition time, and it is easy to learn. Also, as an assistive device for people who have difficulty using keyboards voice is very valuable. But, voice can also be problematic in that transcribing sometimes leads to errors, and many people are not comfortable using voice in public places.

2) For pointing tasks, direct touch’s low acquisition time is again a plus over the stylus, because the user can point much faster. However, precision is not as good as with a pen. Using direct touch also leads to a greater degree of occlusion, as the hand and arm block the screen to a greater degree than the pen.

3) Multi-touch displays are a valuable tool in interface design because they can be used to incorporate gestures into the interface. While the authors point out that many of the gestures devices use are not inherently natural as we are lead to believe, some of them (pinch to zoom) arguably are, and the ones that are learned can lead to a higher degree of efficiency. Also, depending on the hardware, the touch screen can sense pressure and contact area, which can be used as inputs to make the system more responsive.

Winston Hsu - 2/25/2013 12:00:58

Although it may be true that voice, direct touch and handwriting/pen input are more natural for certain tasks, they are definitely not the best input method in all cases. For text entry, handwriting and touch in particular are very slow compared to traditional keyboard entry. In fact handwriting is usually only arond 15 words per minute according to Hinckley. And while voice might be able to match the speed of keyboard input, the accuracy of voice-to-text systems are just not as accurate as typing on a regular keyboard. The advantages come however when it comes time to annotate and draw on text, which pen and touch input is much more suited for. For pointing tasks, pen and touch are more natural for primary pointing, but they lack the ability for hover and right click. Many devices have resorted to clunky long presses to activate contextual menus. Pen and touch mostly see their advantages in drawing and navigating applications where its easier to do things like zoom and pan.

Samir Makhani - 2/25/2013 12:01:51

1.) Strengths: Voice for text entry is extremely useful when you don't have both hands and you want to assign a small task/reminder on your cell phone. Direct touch is useful for scenarios where you don't have access to a full keyboard, like texting/email. As for strengths regarding stylus for text entry, like the article states, with with wide-spread adoption for touch-based keyboards, approaches such as handwriting recognition have "fallen out of favor in most contexts" Thus I cannot find any particular strength for a user to prefer style for text entry over other preferred forms of text entry. Shortcomings: Voice for text-entry has several shortcomings. For example, speech is non-private so others can hear you in public while you're using Siri in public. Direct touch does not directly replace text entry from an actual keyboard because the touch-keyboard size is dictated by screen size. Users can also not rest their fingers in contact with their display. Stylus for text entry is not efficient because studies show that handwriting proceeds at a speed of wpm, which is terribly slow.

2.) Strengths:A stylus will help a user point with precision. An the past, as the article states, stylus inputs also allowed for "pervasive use of dragging for interactive manipulations such as panning, zooming, and scrolling with inertia." This is with respect to the previous generation of resistive non-multi-touch screens. I also feel that a stylus will be a lot handier, precise, & intuitive for annotating PDF/e-books on touch screens. One direct touch strength is that now most touch-based interfaces allow for multi-touch, so gestures such as "pinch to zoom" or "swipe to go to a new view" provide more usability than what a stylus input can do, which is not multi-touch since there is only one point. Essentially, direct touch allows for multiple asynchronous pointers. Shortcomings: The acquisition time for direct touch and stylus input are greater than a mouse for many scenarios. Direct touch and stylus requires the user to life their hand and point to something, while a mouse requires a slight wrist movement, as well as programmed settings on the interface to adjust the reaction speed of the mouse with respect to your hand movements.

3.) (Kinect) gesture recognition + (mic) voice recognition. This will replace the desktop at home. Strengths: Eliminates hardware and focuses entirely on user intuition. This is based on the assumption that voice recognition becomes near-perfect(once error rates and grammar complexity have been solved through crowd-sourced data). Provide a simple API that allows users to program the gestures they feel are most intuitive to them. Shortcomings: Speech recognition is quite buggy, and as the article states, is only good for short tasks at the moment. Many people speak with different accents, and languages, so it's tough to replace typing entirely with speech recognition. Also, speaking can sometimes interfere with one's ability to compose text and remember words, as the article states. Creating gestures for a broad audience based on intuition is very tough as well, and it'll be tough point and have the precision that a stylus or a mouse would provide.

Christine Loh - 2/25/2013 12:10:21

1. Strengths of the stylus for text entry are that it employs a mechanical intermediary. The pen-stylus provides a better grip for better control, to enter text more easily. However, a shortcoming is that it is farther from the screen and thus will take more effort to input certain text. Voice is easy particularly when your hands are busy; however, there is the problem with voice analysis technology -- it is not without error, and fixing errors is time-consuming. With direct touch, a strength is that it is closer to the screen so it should take less energy to enter text; however, because it is so close, depending on the size of the screen, it may be difficult and take much effort to move the finger/hand to type at different parts of the screen (on a tablet like an iPad, for example).

2. Strengths of the stylus input for pointing tasks are that the better grip for better control, and its versatility -- because there can be secondary controls like a button or eraser. A shortcoming is that it's more of a hassle to carry around a stylus. That is a strength for the direct touch -- you don't have to carry anything extra around, and pointing is a natural task for the hand anyway. A shortcoming is that your finger does not have as much reachability and control as a stylus.

3. Drawing, multiple choice polls/surveys, reading PDFs or ebooks

Cory Chen - 2/25/2013 12:20:45

1) Voice: Has the advantage of not requiring the user to physically interact with the device, so it works better for situations such as driving. The main issue with voice are that there is a significant decrease in accuracy, especially if the user has an accent, mumbles, or tries to enter a word that isn't commonly said or isn't a word at all. Voice input also has a feedback problem, since the user can't tell if what they said was inputted unless if they look at the screen or unless the application talks back to him (which takes time). Voice input is also often slow since the user has to constantly check to make sure that what they're saying is actually showing up. Direct Touch: The strengths of direct touch for text input are you don't have to have the text input interface up all the time (the keyboard), you have the option to directly draw the text (write by hand), and the acquisition time is very low. The shortcomings are the fact that your finger blocks a large portion of the viewing surface, you often have to keep an eye on what you're directly touching to make sure it's correct (as opposed to a keyboard where you don't have to look), and increased fatigue compared to keyboard interfaces. Stylus: The advantages that styluses have for text entry are that they allow the user to hand write words with ease and that there is not much blocking of the interface. Using a stylus for text entry has a number of shortcomings, however. It is slower since you can't use a keyboard interface efficiently, and hand writing is inherently slower. There is the high possibility that the user will lose the stylus and be unable to enter text, and the stylus also increases acquisition time substantially.

2) Touch: Benefits from a short acquisition time and direct manipulation of the object. Like before, its main shortcoming is that directly touching the device blocks a large portion of the interface. Direct touch also has the issue of being imprecise since it recognizes a finger tap, which spans a wide area. Stylus: The stylus is very suited for pointing tasks; it tapers to a point for precision selection of elements, does not block much of the interface since it is extending from the user's hand, and is mechanically easy to use (not tiring). Its shortcomings for pointing are very similar to the shortcomings listed in the last section. It has a very high acquisition time and the user is liable to lose it and be unable to operate his device.

3) Direct touch and stylus input methods are better than mouse+keyboard when a lot of dragging is required, such as when one needs to draw a picture. The mouse is vastly inferior in those situations because it uses a relative motion capture (not 1:1) and because it requires 2 separate motions to drag (click and move as opposed to moving your finger/pen on the surface)

Marco Grigolo - 2/25/2013 12:24:30

Based on the Hinckley Reading the question do seems to nail the point: Each device has its shortcomings and advantages, but is also true that this shortcomings and advantages are highly influence about how the system is designed. For example, a direct touch has a medium precision, but this medium precision depends largely from the size of the screen. Moreover, while some direct touch might have problem for some tasks due to some type of monitor which cannot distinguish different type of touches, some other do, making direct touch a good proposition for certain tasks. Regarding some tasks thou, advantages are clear independently of the system we are using, Such an example is 1. 1) Voice: Advantages: fast and natural. Responsive. Disadvantages: Hardware might fail to detect input, or accidental input or stolen capture or input delivered to wrong location. Direct touch: Advantages none Disadvantages: Device acquisition time might be huge (if only one touch can be detected, or if the system we are using is a mobile device that needs to be hold: in this case we can use only a thumb, or if the screen where the virtual keyboard is small: cannot use all fingers of the hand or they might collide with each other) Precision might be a problem (if virtual keyboard is small). Same feedback as other input devices. Stylus: Advantages: none Disadvantages: Huge acquisition time (can press only a key at a time unlike multi touch screen and keyboard), not tactile feedback. Please note that this might be completely false if we are using a hand recognition surface. In that case it would be very intuitive to write, and with no acquisition time, but in this case we would be much more prone to have error in input recognition and feedback problems (how do we change handwriting in characters and display them on screen) 2) Pointing tasks: Direct Touch: Advantages: Intuitive, Multi touch gesture allow the user to perform more variety of operation that with a stylus (that has only touch and pressure), so we can use different combination of two separate touches to perform more desired tasks (such as pinch-and-zoom). This variation thou, as explained in the reading, has not much variation (only few operations in such way are intuitive) and so far for most operations there is no standard across platforms Disadvantages: Medium precision might be a deterrent if icons/object to work with are small (like in a list), but this depends on how the OS decide to display the system. Fitts' Law therefore plays an important part, and how the OS decide to improve Fitts and Steering Laws is more important than the medium used for such operations. 3) This inputs method are definitely better than mouse/keyboard from drawing: much better feedback, much more intuitive to use, can use pressure or area of effect to modify the brush size (as explain in the reading) that would match the feeling of using a real brush. In the drawing example the stylus would be even better that direct touch since it allows for more precision. Another good application is for reading text: The swiping and zooming is also in this case much more intuitive with direct touch or a stylus, with direct touch taking the lead because of the simplicity of use and the natural feeling of using the hand on the surface/mimicking a phisical paper.

Zeeshan Javed - 2/25/2013 12:25:02

Some people claim that voice, direct touch, or stylus/handwriting are more natural ways of providing input to an application. Such labels often gloss over a more nuanced picture of strengths and shortcomings of input methods. Based on the Hinckley chapter, discuss:

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry

The strengths of voice would be the fact that the user brings their voice with them as opposed to a stylus which can get lost very easily. However the weakness of using voice is making the user assimalte when it is the correct time to use voice and when it isn’t. Also because machine language processing isn’t perfect, another shortcoming would be being able to edit the spoken language that is misinterpret by the machine creating a frustration for the user. The advantage of direct touch is similar to that of voice in that the user brings their finger with them and won’t lose it like a stylus. Also direct touch if combined with a standard virtual computer keyboard would make it very easy for heavy text entry users of desktops to easily assimilate their habits to another device. The shortcoming here is that it may be way slower to do this then it is voice or stylus. The stylus comes with the disadvantage of being losable. However the advantage of a stylus is that it may allow the user to type characters faster and it feels more natural to the user who is used to writing with pens and pencil.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks

Direct touch again has the advantage of not being as misplacable as a stylus would be because the user brings their finger with them. The ability to direct touch a task with the finger would allow for more finger motions for example, being able to zoom in and zoom out. The stylus on the other hand while being extremely misplacable, has the benefit when pointing in being able to more easily map the object that is being touched and more seamlessly move what is being pointed at because of the familiarity of pen motions people develop.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

There are a variety of examples of tasks that these input methods are more suitable for than mouse and keyboard. The first is being able to easily zoom in and out. With touch a user can more easily zoom in and out of the application as he or she sees fit without having to find an interface on the application that does this for them. Another example is switching tasks within the application. A mouse and a keyboard would require you to click heavily and organize information if clustered tabs. With stylus or direct touch a user can swipe to change screens or learn actions that make it easier than with the mouse.

Anh Mai - 2/25/2013 12:26:10

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry

Text entry is almost always faster using an indirect input such as a keyboard because of the human brain's spacial memory capabilities. Using touch or stylus puts the user at the mercy of the size and responsiveness of the device's screen and touch-sensing technology. They are also more prone to errors since a slight brush at the screen may introduce many characters that the user never intended to type. Touch technology, however, is a bit better suited for handwriting, coupling with character recognition.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks

Direct touch and stylus of course have the strengths that users interact directly with the surface that they are doing the pointing tasks with. It offers a more natural way of interaction in many cases such as dragging and multi-touch resizing, etc... While the direct touch and stylus approach has its strengths for pointing tasks, there are also several disadvantages that sometimes creep up (or all the time). Occlusion is the first and most obvious one. Having a finger on the screen means your finger will block out that particular group of pixels, so you might not be able to see anything underneath it. On larger surfaces this also translates to moving around your entire body just to interact with the interface, instead of moving a mouse on top of a mouse pad.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

Any tasks that involve direct interaction with the object at the user is looking at would qualify as being better suited for touch and stylus input. Drawing on the surface will be more natural than drawing using a mouse or even using a drawing pad.

Yuliang Guan - 2/25/2013 12:27:37

(1). Voice, direct touch and stylus for text entry is more convenient for users to enter text. Users don’t need to carry the keyboard to anywhere they go, instead, a speech or direct touch can solve this problem. Shortcomings: not suitable for heavy text entry. Word prediction may help in direct touch and stylus, but at the same time, it also may bring problems. With word prediction, users need to monitor and decide whether to use the predictions. Sometimes, the word prediction function may “correct” the text input without users’ notice. Voice, direct touch and stylus for text entry demands of visual attention so it may raise additional design issues.

. Strengths: Direct input device has a unified input and display surface. It is more convenient for users since they don’t need to bring a mouse. In a small interaction surface, direct input is more suitable. With direct input device, the system’s feedback for user input is typically localized to the physical point of contact. In addition, direct touch is easier to control than a mouse. Shortcomings: Generally, it lacks button for state transitions. Direct input may cause a design challenge because the finger or pen would cover the area when the user trying to point it, therefore, it is possible for the users to miss part of options in the pop-up menu. Meanwhile, some touchscreens can only sense a bare finger .

(3). Besides text entry and pointing task, other elemental tasks are also better suited for these input methods, such as position (pointing to a screen coordinate) and quantify (specifying an exact numeric value).

Jin Ryu - 2/25/2013 12:39:12

1. For text entry, direct touch and stylus inputs may still have more shortcomings than strengths due to lack of tactile feedback that keyboard supports but voice can provide an advantageous alternative if it can be accurate and intelligent: Strengths -

  • (Stylus and direct touch) Handwriting - Natural way of writing text and also intuitive; can give more personalized feel too
  • (Voice) Hands-free - If both of users' hands are occupied, then voice recognition of words is a convenient method of text entry
  • (Stylus, direct touch) Customizable visual of keyboard/text input - Also it doesn't take up extra space as an actual keyboard, though it may reduce screen view to see what has been typed

Shortcomings -

  • (Voice, stylus, direct touch) Lack of tactile and kinesthetic feedback - User cannot feel the distinct buttons on a virtual keyboard when typing and must always look where they are pressing if they do not want to cause errors or input accidental keys
  • (Stylus, voice) Slow method of input - One key at a time for stylus or voice may not be recognized quickly enough
  • (Stylus, direct touch) No hover state or resting - User's hands must always be off the screen and only touch when (s)he intends to input something; cannot rest on a keyboard to think
  • (Stylus, direct touch) Possibly more error prone - accidental input such as palm grazing or finger touch
  • (Voice) Inaccuracies in voice recognition - Also can include where user pronounces words differently or overlap with another similar sounding command; also some words sound the same but can be spelled differently with a distinct, separate meaning for each
  • (Stylus, direct touch) Inaccuracies in character recognition (if handwriting) and may be slower than typing

2. For pointing tasks, direct touch and stylus input methods may have more strengths than shortcomings while voice may be difficult to be applied for this type of work: Strengths -

  • (Stylus and direct touch) Natural mode of pointing and drawing - User is already adapted to and knows how to wield a pen-like object or draw something with a finger
  • (Direct touch) Multiple touch - More than one input can be sent simultaneously to cause a unique set of actions by application; can make it flexible for user to input minimally but still allow for many different and a wider array of actions or modes (with just two fingers tapping and dragging, can allow rotating, zooming in/out, swiping, scrolling, etc.)
  • (Stylus and direct touch) Pressure, contact area sensing - User can have better control over the specifics they want to input such as a bigger or darker stroke by pressing harder or lighter
  • (Stylus) Higher, smoother precision and direct feedback - User may not find it as convenient to drag and move a mouse to draw over a screen where it is in a different line of view rather than being able to point and move directly in line of sight
  • (Stylus, direct touch) Absolute location recognition - Method of input could be more intuitively mapped out for user if (s)he is able to point at a virtual object directly rather than refocusing the mouse relatively

Shortcomings -

  • (Direct touch) Too many contacts - If there are a spam of fingers (multiple areas being pressed at the same time), the input may be confusing to the application and difficult to sort out in the desired order
  • (Stylus, direct touch) Accidental inputs - palm brushing or unintentional finger triggering on screen
  • (Stylus and direct touch) Feedback burden on application - If user goes out of bounds, the stylus/direct touch is not being sensed correctly, a second user simultaneously takes over control of input, the application needs to keep all these unexpected behaviors in mind
  • (Voice) Unusual input method - May be difficult to point to a specific location on screen by voice

3. Other tasks where voice, direct touch, or stylus/handwriting may be better suited:

  • (Direct touch) Fingerprint-recognition (for passwords or some identifying task) - Applications can recognize individual fingers to specify different actions for unique inputs
  • (Direct touch) Zooming in/out, scanning pictures - More freedom and faster to zoom in and out by pinching or dragging directly by finger in the line of view of user.
  • (Stylus) Signatures or drawing - The user has more ease and freedom in using a stylus that is more intuitive to writing or drawing for tasks where they might need to personalize or authorize something as their own, or to create polygons of a unique shape if sketching on a virtual screen where feedback can be natural, close range, and within vision
  • (Voice) Recording memos, noises, replaying, calling, etc - It is easier and faster for user to record themselves if they are taking notes or to listen if they want to communicate with someone than typing

Eric Leung - 2/25/2013 12:41:50

1) Strengths: Voice has the potential to be quicker, and handsfree. Direct touch and stylus text entry is a more portable form, no full-size keyboard required, and can potentially be done with one hand (T9 text entry).

   Shortcomings: Voice has recognition errors. Direct touch/stylus end up being onto a QWERTY layout virtual keyboard or a ABCD keyboard both of which are significantly slower than on a physical keyboard. 

2) Strengths: No time wasted in trying to find the mouse cursor.

   Shortcomings: Potentially more confusing in how to do something, if not simply selecting an icon or dragging it. (Submenus hard to access).  Easier than mouse to misclick or mispoint. If system lags, non-immediate feedback may cause user to try to re-enter the click, while a mouse has physical tactile feedback 

3) Any sort of slider, or where you have to move back and forth repeatedly. Some sorts of games, such as Boggle (Scramble with Friends), where you would have to drag a mouse/finger continuously. All applications with custom buttons that aren't commonly available on a keyboard. Voice is also really good for tasks that only have a few available options, such as a thermostat, only temperatures and On/Off.

Andrew Gealy - 2/25/2013 12:45:30

Text Entry: Direct touch requires more visual attention than a standard keyboard because differentiation between keys cannot be felt. Key size is generally limited by size of display. Tactile feedback is "impoverished as compared to a physical keyboard". Graphical keyboards take up a large portion of the display, leaving less room for other items. Handwriting on paper "proceeds at about 15 wpm" so using a stylus for handwriting on a screen is unlikely to approach the speed of text entry on a normal keyboard or direct touchscreen keyboard. However it allows for more flexibility in terms of where, how large, or in what shape the writing or drawing will take place. Handwriting recognition is currently inconsistent. The speed of voice for text entry may approach or exceed that of a normal keyboard, but feedback is lessened. Current technology is inconsistent and will require significant monitoring on the user's part to ensure accuracy. It also of course requires the user to speak and make noise, something they may not be comfortable doing in a public environment, or even alone at home. It does allow for physical freedom from the screen or other input device.

Pointing Tasks: The stylus "affords a tripod grip for precise control, and its tapered tip enables one to indicate small objects on the screen." The stylus is accurate and precise. Users will inevitably lose styli, and keeping track of an extra object can be a pain. Both direct touch and stylus input have the downside of possibly obscuring the display, while the use of a mouse does not at all. Direct multi-touch allows for multiple points of contact, and thus multiple inputs and gestural recognition for tasks such as scrolling. Touch is about as accurate as a mouse for pointing tasks.

Other pluses: Using a stylus is much more accurate than a mouse for drawing tasks, as users are already skilled and accustomed to using pens or other similar devices on paper. The same is true to a lesser extent with direct touch. Voice may allow for complex commands that aren't as simply performed or allowed for through a visual interface, such as asking Siri questions.

Linda Cai - 2/25/2013 12:49:23

Voice input for text entry allows for hands-free text input and allows input without an intermediary keyboard or stylus. However, voice input is prone to errors due to the vague nature of natural language and mispronunciations. Also, voice input requires clear speaking whereas you may be in a loud environment or do not wish to disturb a quiet environment. Speaking is also likely to be slower since you cannot directly input the words you wish to be entered and a computer must analyze your speaking to guess what you intended. Direct touch has the advantage of not needing to acquire an intermediary device such as a keyboard, stylus or mouse, and has low acquisition time for positioning the finger(s). Direct touch allows for gestures that may allow quick text input and has great portability since the device does not need external keyboard devices. Direct touch on a virtual keyboard provides little feedback since you cannot feel the space between buttons and the keys give no physical feedback when pressed. The sound feedback has not been shown to be helpful. Direct touch demands significant visual attention since it splits users visual attention between the text insertion screen and the graphical keyboard. The user must look at the keyboard to see if the key is pressed as intended and observe it on the text input screen as well. The stylus allows one to use handwriting which allows one to avoid looking for letters on a keyboard. The stylus is also more precise than finger input so it allows users to press keys with greater accuracy. However, as with direct touch, a significant portion of the screen is occluded by your hand(s), and your attention is split among two screens. Also, handwriting is slow (~15 wpm) and OCR is not always accurate.

For pointing tasks, direct touch has the advantage of very low acquisition time and no intermediary. Also, there are no external devices required and you cannot misplace your finger. It may feel more direct for many users since you can point directly at the user interface components without an intermediate device. You can use more than one finger for multi-touch interfaces and you can use gestures to accomplish other tasks more quickly. There are also no buttons that you must remember the function of. However, it suffers from occlusion issues since the user’s finger(s) or hand(s) may cover a large portion of the screen. Also, the precision is not high, so clicking tiny buttons or specific locations on a text input document may be difficult. Also, with direct touch, the ‘Midas Touch Problem’ is an issue since users may accidentally brush the screen. The device may also sense touch when none occurred (‘Chess Player’s Syndrome’). With a stylus, you can have more precision with a pointed tip and the lever the arm/hand affords. A stylus is great for writing and sketching tasks since the stylus affords the tripod grip and most people do such tasks with a similar pen tool. A stylus is small and portable and affords pressure sensitivity and tilt detection. However, the stylus has a high acquisition time since users must unsheathe the pen and grab the pen again between uses. Also, the pen is a mechanical intermediary and users may lose the pen. The stylus only has one pointer available and accidental inputs by the palm is a common problem

A stylus very useful for drawing since it can support pressure sensitivity and absolute input. It is also better for annotations, since it allows users to freely express in handwriting, sketches, graphs, etc on a document which can be clearly differentiated from document text. Voice text input is good for language translation, since users may hear a phrase or word in a foreign language and not know how it is spelled. This is particularly common for languages with a different alphabet and set of letters. Voice input allows users to disregard the barrier between the keyboard input and the words you wish to express.

Juntao Mao - 2/25/2013 12:53:40

1) Strengths: -Hybrids of blend touch or stylus-based typing with stroke gestures have been shown to be efficient. -Stylus is familiar to the user, such that the user can use all of their highly developed skill for writing/drawing. -Voice input is also a familiar way for user, without need to acquire skills for typing/memorizing the keyboard. of text entry Shortcomings: -Requires visual attention, takes away attention for the workspace. -Takes up screen space. -Tactile feedback may be bad. -Computers have long been optimized for keyboard/mouse input, and many users are used to these input methods, changing them is not always a good idea, especially when the computer system remains unchanged. 2) Strength: -May be suited to demanding working environment where the user wish to use glove while inputting. -Stylus can be precisely controlled, and may be used to point to small areas. -More Natural to the user. Shortcoming: -the finger or pen may cover the area where the user is pointing. -hand and arm may result in accidental selection/action. -Does not scale to large display as well as indirect input devices. -If based on pressure sending, significant pressure might be needed, making operations more difficult to perform. -Special pen required?

3) Drawing, dragging. Activities where pressure needs to be sensed.

Matthew Chang - 2/25/2013 13:02:26

1) Voice: These methods provide what can arguably be said as a more natural means of text entry. With voice, we speak through voice and it is generally something that we do all of the time and are relatively comfortable with. This leads to a relatively small learning curve when it comes to text entry. A shortcoming, though that leads directly from this is the difficulty in adding punctuation, which is crucial to written form, but implied when speaking. This often leads to disruptions in the natural flow of dictation and can distract the user from composing. Direct touch: A crucial strength of a direct touch during text entry is that it can be done in a mobile environment where larger devices are not feasible. It generally scales with the size of the device and generally does not require extra hardware for the device. Some shortcomings are in regards to feedback and occlusion due to the hand and finger being in the way. The lack of physical feedback leads to more emphasis on the visual feedback. Also, due to occlusion, there is an effective minimum size for these types of text entry and use of predictive text can serve as distractions. Stylus: This leverages skills taught as a child and provides a more familiar means of text entry. The stylus affords the user higher precision and sometimes lead to faster text entry. Depending on the technology, this can lead to problems such as character recognition lag and the need for more physical analogies such as erasing text. The shortcomings are in the form of the need to use two hands to stabilize the device while writing as well as time required to retrieve the stylus for entry. On top of that, as mentioned earlier, if there is handwriting recognition going on, there can be delayed feedback, which is exacerbated when a user attempts to jot down a quick note. 2) Direct Touch: Direct touch allows for exact indication of what is intended. The time required to point on something is fast and directly relates to what a person does when indicating a particular item on a shelf. In terms of the software, direct touch provides two dimensional position data, which can be easier to work with versus something that is relative. The shortcomings is the lack of precision with direct touch. There is still occlusion from the hand and finger and the surface area of the point of contact tends to be large. Stylus: This allows fairly high precision and can be pretty exact. It returns 2D information for the software, leading to quick and easy identification of position. Some shortcomings are the need for hand/palm rejection, the time required to pull out the stylus, as well as the need for a small accessory that can be easily lost. 3) Direct touch and stylus are both arguably better suited for drawing applications. Direct touch allows for quick drawing akin to finger painting and with a stylus drawing somewhat similar to pencil, charcoal or pastel drawing can be achieved. Voice can be a useful interface for the family room environment where interactions with the tv are required. Sound is still a problem, but the lack of something to lose provides benefits and the decreased need for wireless transmitters to handle remote like devices is a plus.

Avneesh Kohli - 2/25/2013 13:03:39

The Hinckley chapter places a great deal of emphasis on asserting that different modes of input have their strengths and weaknesses. This is certainly true when you consider direct text input through voice, touch, and stylus versus an indirect input method like a keyboard. Direct touch and stylus input for text entry would be particularly suited for entering foreign input which are not optimized for the QWERTY keyboard format. By being able to freely draw the foreign language characters, a user is able to complete input at a much faster pace than they would by working around the limitations of the keyboard. It also has advantages in allowing the user to be more expressive with their input. On the other hand, the keyboard offers numerous advantages over direct text input through the stylus and touch. It’s been widely observed that humans can handwrite about 15 words per minute, whereas entry through the keyboard can be 3-5x faster in numerous cases. Additionally, as with all direct methods of interaction, touch and stylus entry presents the problem of occlusion, where the finger, stylus, or hand get in the way of seeing certain parts of the screen. Because a keyboard is in an entirely separate location, there is absolutely no occlusion that occurs.

For pointing tasks, both direct and indirect inputs have their advantages and disadvantages. As I mentioned above, occlusion certainly plays a role when a user uses a direct method of pointing such as using a finger or a stylus. With regards to acquisition time, a finger has no acquisition time, whereas that of a stylus and mouse or minimal, but still greater than 0. A stylus allows for leverage much like a pen, which allows for very good control over the action and movements made by the pointing device. A finger typically does not have a fine tip, so is not of great use when attempting to select small buttons. A pointing mouse’s positioning is relative, which requires the user to become accustomed to the relative positioning, adding to the training time of using the device.

Shaun Benjamin - 2/25/2013 13:10:36

For text entry, voice input may feel more intuitive for the user, however accurately translating what the user said into text that the application can process is a challenging task. Every user has a distinct voice and manner of speaking, so accurately translating for every user is difficult to implement. Direct touch may be easier for the application to parse, but it is very error prone as the user's fingers may be larger than the keys on the screen. Even if the keys are large enough, the lack of tactile feedback can make it difficult for the user to type efficiently. Many of the problems with direct touch arise with a using a stylus for text entry, assuming the user touches the stylus to key on the screen as in direct touch. If the user instead writes words with the stylus as he or she would with a pencil and paper, the benefits and drawbacks are similar to those of voice entry. Each user's handwriting is unique, so the application's character recognition mechanism must account for this. However, it may be more intuitive and faster for the user to write as though he or she was writing with a pen on paper.

For pointing tasks, direct touch has the benefit of not needing a mechanical device as an intermediary; the user can immediately touch the screen where he wants and doesn't have to search for and unsheathe the stylus. However a user's finger is likely larger and less precise than a stylus, which can cause errors if the pointing needs to be very localized. There are also false inputs when using direct touch, such as a finger brushing against the screen unintentionally. While the stylus offers greater precision, there is the overhead time of searching for and preparing the stylus. False inputs are also possible if the users palm touches the screen when attempting to point with the stylus.

A stylus seems to offers an advantage if one is attempting to draw a picture on a tablet or similar device. The stylus is similar to a pen, pencil, or paintbrush; something an artist would have a great deal of familiarity with. Allowing the user to imitate drawing with a pencil provides more precision than a mouse or keyboard would for a user that was familiar with the classic pencil and paper way of drawing. However, this assumes that the use is more comfortable with the paper and pencil method of drawing or sketching. It is entirely possible that a use who grew up with computers is very familiar with the practice of drawing with a mouse and keyboard (perhaps in MS paint). For this user, a stylus may be a foreign object and the user may not be able to draw as precisely as with a mouse and keyboard.

Sumer Joshi - 2/25/2013 13:13:10

2) Stylus: Strength, has more precision than direct touch. Shortcoming: Definitely with the Palm Rejection. This is because it is such a chore having to erase pen marks made by your palm. Shortcoming: Hand takes up space on the screen so you cannot really see what you're writing. Strength: Great for tracking the pen from the device point of view. Also, device knows when pen is off screen. Shortcoming: No ability to really right click, which may lead to problems of quickly accessing tools. Direct Touch: Strength: Great use of zooming, scrolling, using pinch zoom, etc. Strength: Could use touch with both hands. Shortcoming: Less Precise due to having a fat finger. Shortcoming: Device might sense touch when no one is actually touching anything.

1)Voice: Shortcoming: If the user mumbles words or speaks too quick, the voice will only pick up part of the sentence. Shortcoming: Tedious to use if writing more than 2 sentences. This is because narrating takes longer than writing. Direct Touch and Stylus: Strength: Sense not only position of where you are on the device, but also contact (putting finger or stylus on device) Strength: Have many areas of typing inside of boxes if necessary. Shortcoming: Device editing can be cumbersome sometimes if you are trying to add pictures with text box.

3) I think for this answer, I'm not going to use bulletpoints. I think this entirely depends on the situation. For example, ordering food in car may require you to use voice just because its quicker and maybe easier to access information. Stylus is often used for notetaking because you can keep up with the professor as you are taking notes rather than having to find input functions that match math functions.

Zach Burggraf - 2/25/2013 13:24:42

First, let us consider voice. The obvious advantage to using voice for text entry is that it can be significantly faster. A number of disadvantages, however, also exist. Firstly it is not always socially acceptable to speak aloud in order to enter text into a device. Apple's Siri is one example of this, which allows only voice input and therefore does not allow for any privacy. (I have used a workaround on occasion which involves saying quiet gibberish to Siri and then clicking the text it resulted in to "correct" it manually and there entered my proper search query.) Furthermore, voice input tends to result in a less refined diction as typing. When typing on a keyboard it is typically acceptable in the mind of the user to pause and consider how to word the rest of one's sentence. This is more difficult and quite awkward to do while dictating text aloud, as very few people are used to stopping mid-sentence to think about how to word what they are going to say next.

Direct touch is typically more accurate than voice based on current voice technologies, and it is more frequently socially acceptable to use. It also provides instant feedback upon typing each letter so mistakes can be caught where as speech will not synthesize the text until an entire sentence (or less commonly, a full word) is completed and processed. The disadvantage compared to voice and stylus is training and speed, especially for newer users.

Stylus has the same advantage of speech, but this advantage falls off quickly as it is very possible to exceed the speed of stylus handwriting with direct touch with minimal practice. The disadvantages are that handwriting varies almost even more-so than speech and it is very hard to get right.

For pointing tasks, direct touch is advantageous due to the fact that it is readily available for anyone who has not lost all their fingers. A stylus can be frequently lost by the user. The advantage of a stylus is it's accuracy. Simply because it is thinner. However, it is less versatile overall because direct touch allows for multi-touch gestures while a stylus-based device will typically only have one stylus.

The traditional mouse and keyboard is typically better for most tasks although it is not portable. For text entry, a keyboard provides tactile feedback which results in less typographical errors. For pointing, a mouse allows the accuracy of a stylus without the drain of moving one's arm frequently during extended use. However, the multi-touch gestures of direct touch do enable more "real life" input metaphors than the keyboard/mouse, and typically require less training for novice users to pick up and use effectively.

Tenzin Nyima - 2/25/2013 13:26:19

1) The strength of voice for text entry is that it complements the usage of hand but it has lot of shortcomings when it comes to text entry task. It involves Out-of-vocabulary words issues and it also depends on the quality of the audio signal from the microphone. Furthermore, keyboard-mouse text entry for the English language is about twice as fast as automatic speech recognition, speaking can sometimes interfere with one’s ability to compose text and remember words and speech is non-private in public situations. Some of the good things about using direct-touch as an input are that it doesn't require a separate input device, cursor tracking is not necessary, and hence single touch can pan and scroll which means it is fast. You can also use both hands without making any difference in your performance whereas other input methods such as stylus, you have to use your preferred hand to get the best performance. On the other hand, we can argue that it is not too good as an input method because significant visual attention is required - the user must look at the screen to press the correct key. It therefore splits the user's visual attention between the workspace (where text is being inserted) and the graphical keyboard itself.Moreover, A graphical keyboard (as well as the user's hand) which are required for direct touch inputs occludes a significant portion of a device's screen, resulting in less space for the document itself. It also involves "Fat Finger issues" - resulting in typing wrong characters. Also direct-touch require new user interfaces and interaction techniques if one wishes to make the most of their capabilities. When it comes to text entry, stylus doesn’t really hold any advantages unless you want to write something that resembles your handwriting. So this basically means that this method is not good for text entry. The resulted output of text written with stylus input will be harder to recognize (compare to text input from keyboard). 2) Some of the arguments above for text entry still holds for pointing task as well. For example, “Fat Finger Issues” for direct touch but it is much faster than stimulus as single touch can pan and scroll. In addition to the above mentioned points, some of the pros and cons of direct-touch and stylus inputs for pointing tasks are as follows: With stylus inputs, one can draw graphics with higher precision. Whereas, the precision of direct-touch is lower compare to stylus inputs. But stylus takes extra space on work surface. 3) Mouse+Keyboard and are difficult to use for freehand graphic input. So, in this case, direct-touch and stylus are definitely more suitable than Mouse+Keyboard. Also, with handheld devices, mouse is a horrible idea. As Ken Hinckley and Daniel Wigdor writes interaction with handheld devices often requires two hands for some tasks. Thus, for handheld devices direct-touch is the winner.

Monica To - 2/25/2013 13:28:41

1). The use of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry are all forms of inputting data (or text) in an application. All of the modalities of interaction have strengths and shortcomings and each implementation of these modalities will have some kinds of tradeoffs. The strength of voice input for text entry is that with the right technology, like a high quality microphone for better better audio signals for the program to read in, and for simple tasks with a small amount of vocabulary and grammar, voice input can be convenient and intuitive for the user. For simple tasks like pulling up a phone number from the contacts list, using voice may be better suited. The user will not need to use their hands or any other type of manipulation. However, for text entry, speech has its shortcomings. If we are expecting the user to input some long chunk of text with voice input, there is a lot of room for error to occur. The audio signals from the microphone may cause issues for recognition as well as slurred words or unidentifiable words. Another possible shortcoming that voice input has, as described by Hinckley and Wigdor in the reading, is that the user may want to input some text privately; the user may not want to speak their text input out loud and publicly. This is another shortcoming that is highly dependent on the application and should be considered. Direct touch for text entry, for example, a touch screen keyboard that appears on the iphone or other smart phones existing today, is an example of direct touch for text entry. The strength of having this form of text entry is that the physical device itself is smaller and more compact. The shortcoming of having this form of text entry is the lack of physical feedback or the lack of real estate on the screen that could be allocated for the keyboard due to the physical limits of the screen. For example, one phenomenon that occurs with many people an their touch screen smartphones is the "fat finger" effect; many people make errors during text entry because the lack of feedback and space from the touch keyboard. The stylus for text entry has strengths and weaknesses. One of the strengths is the way it uses skeuomorphism to imitate a pad of paper and a writing implement like a pen. Because of this imitation of a common and well-known form of writing, it makes it feel "natural" and intuitive for users. However, the experience of writing on a tablet with a stylus may lack some of the physical quailities of writing on paper with a pen or pencil; for example, writing on a tablet will not allow the user to feel the same friction between a paper and pen, small nuances like this may make the experience feel completely different. Another form of text entry with a stylus is using the stylus to press keys on a touch sensitive keyboard. In this case, the shortcoming can be shown using Fitt's Law. The user will have to use the stylus to indirectly manipulate it to select a small key on the keyboard and this will make text entry extremely slow.

2). The strengths of using direct touch for pointing tasks is that it allows the user to directly manipulate the application. An example is a user using an application on a tablet. To move the cube to the left side, the user will need to just intuitively push with their pointer finger and drag the cube to the left. However, a shortcoming to this type of pointing is the lack of precision a user could have with their hands or their fingers. As mentioned in the previous question, I gave the example of the the "fat finger" phenomenon. The minimum amount of pixels a users affects when using a finger is quite large compared to the minimum number of pixels a stylus affects when pointing. If a user wanted to use a drawing application and wanted to draw using a fine point, this task may require a more precise utensil and a finger may not be the best for this type of task. Conversely, the stylus has the advantage of precision and it's "natural" for the user to manipulate. However, Hinckley and Wigdor pointed out one shortcoming of the pen/stylus. One shortcoming is that users may have a hard time distinguishing the different functions and purposes of the stylus during the different transitions or states of the application. For example, the stylus has two differnt functions; one is the function as a pen for writing or a paint brush for painting, in other words, one of the stylus' function is as ink. And the second function is gesturing; the user could use the stylus as a swiping implement or as provided as an example in the reading, one example command gesture is "crossing out a word to delete it." (pp. 26). The problem with having two different functions of the stylus is that users may have trouble distinguishing which state of the stylus they are currently in during any given time. And that when using a drawing application, they maybe forced to switch between the two states frequently and that maybe a daunting task.

3). Tasks that are better suited for voice, direct touch, and stylus are ones that require direct interactions or tasks that are used on compact devices. The mouse is a very indirect way for manipulating the given application; the user is physically controlling the mouse to move a small pointer on the visual display. Tasks like games that require a faster response and feedback cycle maybe better suited for direct touch. For example, games like iphone games usually require the user to use their hand to manipulate things quickly against the clock, if a user used a mouse to do this, it will slow them down because the response and feedback loop is much longer with an indirect modality.

Tiffany Jianto - 2/25/2013 13:34:32

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry: The shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for text entry are that the finger or pen can cover the area where the user is clicking or entering information so that the user may not be able to see other parts of the screen; thus, misspelled words or other indicators might not be noticed. Also, for a stylus, the user must have to carry it around and have to take it out and prepare when necessary, which takes extra time and effort. The shortcomings of voice for text entry are that many people have different accents, dialects, ways of speaking, and the computer may not accurately translate all of it to text. The strengths of voice are that it does not require a lot of extra effort for the user and is very easy, fast, and efficient. The strengths of direct touch for typing are that the user does not need an extra tool and can quickly and easy use his or her own finger to type; furthermore, he or she can make the exact shape desired. With a stylus, the user is already accustomed to using a similar tool (such as a pen and pencil) for writing, which is convenient; furthermore, a stylus allows for other controls, such as undo.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks:

The shortcomings for both direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks are similar to text entry in that again, the finger or pen can cover the area where the user is pointing so that the user may not be able to see the entire screen, for example options in a pop-up menu, visual feedback, status indicators, etc. The strengths of a stylus are that it is a familiar tool for people to handle; it also allows someone to indicate and point to small objects on the screen more easily and allows for other controls on the stylus (such as a back button). The strengths of direct touch are that the user does not need to bring anything else with him and can always have his finger ready; also, the user can interact immediately without having to grab a stylus.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard: These input methods are better suited for tablets, smartphones, and touch devices. It does not make sense to use a mouse or keyboard for a smartphone because the mouse and keyboard are bigger than the phone itself, and the phone fits into the palm of the hand for easy manipulation with the fingers or a stylus. Voice is also intuitive and easy with a smartphone, since users already use voice with smartphones. Also, tablets afford touch screens which laptops and desktops don’t, which makes them much more suited for direct touch and stylus input than with mouse and keyboard.

Claire Tuna - 2/25/2013 13:40:57

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry

Direct Touch: I am going to equate direct touch with touch screen for this response. Touch screens are weaker than keyboards for text entry; they are more error prone because the user cannot feel the boundaries of the keys. For this reason, users are less likely to memorize the positions of the buttons as well as they do with the normal keyboard, and typing does not become an abstractable habit, the way it does on a keyboard. According to the reading, user’s of touch screens for text input are splitting their attention between looking at the keyboard and looking at the output text. Because the buttons are really just “images” of buttons, there is no “hover” state available. The user cannot rest his/her fingers on the touch screen keyboard without pressing the buttons, like he can on the real keyboard, so acquisition time is also hindered.. The power law of practice helps users of the QWERTY keyboards to type efficiently across many different desktop machines. However, because the key sizes and layout change from mobile device to mobile device, depending on the screen size, there is no real standard. Therefore it is harder to develop a habit. It is also easy to make an error on a touch screen by accidentally touching a part of the screen with very little pressure. It is harder on a keyboard to accidentally and unknowingly press a key. On some devices, the keys offer feedback such as vibration or sound. This is a step in the right direction, as pressing a key may feel more like pressing a button and the feedback helps the user to know what is happening in the system. Keypad text entry also isolates error on the part of the user. The computer never interprets a key press the wrong way, whereas in the case of stylus or voice, there can be unpredictable errors in translation on the computer’s side. Voice: Voice and stylus share a difficulty on the backend side, which is that recognizing voice/handwriting is hard and error prone. For the time being, the user must always be double checking the system’s translation, which distracts from the task at hand. Voice is especially difficult because without significant semantic understanding, it’s hard to tell the difference between a phrase like “good buys” and “goodbyes”. An advantage of voice text entry would be that the user could concentrate on the thing being said rather than the method of text entry, because speaking is a habit for most people. A disadvantage, however, would be the user’s self consciousness in a public space and also, security. You couldn’t say a pass code out loud, or a credit card number. Voice text entry is perhaps best suited to tasks like journal entries or personal correspondences, in which speaking feels like the natural way to present information. It would be less natural and more time consuming for a speaker to say “w-w-w-dot-gmail-dot-com”, rather than typing it. Stylus: The reading mentioned that hand writing words (with a stylus) offers a speed of about 15 wpm, which is far slower than that able to be achieved on a keyboard or even a direct touch keypad. However, handwriting, while slower, may be a more natural solution for annotating a document or make less restrictive markings than they might with a set, programmatic key entry. Handwriting may be more suited for tasks where sketches are involved in the text entry or where creative work is at hand. It is hard for a system to recognize and translate handwriting into text (so searching for your handwritten document by its content would be harder than searching for a text file). However, handwriting allows an open endedness, a freedom, that traditional text entry doesn’t, that may be best suited for expressive tasks. 2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks Direct touch: Pointing with direct touch may feel, as the name implies, more direct, than pointing at an object through a proxy such as a mouse. However, the pointing device, such as the fingers or hand, may occlude part of the screen, whereas the cursor, with its small size, generally does not cover much up. Importantly, the part of the screen occluded is the part of the screen the user is working on. If a user presses a button, the button should provide tactile or auditory feedback to relay that it is being pressed, because the finger may cover up the visual change in the button that the system provides. Similarly, the finger is of a variable size and thickness, and may make touching small targets difficult. Any device that expects to take finger touch as its input should have buttons that are no smaller than fingertips. Also, with the direct touch, the “hover” state is eliminated. There is only a “object touched” and “object not touched” state, so it is hard to preview your actions. Instead, you touch the object and maybe perform an unexpected action. Also, since there is no preview/hover, it is sometimes hard to know what mode you are in. With a mouse, different cursors hint to you that you are in different modes. A final weakness of direct touch is situations in which the objects on the screen are very far apart. Imagine that a display takes up the entire wall. Having a smaller object, like a mouse, that scales up to reach the entire screen, is far less physically taxing than reaching back and forth to different sides of the wall.

Stylus: A stylus can provide precision because the tip of it is likely much finer than the tip of a finger. As a result of the fine tip, it also occludes a smaller amount of the surface than a finger would. In addition, a stylus provides a degree of control because the whole arm and hand are used to monitor it. The reading mentioned that a stylus often lacks a button for right click but tries to translate this over by using methods such as “touch and hold” to access menus. While it may reduce errors because the user has to deliberately hold it down, it, by definition, slows down the workflow because there is waiting involved. This feature lacks visibility and may be difficult to learn.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard. A stylus is more suited than a mouse and keyboard for sketching. Though a mouse can be used in a controlled way, the user has more control and freedom to draw with a stylus. The stylus can also give more information to the sketch, such as the pressure of a line, whereas the mouse generally operates in a more binary manner, communicating whether a coordinate was reached, but not the pressure at which it was reached. Voice input is better suited for situations in which the users hands are busy, such as when the user is driving a car. A GPS would do well if a user could enter all commands vocally, rather than needing to fumble with buttons. Voice input is especially preferable to touch input in a GPS situation, because many touch input buttons are kinesthetically invisible (lack boundaries), so the driver must take his eyes of the road to find them.

Alice Huynh - 2/25/2013 13:43:44

1) For text entry Hinckley directly compared direct touch with stylus (pen). Text entry is fairly simple in that there isn't very much "states" to sense because there is only one property to sense and that is a simple touch or 'click' for each letter that the user wants to input.

Pen: Pen is a very good candidate for text entry because of it's precise tip that will allow for precise 'clicking' of letters so that text entry will not warrant very many errors. If the letters are very small a stylus or pen is ideal for test entry. One down-side of pen is the ability to lose the stylus. Hinckley stated that it's not a matter of when users will lose the stylus, but rather when they will lose the pen. The acquisition time (time it takes for user to move to device) is longer for pen than direct touch because a separate hardware is not needed. Another shortcoming of using a pen is that the hand may sometimes block the screen from being able to be seen.

Direct Touch: The acquisition time for direct touch cannot be rivaled because it's a matter of moving the hand to the device. With multi-touch screens it's even possible to type faster than being able to type with a stylus. Since finger size varies from user to user it's hard to know whether an accurate letter can be selected at all times. This is why users need auto-correct while typing on mobile devices with small screens.

2) "For typical pointing tasks on a desktop computer, one can point with the mouse about as well as with the hand itself (Card, English, and Burr 1978)." For pointing tasks it seems that Hinckley would not discriminate against the old-fashioned mouse pointer.

It's very natural for a human being to point at certain things with their finger. This natural knowledge may be better for the user for pointing tasks. One bad thing about direct touch is that finger size varies among users so it's not certain that all direct touches will warrant the desired response. Stylus is good for precision, but can be utilized a lot better for other tasks like drawing or dragging with such precision.

3) Dragging is something that Hinckley argues may be better suited for mouse rather than direct touch. This is because Hinckley states the direct touch's "lack of a second motion-sensing state on the touch-screen" does not make it clear to the user whether "sliding one’s finger on the device move a cursor, or drag an object?" The mouse offers more state for the user to utilize.

Minhaj Khan - 2/25/2013 13:44:32

for text entry, voice is an indirect medium of interacting with the interface, has no mechanical intermediary, and low acquisition time, and usually no activation force. for this reason voice is a fairly close representative of text entry. the downside would be that voice recognition usually isn't the best algorithm and may require effort on the user's part to speak in a certain, slightly unnatural way to register the text entry, leading to increased false inputs. direct touch has the advantage that with multiple fingers the acquisition time is low to enter multiple letters on a keyoard, although on a touch surface the precision is not high since the surface isn't tactile and finger size may be bigger than digital keys. In this aspect stylus has an advantage since its a very precise tool, although it is a mechanical intermediary and has a higher acquisition time.

for pointing tasks, the analysis of direct touch and stylus is similar to the one for text entry. stylus has mechanical intermediary, higher acquisition time, higher precision, while direct touch offers no intermediary, low acquisition time, but also lower precision due to thickness of fingers.

stylus can also be used for handwriting and drawing on a digital interface, resembling actual handwriting and drawing, as the digital difference is very minute given a precise stylus tool and high resolution and responsive touch screen. touch would also be suited for organization of files and data in the logistical sense, since we already use our hands to physically organize and move things around, performing this task digitally with an appropriate interface will be an extension. voice can also be used for commanding the computer/interface aside from text entry. since text entry is variable and any kind of text can be written so there is a higher chance of error in transmission, there can be a pre-defined set of commands that the computer/interface understands which are then best matched to the user's voice command to see which command fits best given the voice. this has a lower chance of error since there may be 10-50 possible command interpretations of voice vs. thousands of interpretation of sentences for spoken voice for text entry.

Achal Dave - 2/25/2013 13:49:30

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry

Voice: One of the strengths of voice is that we generally communicate by talking to each other, and it makes sense to be able to command computers with the same language. It also allows users to focus on multiple things (such as looking up while driving). However, there are many implementation issues with voice. For one, what happens when voice is misheard, or when users have different accents? It is also very difficult to edit text with voice, since it is difficult to ask the computer to move to a particular position in the text without some pointer.

Direct touch: With normal touch keyboards (tap as opposed to swipe keyboards), there are few strengths relative to mechanical keyboards. It is difficult to judge when you have correctly pressed a key due to the lack of tactile feedback. Furthermore, users have to focus on two areas of the screen--the keyboard and the area of text entry. Finally, it is too easy to accidentally press keys while holding the device. Swipe keyboards face these issues well, but the swipe combined with well designed AI have improved text entry on keyboards.

Stylus: Solely for text entry, styluses are not so great-- handwriting generally takes on a speed of about 15 WPM, which is far slower than on they keyboard. Furthermore, OCR technology is still not as great as users would prefer, which leads to many errors in handwriting recognition.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks

Direct touch: Relative to mice, direct touch is faster at getting to specific locations, but with lower accuracy. That is, given enough time, a mouse would get better accuracy than touch, because of the moderate to large occlusion of touch. However, the touch acquisition time is far lower than with a mouse, as is the activation force.

Stylus: Styluses generally provide accuracy equivalent to that of a mouse, and the acquisition time is about equal (except on the first use). However, there are issues such as with laptops, where it is more difficult to use the stylus to point on a vertical screen. However, for parallel-to-ground screens, styluses have a well defined point, fast acquisition, and more inputs than a mouse.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

Direct touch: Many gestures are much easier with direct touch--zoom, rotate, and general pinch gestures are faster than using a combination of keyboard and mice. In other words, the extra elementary inputs provide for an easier communication between the user and system. Furthermore, direct touch can be used with either hand, while mice and styluses are generally used in the preferred hand. Touch can also attempt to differentiate users, and allow for in air gestures that don't require actual pressure.

Stylus: Styluses provide a variety of input methods and allow for better freedom of expression on screens. While text entry is not so great with styluses, they are great with mixing writing, sketches, and diagrams. Furthermore, they have many of the advantages of direct touch: gestures and (with certain digitizers) hover/in the air gestures.

Moshe Leon - 2/25/2013 13:53:15

1 and 2) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry and strength and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks:

Stylus- A familiar tool, which the user can relate to when he is writing things on a screen designated for it. Great for sketching, drawing and writing, it is extremely precise, and its contact area is normally one point. The occlusion is minimal, however, the user’s hand still hides the screen. It is important to note, that the user is probably used to writing using a pen, and so that it is most natural choice for him for drawing or writing, making any drawbacks almost insignificant. A major drawback, is the fact that the users’ palm can trigger accidental inputs, or fingers can drag on screen, but it can be avoided if the pen has a special mechanism for a unique pen touch that the user cannot enforce on the screen other than with the pen, or just have a 1 point-contact screen. For pointing tasks, the pen is extremely accurate, but still might encounter similar issues (i.e. extra areas touched). It really depends on the type of screen touch, pressure or Capacitive styli etc. There is less impact due to Fitt’s law, due to the fact that the user is using a direct touch instrument, closer to the positions of interest. The user, However, still has to “get” somewhere, and the closer it is, the better. Parallax errors may come into play, but they may be reduced if the system is sophisticated enough. Latency, however, is a big issue since due to the fact that the system is overloaded with many little and big tasks to achieve perfection and the ability discussed, it might slow down reaction-feedback time. The stylus needs batteries, can get lost, and might be rejected by the machine sometimes.

Touch- Nothing seems to be more natural than the user’s finger, or multiple fingers when task pointing. I think that the user’s touch is superior to the stylus with regards to task pointing, although the occlusion could be rather disturbing at times. Fitt’s law, just like with the stylus, is less of an obstacle, however, the further the user has to drag his finger, the more likely it is that occlusion would interrupt his task. The user must be bare handed, unless the screen type is pressure rather than capacitive. No need to activate the hand, or replace batteries (yet). The user can not lose his hand (hopefully), however, the shape and size of the finger might have an effect on the accuracy of the task at hand (no pun intended). The “Midas Touch Problem” is equivalent to the stylus palm/fingers problem I mentioned above, and the “chess Player Syndrome”, when the device senses touch that never occurred is also a flaw. Both hands could be used, and multiple touch points can be used at the same time. Text entry wise, it is similar to the keyboard, only that it does not require a solid one at hand. There is also text typing in the form of actually writing the letters. There could be some mistakes though, on behalf of the software, or hardware limitations that could turn this into an extremely tiring and faulty process. Parallax errors may come into play, but they may be reduced if the system is sophisticated enough. Latency, however, is a big issue since due to the fact that the system is overloaded with many little and big tasks to achieve perfection and the ability discussed, it might slow down reaction-feedback time. Latency comes into play most of the time when dealing with text entry and touch (at least, from my experience). Nothing beats the keyboard, especially when one has mastered ‘blind typing’. Of course, there are many types of touch styles, screens, and technologies, so this is an extremely broad question.

Voice- When applied onto text entry, voice recognition, if it can overcome many issues that can interrupt its operation, (such as background noise, user losing his voice due to cold, bad or faulty system which is prone for errors, etc.) could be the ultimate operating path. It is extremely natural, and all you have to do is speak up what you would normally write. It does become an issue when you want to navigate somewhere in the document you are writing, and correct a particular error or word, but with proper techniques anything is possible. When pointing tasks is discussed, it is rather annoying if even possible, to do such a thing.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard. Obviously, the voice recognition would be best suited for a person who needs to use his hands for another task. Operating machinery could be one use, when the user could be in direct eye contact with the machine he is operating, rather than using a keyboard or a mouse. Other than text entry, voice recognition or touch could be used for security and user ID verification, that a typed in password (via keyboard) is just not enough any longer. Playing games on touchpad is also a lot of fun, but occlusion is really coming into play, unless the buttons or designated pressing areas are far to the sides of the screen. If one needs more space in front of him, than he might sacrifice to achieve this space and let go of the keyboard and mouse. I personally like the keyboard-mouse combination, and all the touch-excitement carnival that is going on right now is probably just the beginning, since it is not perfected yet, and has lots of faulty design issues. Today, there are delicate operations being done by stylus, or touch screens and performed by doctors. To achieve precision, one does have to rely on a computer system, after all, this is what we create them for. I find that the mouse is most natural for me to use, but perhaps it is because I am used to it after so many years. I really think that many things can be done with a keyboard and a mouse, rather than switching to the touch-stylus way. The article reads: “The gold-rush that the industry is witnessing to do anything and everything with touch, and with touch alone”. There should be a combination of many styles and techniques, rather than a monopoly of a trend. No keyboard or mouse is a great advantage when you are standing out in the field, holding a touch-pad, and it most definitely revolutionized many people’s daily tasks such as an engineer carrying a laptop. With a keyboard that all of a sudden can just bring his sketch-pad instead. This would always be a matter of perspective and task, since each task requires a different tool, and a different approach. There should be a combination and diversification among devices, and not a festive-monopolization of a new trend. “Interactive system design should encourage a division of labor between a collection of input devices, sensing modalities, and interaction techniques that together sum to more than the whole of the parts.” I think if anything should be remembered from this text, it is this quote.

Joyce Liu - 2/25/2013 13:53:59

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry

The shortcomings of direct touch and stylus for text entry are that there might be a discrepancy between the actual position of the fingers or the pen, versus the position currently sensed by the system. The stylus tends to be more precise than fingers, and when one uses a stylus it's as if it's an extension of your own hand. Fingers can also vary in size, making people with bigger fingers at a disadvantage. Another shortcoming that direct touch and stylus share for text entry is that the user must focus much of his visual attention to the graphical keyboard because the user must look at the screen in order to press the key and also verify that it's correct. There is a lack of tactile feedback because the user cannot determine the key boundaries simply through touching. It's very possible to accidentally press keys and end up with unwanted letters. A strength for direct touch is that it saves space because a user does not need to have a keyboard with him at all types to enter text—text entry simply becomes yet another part of the graphical interface on the device. Direct touch for text entry also has the strength that it still utilizes the principal virtue of QWERTY keyboards in that common pairs of letters are often typed in by different hands, thus allowing using two thumbs to type out text to still be very efficient.

If we were to use the stylus to write out the letters, a shortcoming is that it's much slower, averaging at about 15 wpm. In addition, recognizing handwriting is still difficult for computers and often produce errors. The strength of the stylus, nonetheless, is that it offers a wider range of inputs—the user write, sketch, underline, highlight, etc. The strength of it is that it's replicating a real-world experience, but the efficiency of choosing to handwrite using a stylus when other faster methods are available for text entry is questionable.

The strengths of voice is that the user does not need to have direct physical contact with the system to enter text; however, a shortcoming is that the system may not understand the user correctly and end up giving a wrong output.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks

The strength of direct touch for pointing tasks is that it corresponds to how users would "naturally" act in everyday real-world experiences. You can also use either or both hands. The strength of direct touch is that the user's finger is its own indicator for a well-calibrated system.

The strengths of stylus input is that it allows for more precision. It also is in a sense more direct than a mouse because you just put the stylus where you want to point, as opposed to with a mouse where you hover it where you want to point and then you have to click the mouse to complete the pointing action.

The shortcomings of a stylus is that you usually can only use it with your preferred hand. Additionally, stylus and direct touch for pointing tasks often lack a button for right-clicking, which leads to

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

Scrolling a webpage or through documents are better suited for direct touch rather than mouse+keyboard. As we have seen with touch screen devices, swiping our fingers is a natural and intuitive way to flip through "pages" on a screen. Drawing also seems better suited with direct touch or stylus rather than mouse and keyboard because we are not used to drawing with a mouse and keyboard since kids learn how to draw with their fingers (finger paint) or with "styluses" (crayons, pencils, markers, chalk, etc.)

David Seeto - 2/25/2013 13:54:40

Voice give the user the ability to transcribe what they want to write. Since the mic is picking up what they are saying, they can direct their attention away from the screen onto something else. Because voice is always with the user, there is no homing time. Depending on how the device is help, voice can be considered hands free. Voice also has the possibility to create text faster than typing. However, the voice recognition software can be poor and errors can occur frequently. Also, the user usually has to activate voice by pressing a button, which makes it technically not hands free. Providing feedback to the user of what they dictated can also be difficult and consume either time, energy, or attention.

Direct touch can be fast since the user can type with alternate hands. There is no mechanical intermediary so there's nothing to lose and the user will always have their finger. The user can start interacting immediately with no acquisition time. There are also states that can be used to select multiple outcomes from one key depending on state. However, with direct touch, there is occlusion of both the hand on the screen and the keyboard on the screen. May also cause fatigue from constant use. May also be slower than a traditional keyboard. Depending on whether or not complete focus is given to the typing, errors may be more likely to occur.

Using a stylus will bring highly developed skills for hand writing to text entry if there is a writing recognition software. It also affords for secondary controls such as buttons, an erasure head, or a trigger. Control is very precise so the user is more likely to hit desired key. Pressure sensing allows for texts paths. However, just like direct touch, there is occlusion from the hand and pen and from the keyboard on the screen. Typing may end up being a pecking motion that is precise, but incredibly slow.

Both direct touch and stylus can allow for a 1:1 mapping onto the screen for very direct control and point. Direct touch has medium precision while stylus have high precision. Both have state such that they afford for different pointing tasks. Both means also have a very gradual learning curve. Direct touch also allows for multitouch which can be used for more advanced pointing tasks. In contrasts, the stylus can have buttons that also can afford more advanced pointing tasks. However, both have problems with occlusion, especially of the hand. They may also require huge movements from the user since they are both poor at scalable interaction surfaces. Also, both do not have the ability for the user to interact from afar. Fingerprints can also dirty the screen.

In an instance, such as an museum exhibit or Iron Man's 3-d table displays, where the display content does not readily afford manipulation by keyboard and mouse, these input methods may be a better alternative. Annotation of documents can also be more difficult relative to say the free form mode of a stylus. Mobile tasks are also better suited for alternative input methods that do not require a physical mouse and keyboard.

kayvan najafzadeh - 2/25/2013 14:00:51

One of the short comes of direct touch text entry is that the user should look back and forth between text entry and the graphical keyboard. Graphical keyboards demand significant visual attention. in addition A graphical keyboard occludes a significant portion of a device's screen, resulting in less space for the document itself.

for pointing tasks (on desktop computers) mouse is very hard to beat. for example the mouse stays put when the user releases it (unlike a stylus), it is quick for users to reacquire and allows designers to integrate multiple buttons or other controls on its surface. Finally, with mice, all of the muscle groups of the hand, wrist, arm, and shoulder contribute to pointing, allowing high performance for both rapid, coarse movements as well as slow, precise movements.

Derek Lau - 2/25/2013 14:01:30

A few areas where voice, direct touch, and stylus shine for text entry are when the user is on the go and cannot use hands to manually input text (applicable to voice), have only one available hand to use for typing and would therefore benefit from some sort of gesture typing like Swype (for direct touch), and the potential for additional special hardware embedded in a physical pointer-like way (for stylus). However, one big flaw in most of these methods of input is the lack of accuracy that they present. With voice, a good, not just adequate, speech-to-text translator is needed for efficient text entry which will prove to be better than mouse and keyboard. With direct touch, lack of pressure or tactile feedback, surface areas for input that are too small or too big for the fingers and hands, and inaccuracy in gesture capturing are all shortcomings that result in accuracy for direct touch text entry. Finally, with a stylus, text entry speed is limited, due to the singular point of entry that a stylus provides.

For pointing tasks, direct touch and stylus input provide a more "natural" feel of input. Rather than communicating through an abstracted pointer, direct touch and styluses emulate human touch and pointing systems which allows for quicker input, by not requiring dragging a pointer across the screen to get to a desired destination area and by not being limited by physical surface area for a pointing device to travel. However, a pitfall of direct touch for pointing tasks is the lack of precision that the wide surface area of a finger presents. For example, as with drawing programs, a finger is a disadvantage for the artist due to the lack of a lever arm (as with a stylus or a virtual lever arm in a mouse) to enhance precision. With styluses, it would be difficult to control pointing at things from a first-person perspective (as with a first-person shooter), due to the smaller surface area of a pen. The lack of a larger peripheral to use results in slower movement and less control.

For text entry, voice would be especially good for when the user is driving, as to input GPS commands or to respond to phone actions, due to the handsfree nature of voice control. In another example, direct touch and using a stylus is good for writing or drawing rougher pieces of work, as it emulates the natural motion of drawing and writing the most. One more example is for mobile devices, where carrying large peripheral equipment on the user is an inconvenience and the user can carry a smaller stylus or just use his/her own body to carry out functions.

Oulun Zhao - 2/25/2013 14:10:47

1) Strengths: As for stylus, it is a familiar tool to which users may bring highly developed skills for handwriting, sketching, and drawing. When used to annotate a document, concise pen marks or highlights implicitly emphasize the important points in context.

A strength for voice and direct touch is that the user always carries their finger and voice with them. Furthermore, the user can start interacting immediately.

Shortcomings: For stylus, there is additional acquisition time required to grasp or unsheathe a stylus.

Touch screen keyboard splits user's visual attention between the feedback interface and the graphical keyboard.

The quality of the tactile feedback is also impoverished because the user cannot feel the key boundaries.

The text entry by direct touch, stylus, and voice could not be as accurate as keyboard.

Also these input methods have a slower entry speed than that of keyboard.

2) Strength: You will bring in highly developed skills for handwriting, sketching, and even playing music instruments. Therefore it could improve the user experience for certain applications.

Shortcomings: It is not as fast and precise as mouse because if the button or icon is too small a person with big fingers will be having a hard time pointing precisely the buttons he or she wants.

3) These input methods could be better suited for drawing applications, musical instruments simulation applications than mouse + keyboard because it is really hard for mouse to simulates the drawing experience as well as the touching experience of playing the piano or other instruments.

Timothy Wu - 2/25/2013 14:14:27

1) strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry

Voice: There is a notable strength in voice for text entry in that it has a low acquisition cost. In the chapter, Hinckley describes the acquisition time as the time it takes to gain control over the input medium in order to input information. In the case of voice, the majority of users have the ability to speak and do not need to acquire control over any physical input intermediary. The user can immediately speak when prompted for input without having to grasp for a mouse, pen, or keyboard.

However, with voice there is a definite shortcoming when it comes to the speed at which you can input words. This speed is bounded either by the speed at which the user can speak as well as by the speed at which the device can capture and encode what the user is saying accurately. For instance, if a user can speak extremely quickly, the system may not be able to accurately parse what the user is saying, making it necessary for the user to slow down. Conversely, if the system has the ability to accurately parse what users say at a very high speed, the user may not be able to speak fast enough in order to take advantage of the speed gain. This also leads to a related shortcoming in that accurately parsing voice input may be given to inaccuracy. If the system is not able to parse what the user is saying accurately, even at normal speed, this would create additional lag time in order to correct errors. An ideal voice text entry system would need to have a very high rate of accuracy in parsing users' voice input in order to be of reasonable effectiveness.

Direct touch: A strength of direct touch for text entry is that it mirrors what users most likely already know with a mechanical keyboard, assuming that the system uses a software on-screen keyboard as the means of direct touch text entry. As the reading stated, mechanical keyboards have been in use for over 140 years, and the QWERTY layout is extremely well known. Thus, the user of a direct touch text entry system would be able to leverage knowledge and habit of using a mechanical QWERTY layout keyboard in using the current system. Another strength is that the image of the keyboard on the screen would afford being typed on and the user would know exactly what to do without any additional instructions.

A shortcoming of a direct touch text entry scheme is that it takes up additional space on the screen. When the keyboard assumes about 1/3 or more of the screen, it leaves much less space to display content on the screen while the user is typing. In addition, while the user is typing, the user has to engage visually in the task, making it a highly focused activity. As the reading mentioned, visual attention tends to dominate the user's focus, and it makes it easier for the user to make errors while typing and not notice that they made any errors. The user is so focused on typing that they don't pay attention to what they are typing and end up making errors that they don't notice until after they are done typing.

Stylus: A strength of the stylus as a means of text entry is that it closely mimics writing, a task that the majority of people are familiar with. Furthermore, writing allows a person to emphasize and annotate various portions of their text entry with ease. The user can circle or underline various portions for effect. Users are also given additional expressiveness through handwriting, which is something that is relatively unique between people.

A major shortcoming of using a stylus is that it is very prone to being lost. As the reading said, it is not a matter of if the user will lose the stylus, but a matter of when. Losing the stylus is problematic because it would make it difficult for the user to perform tasks with the system. Additionally, the acquisition time of the input medium is high at the beginning when using a stylus because it requires the user to unsheathe the pen, orient it in their hand, and then begin writing. Such an acquisition time is a barrier to usability that is avoided with direct input methods. Lastly, text entry with a stylus is notably slower than using a keyboard or other similar mediums. The reading says that handwriting proceeds at a pace of 15WPM, making it a poor replacement for a keyboard.

2) strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks Direct touch: A strength of direct touch input for pointing tasks is, as mentioned earlier, not needing to acquire any additional device in order to point. Users can use their hands and point directly at items of interest on the system screen without having to use some intermediary device. Furthermore, with direct touch a user can feel more immersed in the experience of using the system and feel like they are in direct control of the system.

A shortcoming of a direct touch input for pointing tasks is that lack of precision. A person's finger has a much larger surface area than the tip of a stylus, which makes it very difficult to use if there are many small, adjacent buttons on the screen. Another problem is a user's tendency to rest their hand on the screen while they use their fingers, which would register touch events that are not meaningful (called the Midas Touch Problem from the reading). Ideally, the system would only capture touches that the user expressed in trying to control the system.

Stylus: A strength of using a stylus for pointing tasks is that it would allow much greater precision in pointing to areas on the screen. The tip of a stylus is much finer than a fingertip and would allow users to have finer grain control over what items they are pressing on the screen, even if there are many small, adjacent buttons. Another strength is that a stylus can act as a kind of lever arm or extension so that the user doesn't need to move his or her hand around as much in order to point to things on the screen.

A shortcoming of the stylus is, as mentioned above, that it is prone to being lost. Another similar problem with a stylus compared to direct touch is the tendency for users to drag their hands across the screen while using the stylus, which would cause accidental inputs. The stylus is also an intermediary input device that makes the user feel more distant from the control of the interface. Lastly, using a stylus, the user would orient their hand in a so-called "tripod grip" which would tend to obscure larger portions of the screen that if a user were to just use their finger to point.

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard. A task that a stylus is better suited for than a mouse and keyboard is for drawing. Using a stylus gives the user more direct control over the strokes that the user makes as well as their trajectory. In addition, artists typically learn to draw using a pencil and paper, which makes using a stylus to draw very close to what the artist has been trained to do. Using a mouse for drawing is restricted by the further articulatory distance of dragging the mouse physically against the desk in order to create strokes, as opposed to the very small gap of dragging a stylus pen across a tablet.

Photo editing is an example of a task that is well-suited for direct touch devices. Pinching to shrink or enlarge photos, dragging photos across the screen to create collages, and moving text captions around on screen are examples of tasks that benefit from the feeling of being able to directly manipulate the system. Photo editing is a highly visual task, and being able to touch the screen and immediately see visual feedback makes the interaction have very low semantic distance between what the user wants to convey and what the system is communicating.

Tananun Songdechakraiwut - 2/25/2013 14:15:30

1) Pro: - Since text entry method such as by two-thumb keyboards replicates the virtue of QWERTY that common pairs occurring on opposite hands, typing with two thumbs can be very efficient. - Users can use stylus to generate a breath of design concepts. - Voice can facilitate text entry of a limited vocabulary.

Con: - It is not best suited for heavy text entry, better use an old keyboard. - Touchscreen key size that is limited by the screen dimensions - While the traditional keyboards offer the feeling of keyboard boundaries, the graphical ones doesn't, and thus demand significant visual attention while typing. For instance, a user can accidentally input keys at ease such as by brushing the screen. Even though some add audible clicks to provide feedback but it has been yet proved to be useful. - The graphical keyboards eat up significant space of the screen and thus less space for document. - A user can rest the hand on the screen since it will input unintended keys. Extend use of it can be fatiguing. - Using stylus to enter text is very slow even on paper(like 15 wpm). - Voice can only succeed the use of limited vocabulary. As complexity of vocabulary and grammar grow, the error rate increases. Also, it is important to consider the quality of the microphone. Users might use out-of-vocabulary words.Hard to refer to spatial locations. Keyboard-mouse offers twice as fast text entry. Speaking can interfere with composing text and remember words. Hard to use in public situations.

2) Pro: - Pen and touch is well-suited for a single well-defined contact point, and contact regions with shape information, respectively. - Pen has a very high precision, and moderate for touch. - There is nothing to unsheathe and lose for touch since relevant required stuff such as mouse.

Con: - Stylus and direct touch input don't stay out when users releases them, and thus it 's slower than mouse, for instance, for the users to reacquires. It lets designers to combine with multiple buttons or others controls on the surface(Stylus and direct touch input lack of buttons for right-click, for example, resulting in heavy use of awkward interface and time-out issues). - The motion of direct touch and stylus can be inadvertent compared to mouse buttons that users pressure on orthogonally and thus minimize inadvertent motion. - They don't utilize all muscle groups(hand, wrist, arm, and shoulder) and results in low performance for rapid, and slow, precise movements. - Fingers or pens cover the area and thus users cant clearly see the option behind - Stylus can be lost and also it takes time to unsheathe it

3) - Pen can be used for tapping, and importantly drawing path which is difficult with mouse. Also, some precision, writing and sketching tasks are better suited for pen. - Touch can be used for tapping, holding, whole hand gesturing, dragging finger, drawing, and pinching-related tasks. - They all also are better suited for mobile/app related tasks(no carrying mouse/keyboard). Voice can be used for fast-typing tasks while hand(s) is unavailable such as searching for location or messaging friends common phases like "on my way". - Overall, tasks that don't need heavy text input, extended using of those inputs, anything not too complexity such as vocabulary are well suited for than mouse/keyboard.

Sangyoon Park - 2/25/2013 14:18:15

1) For text entry, voice and direct touch don't require a mechanical intermediary whereas stylus requires one. When voice is used to enter text, it should be interpreted through a system that can digitize our voice and recognize it. Although direct touch and stylus are not the most desirable input devices for text entry (compare to keyboards), direct touch can have simulated keyboard on the screen and click it, and stylus can be used to do the same thing, or stylus can possibly make people to write on the screen as they write on the paper, but this also requires interpretation and recognition process. 2) For pointing tasks, direct touch has a use of absolut input. Absolute input does not require users to keep track of where the pointer/cursor is. On the other hand, stylus(pen) can sense the proximity of the screen when the stylus is close enough to the sensory surface. This property gives stylus a little better way to control pointing tasks. However, both of them have problems with some tasks such as when it is mixed with pointing and dragging or moving. 3) Drawing task is much better when users use stylus since it is actually close to the affordances of a pen and a sketchbook. Also, non-professional drawing on the direct touch input device should be much easier for users who are not used to be using keyboard and mouse.

Weishu Xu - 2/25/2013 14:19:57

1) The strengths of voice are that it is very convenient and able to be used while the user is engaged in another task which would make it difficult to enter text. For example, using Siri to look up directions while you drive makes it much easier than trying to fumble text entry with a keyboard while maneuvering the steering wheel. However, it is often difficult to implement so the system works accurately because voice and pronunciation varies between the individual. The strength of direct touch is that the individual will have no indirect input object to lose. However, direct touch sometimes is not as intuitive for the user to use for functions such as writing or typing to enter text and it is often slower than typing on a keyboard. For text entry, the stylus is probably the most natural feeling for the user and the highest precision, but it is possible to lose the stylus and inconvenient to bring around.

2) The strengths of direct touch in pointing tasks include the fact that the user would not need to carry around the stylus tool or have anything to lose. Aside from the fact that it is easy to touch and feel a screen, it is possible to capture more data based on pressure that gives detail beyond an (x,y) location boolean. However, there can be challenges posed for precision based on the thickness of the individuals finger for example. Also, it is far costlier to implement a direct touch system with a screen than an indirect input object, which means replacements would also be more expensive. The benefit of a stylus input is that it probably offers the greatest precision since the individual has a lot of control over using a pen and it also focuses in on a point. It is the best for drawing and sketching tasks because it is most similar to what would be done in the physical world.

3) Aside from basic text entry and pointing tasks, drawing tasks are simplified on a stylus as well as on direct touch because it is tricky to wield a mouse and draw shapes. Also, it would be easiest to trace out a path on a map with direct touch and also with a stylus to some degree than with a mouse. In addition, notetaking would be easiest by recording voice and having the system transcribe because individuals often cannot type at the same speed at which people speak, so being able to record accurately with a voice input would be most helpful.

Lishan Zhang - 2/25/2013 14:23:29

1) For text entry:



  • Easy and nature way to enter text
  • Computer can augment human-human communication across time and space
  • Optimize interaction with devices by detecting ambient speech

Direct touch:

  • An intuitive way to type words
  • Larger contact regions often with shape information
  • Have multiple elementary inputs such as tap, hold, drag finger and pinch
  • Produce high rates of text entry once the user masters them


  • Mimic the experience of using a real pen
  • Produce high rates of text entry once the user masters them
  • Freeform pen input helps users to generate a breadth of design concepts
  • Handwriting recognition technology has improved a lot.
  • Handwriting recognition works well for short phrases such as search and for background tasks such as indexing handwritten documents for search.



  • Speech recognition can succeed only for a limited vocabulary.
  • Error rate will increase with the complexity of grammar grows
  • Audio signal from the microphone is not good enough
  • Speech recognition cannot detect out-of vocabulary words like spatial locations
  • Not as fast as Keyboard-mouse text entry
  • Speaking can sometimes interfere with one’s ability to remember words
  • Non-private in public situation

Direct touch:

  • Graphical keyboards demand significant visual attention because user should look at the screen in order to press correctly.
  • User may not notice when characters are being mistakenly inserted.
  • The quality of tactile feedback is impoverished, as user cannot feel the key boundaries.
  • A graphical keyboard and user’s hand occludes a significant portion of a device’s screen, resulting in less space for document itself.


  • Recognizing natural handwriting remains difficult and error prone for computer and demands error correction from users.
  • Converting lengthy handwritten passages to error-free text remains a problem.

2) For pointing tasks:


Direct touch:

  • More contact regions with shape information
  • No need for mechanical intermediary
  • Can use either hand or both hands
  • Many elementary inputs like tap, hold, drag finger and pinch

Stylus input:

  • Occlusion is small compare to other method
  • The precision of stylus input is high
  • The acquisition time is high
  • No need for activation false
  • Many elementary inputs like tap, drag and draw path


Direct touch:

  • Occlusion area is large especially with fat finger
  • The precision is not quite good while target size is not big

Stylus input:

  • Can only contact one single well-defined point
  • Demand mechanical intermediary, which take time to unsheathe and may be forgotten

3) any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

  • Stylus-based input uses concise pen highlight the important points in context.
  • Portable devices that doesn't have mouse+keyboard
  • Change the size and shape of an object with direct touch is much more convenient than mouse.
  • When people are in a hurry, voice input is quicker.
  • Drawing is more confortable using figures and stylus input.

John Sloan - 2/25/2013 14:24:03

1) Voice can be useful in that it is extremely easy for the user to understand since they have been talking for a long time. It is also hands free which is certainly convenient in a lot of cases. However, the shortcoming is that editing previous text is very difficult and there are many contexts that the user would be unable to use their voice, like in a library. Direct touch has its strength in that is very flexible to what the text being entered needs. Like how different apps can customize their keyboards. Also editing text is fairly flexible. The down side is that it is visually intensive since the user cannot feel the physical buttons. The stylus is useful in that it is accurate for smaller keys, but it is also very slow and is essentially like typing with one finger unless you are using it as a pen.

2) Direct touch is good for pointing tasks since it is moderately accurate and both hands can be used to perform tasks. It allows for multiple points to be in contact at all times. However, a stylus can be more preferable because it is far more accurate than direct touch. This allows it to be far more useful for drawing or other pen activities. It is not as flexible as direct touch though and limits the user to one contact point.

3) The stylus is far better suited for drawing than the classic mouse-keyboard combination. The direct input from the stylus is ergonomicly designed for drawing since it is based off of the pen, a tool humans have used for centuries. Direct touch also allows for multiple touches at a time which was not possible with a mouse. This opens the door for many more operations and uses. Voice is convenient for when your hands are busy, perhaps when you are driving, something keyboards would not accomplish.

Thomas Yun - 2/25/2013 14:25:19

For text entry, there is the option to use the mechanical or touch based keyboard. With direct touch or stylus, the problem is mentioned in the keyboard. The size of each key, as the author says, is dependent on the size of the screen. Also, with no tactile feedback, the user would have to look at the screen to touch each individual key. There's also the case where there may be an accidental input with no feedback as warning. For stylus, there is handwriting. The author states that handwriting is no replacement for the keyboard and vice versa. Handwriting is generally slower than keyboard entry. For voice, it eliminates the use of typing but the main error lies in word difficulty. The author states that as the words get more complex, the more error prone that voice recognition will be.

The main problems with using touch or stylus for pointing tasks is with the touch itself. The author mentions several problems such as the arm or the hand blocking the users view of the task(such as a drop down box). Other problems such as parallax and the input being recognized at another location on the screen are several other problems. Of course the strength lies in the fact that no outer hardware is required and there's no need for mouse movement to touch a spot. Basically, it is generally more accurate if we ignore errors.

I can't really think of any other tasks that are better suited for touch than mouse+keyboard. I suppose that tasks that require fast and accurate precision would be more suitable for touch because it's hard to have fast accuracy with the mouse unless the user was really good with using the mouse. But it seems like most tasks that touch can do, the mouse+keyboard is just as good if not better. Of course there's the zooming, panning, etc. with the multi-input gestures which can't be performed as simply with a mouse+keyboard but as the author says, the number of gestures is strictly limited to just a few. So there really is no absolute benefit from using direct touch as opposed to mouse+keyboard.

Elizabeth Hartoog - 2/25/2013 14:27:20

So for text entry, the alternatives provide simpler but not necessarily faster modes of input on devices. After reading this article, I would still recommend a keyboard system for any desktop. However, for mobile conditions voice, direct touch, stylus and combined systems could provide innovative forms of text entry. For the stylus, it is a natural tool for writing. It is similar to pen which is what we have used since elementary and it also allows finer control of input on the screen compared to a thick thumb or finger. As pointed out stylus also provided the quickest text input other than keyboard using a gesture system.

The great thing about touch is the finger can function as a mechanical intermediary much like a stylus without having a stylus. It is clunky to store and can be easily lost. It is unlikely the finger will be lost and it is a simple matter of adapting muscle memory for writing gestures with a finger instead of writing with a pen. With ever increasing accuracy in determining touch locations on screens, touch becomes nearly as accurate as a stylus without the extra mechanical device. Touch also allows an interesting introduction to touch gestures. The use of multiple fingers. Something that a stylus cannot provide. On the other hand, touch is still not perfect and is not as accurate as stylus by nature of the size of the finger.

Voice is interesting because it is always that feature you see in sci fi show. The user talking to the computer and asking it to pull up a program. At the current time, voice recognition of typing is a bit sketchy since software is required to interpret voice which is affected by surrounding ambient noises, something that cannot be removed in normal life. Voice is also inherently not "private" since it can be difficult to ignore your "typing" in public. However, voice has been shown to do very well in augmenting gestures. It could allow for more accuracy in writing by double checking words against the sound and allow for simpler and quicker (albeit less accurate) gestures.

For pointing tasks, touch allows for dimensionality that a mouse and cursor on a screen simply cannot provide. More than simply the point and click, touch can provide multiple finger pressing, dragging, gesturing that is not possible with a mouse or even a stylus which is limited to one pointer. It is also possible to detect shapes to allow for even greater expressiveness. Also, touch is natural for pointing. Our fingers are what we use to point with, extending this to the user interface is not difficult for a user. Also in touch interfaces, there is no need for the additional screen space of cursors. The finger itself can server as the cursor.

What the stylus lacks in expressiveness it makes up for in accuracy. Like in writing, the stylus provides better fine control for movements and gestures. Before smartphones were even popular, they made touchpad "mice" for artists. These mice used a stylus to mimic a pencil for drawing in programs like photoshop. The stylus was the best choice for this particular function because drawing with a finger is highly inaccurate to detect, and drawing with a mouse requires extra muscle memory and training to deal with the hand eye coordination of cursor and hand movements. The stylus provides a level of accuracy for any user accustomed to writing without any additional "breaking in" time.

Eric Wishart - 2/25/2013 14:27:24

1) The strengths of the various text entry methods are as follows:

   Voice - People are used to dictating to someone else to write something down.
   Direct Touch - People are used to using keyboards to enter text.
   Stylus - People are used to writing things down on paper.

The shortcomings of the various text entry methods are as follows:

  Voice - There may be ambient noise, and the cost of the system not understanding you is very high.
   Direct Touch - Not having physical buttons makes the process feel strange. It is easy to hit the wrong buttons, but improvements have been made with swipe input.
   Stylus - Current systems do not have the granularity that people are used to with a pencil and paper, and they are used to completing text based off the text they have already input. The system also needs an additional tool that the user must store somewhere.

2) The strengths of the various pointing methods are as follows:

   Voice - If the system can understand your intention telling what you would like to point at is very intuitive.
   Direct Touch - Most screens afford to be touched so being able to touch the item you are trying to point at is very intuitive.
   Stylus - This is similar to the direct touch system, but now you have a tool. People are used to pointing at things with sticks, so a stylus emulates this experience.

The shortcomings of the various pointing methods are as follows:

   Voice - Most systems do not have the ability to process a users request. Those that do usually require the user to follow a specific speech style.
   Direct Touch - You are unable to hover like you can with a mouse. The only way that you can differentiate a touch is the amount of time between contact and separation.
   Stylus - People are more used to other methods of pointing so stabbing at it with a stylus rather than touching just feels different.

3) Voice is very good for tasks that require a hands free setting. Drawing is much easier to do with a stylus because it maps to what we are used to. Natural gestures are much more intuitive using a touch input method such as sliding screens and zooming. This is possible due to multiple contact points, which allows for more complex input, giving the user the ability to communicate more information in a shorter amount of time.

Eric Xiao - 2/25/2013 14:27:44

1) Strengths of voice is speed and convenience. Complete sentences are easy. Drawbacks are homonyms, acronyms, and making mistakes when voicing the text as well as noise in the data that can confuse the voice interpreter. Slang also doesn't work well.

Direct Touch strengths are the fact that an external keyboard or apparatus is necessary to type and enter text. However, there is no tactile feedback, so it's less natural than normal text entry. It is the closest to keyboard text entry without needing a keyboard.

Stylus strengths are accuracy and precision. However, it's slow because there's only one stylus, rather than two thumbs or five fingers.

2) Strengths of direct touch for pointing tasks are speed and ease of use. Large buttons are great for direct touch, as well as large movements, swipes, and pinch/zoom gestures. Weaknesses are precision and accuracy to hit small points on the screen.

Strengths of stylus input are precision and accuracy, for example drawing, handwriting, and highlighting. Its weaknesses are a high volume of inputs and gestures. It's difficult to pinch and zoom with a stylus.

3) Stylus input is great to emulate a pen or pencil, which means drawing, sketching, and highlighting. Moving things around is more natural with direct input, so things interact with each other like objects. Voice is a great way to communicate fast and quickly, and has its advantages there. Voice also is better for translation, as talking over language barriers is more natural there.

Eric Ren - 2/25/2013 14:27:52

1) If voice is done perfectly, it is a great way to input text since it does not require the extra effort of tapping on an onscreen keyboard. However it is also more difficult to go back and edit earlier parts of text.

One strength of direct touch is the convenience. Using a finger is more convenient than pulling out a stylus/pen to use. Using a stylus also requires the user to keep track of an extra physical object. However a stylus does allow for more pinpoint presses versus direct touch.

A shortcoming for direct touch is the lack of physical feedback. For example, a touch screen keyboard does not allow the user to "feel the key's boundaries". While there might be auditory feedback in the form of key click sounds, studies show that it is unclear whether they are effective or not.

2) For pointing tasks, direct touch is an intuitive method. An user simply touches a certain part of a screen to point at something. However, the rest of the pointing hand might also touch the screen as well, and can accidentally register as a touch event on multi-touch screen devices. A stylus on the other hand creates space between the screen and the hand, so this mitigates the amount of accidental touches. However, a stylus also usually only has a single point of contact. For tasks such as painting, a finger can easily change the size of the stroke, whereas a stylus only has one size.

3) Voice is really great for 'on-the-go' tasks that do not require hands on interaction. For example, interacting with a gps system while driving is a lot easier to do with voice than with direct touch, much less a mouse+keyboard.

André Crabb - 2/25/2013 14:28:04

1) Strengths: Combinations of touch and stylus text entry can elicit high rates of text entry once the user masters them.

Shortcomings: Touch screen keyboard key-size is decided by the screen dimentions of the device; this may not allow for sizing according to studies about key-size. Users have to actually look at the graphical keyboards to touch the correct key. This splits the user's attention between input and data. It could take the user a couple keystrokes or more before noticing a mistake. Tactile feedback is GONE. Users must keep their fingers off the screen when not inputing data, unlike mechanical keyboards. Graphical keyboards take up a big portion of the display. When writing, users can enter about 15 wpm; this is much less compared to keyboard entry.

2) Strengths: Direct touch for pointing is very intuitive. The application could potentially sense input pressure.

Shortcomings: The finger or pen covers where the user is trying to point to, and thus may block some options or something. Doesn't scale well to larger devices/surfaces, and cannot be used at a distance from the input surface. Finger-touches on screens can register multiple points of contacts, which can be complex for interaction design.

3) Other uses: User identification via touch/fingerprints or possibly voice could be better for touch input. Also, many mobile devices take advantage of multi-touch gestures which were previously not possible with a mouse or keyboard.

Arvind Ramesh - 2/25/2013 14:28:26

1. Strengths: The strengths of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry are that they do not require the use of a mechanical keyboard. This is a tremendous advantage, as mechanical keyboards are often impractical to use for mobile devices. For voice entry, given the technology is accurate, text entry can be done much faster than is possible from a keyboard and can allow the user to focus more completely on the task they are doing.

Shortcomings: The shortcomings of voice is that the translation to text may not always be accurate. In this case, the effort required to remedy the error is substantial, and will take away from the user's workflow. By contrast, fixing an error on a mechanical keyboard is quick and simple. The disadvantage of a direct touch style of text entry is that it forces the user to constantly look at where they are typing. The muscle memory afforded by mechanical keyboards is gone, and the user will have to focus on what they are typing instead of the task they were doing. The disadvantage of a stylus is that it requires extra time on the part of the user in order to unsheathe the style to start writing. Also, the user will inevitably lose the stylus, creating additional problems.

2. Strengths: The major strength of a direct touch interface is that it only requires the users' fingers, something they always have ready to use. In addition, pointing tasks are a "what you see is what you get" type of interface when using direct touch, allowing the users' tasks to become more intuitive. A strength for the stylus input for pointing is that it doesn't have to deal with the "multiple points of contact" problem that comes with a direct touch interface. Also, a stylus offers more precision, due to the tripod nature of the grip, and the designer can make a wider variety of interfaces.

Shortcomings: The direct touch interface is very hard to develop because people's fingers often create many points of contact with the surface. Also, two touches that are close together might be interpreted as a single touch by the hardware, creating even more problems. For the stylus, the biggest shortcoming is again always having to carry it around and not lose it (which will inevitably happen). Also, using a stylus limits multi-touch capabilities.

3. In general, all tasks on mobile devices are much, much better suited by these input methods. The biggest advantage they have is simply not required extra input devices (keyboard, mouse) for the user the carry around.

Alysha Jivani - 2/25/2013 14:28:31

(1) TEXT ENTRY VOICE: Among the strengths for using voice for text entry is the fact that it eliminates mundane tasks like transcription (like for educational videos or podcasts) and allows for hands-free transcription (e.g. sending text messages). It is good for a limited vocabulary (like saying a name and having your phone dial a contact from your phonebook) but becomes more error-prone as the complexity of the language or vocabulary increases. Natural language processing has not (yet?) been perfected, so voice to text entry often contains errors. Additionally, voice to text presents difficulty when it comes to differences in accent, prosody, etc. Sometimes the result of speech to text is nonsensical and thus it requires the user to still have to check the output.

DIRECT TOUCH: Soft-keyboards generally use the same QWERTY layout that most individuals are familiar with, so the input method allows for an easy transfer of knowledge/skill. It is also convenient because it doesn’t require any extra/external hardware. However, soft-keyboards take up part of the screen (the “workspace”) and they demand more visual attention from the user because of the lack of tactile feedback regarding boundaries and locations of keys. Furthermore, the size of the keys is not standardized since the size is generally set by the size of the screenspace. Additionally, the issue of the “Midas Touch Problem” (accidentally resting your finger(s)/hand(s) on the screen or accidentally grazing another part of the screen) result in typos, so individuals have to split their attention between the workspace and the keyboard.

STYLUS: The obvious strength of a stylus is that it requires the same skill as using a pen or pencil, which allows a user to transfer their knowledge and experience of that input modality and it respects “ink” as being a unique medium for recording information. It also allows for higher precision because of the fine tip. Conversely, using a stylus can be cumbersome because it is a mechanical intermediary and requires an extra piece of hardware (which can be misplaced or broken). Also, writing is typically limited to about 15 words per minute (not sure how accurate this number is, but it was presented in the reading!), which is slower than typing for text entry. There are also issues regarding optical character recognition (writing out and converting long hand-written essays, etc. is difficult and tends to be prone to errors) and “Palm Rejection” (which is the result of when you accidentally rest your hand or brush your hand against the screen).


DIRECT TOUCH: Direct touch can allow multiple points of contact on the input device (as opposed to a mouse, which only allows one point of contact/click at a time). While this is interesting and has lots of opportunities for different interaction techniques, it also brings up questions as to how many points of contact the input device/interaction technique can accurately and reliably sense.

STYLUS: Using a stylus allows for higher precision of pointing (compared to direct touch) and because it has a finer point, it has a lower level of occlusion (though the user’s hand still blocks part of the screen).

One pro for both the stylus and direct touch input methods is that there is more of a direct mapping than using a mouse for pointing/selecting. However, both stylus and touch methods don’t have an option for right-clicking (like a mouse), which means that you have to find another solution for bringing up context menus. Also, I don’t think this was mentioned in the reading, but there generally isn’t a way to hover over buttons, symbols, and words, whereas, with a mouse, you can hover to see alt-text or more information. As the reading mentions, occlusion can be one issue that also arises with direct touch or using a stylus (i.e. the user’s finger is blocking where he/she is pointing, so he/she may be unable to see all the options, etc. that pop up). Lastly, the Midas Touch Problem is still relevant in this context, too.

(3) Any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse + keyboard: Similar to its advantages for text entry, a stylus can be useful for creating detailed drawings since it has similar affordances to a physical pen or pencil. It is much more difficult to draw with a mouse because it is an indirect input method. Also, direct touch (combined with accelerometers) is very useful for playing games and reaction time tests (as opposed to using a keyboard because one has to map tasks to keys on the keyboard). The kinesthetic correspondence of a mouse or keyboard is different from actually using your finger(s) (e.g. fruit ninja).

Nadine Salter - 2/25/2013 14:30:02

Text entry:

  • Voice — strengths: more natural since we already use it for speech, direct input without searching for individual keys on a keyboard and without fat-fingering things … weaknesses: very unreliable with currently-available speech recognition, neither private nor discreet, unusable in silent spaces like libraries
  • Direct touch — strengths: quick startup time, no fumbling for styli … weaknesses: fails if you're wearing gloves, low precision, autocorrect becomes a necessary evil
  • Stylus — strengths: high precision, can be used for handwriting if the user wants a more direct input … weaknesses: styli can be lost, they require coordination of both a device *and* a pointing device and therefore need more attention from the user, cannot be used one-handed

Pointing tasks: The strengths and weaknesses of direct touches and styli above also apply to general pointing tasks.

Other tasks: Touch-based input works better for things like drawing: direct touch is ideal for low-resolution finger-painting-style drawing, and styli are ideal for detail work.

Zhaochen "JJ" Liu - 2/25/2013 14:30:09

1) Strengths and shortcomings of voice, direct touch, and stylus for text entry




  • Natural way to enter text
  • Hands-free input, good to use while driving
  • Fast way to enter text if the technology is good
  • Optimize interaction with devices

  • Error rate might be high
  • Depends on the environment and speech recognition technology
  • Audio signal from the device may affect the result
  • Non-private in public

Direct touch

  • More natural than other input methods
  • Easy to learn and understand
  • High entering speed after the user master this skill
  • Different natural gestures such as drag, pinch
  • Requires a lot of users’ attention while touching the screen
  • Users cannot feel the physical keys directly so the feedback is impoverished
  • Moderate to large occlusion: Reduces the screen size of showing the actual content when the virtual keyboard is showing


  • Mimic an actual pen so it is natural
  • High precision: it is good with some tasks that requires high precision, such as drawing
  • Small occlusion: just the pen tip
  • Needs to carry an extra device
  • Only single touch with the screen
  • False inputs: finger might cause accidental inputs

2) Strengths and shortcomings of direct touch and stylus input for pointing tasks



Direct touch

  • No need another device or intermediary
  • Multi-touch
  • Natural gestures such as drag, pinch, hold or drag

  • Low to moderate precision
  • Moderate occlusion: your hand might cover what you want to point
  • Not working well with a wet hand


  • High precision
  • Low occlusion: only the pen tip
  • Good for tasks like drawing, sketching
  • Extra device
  • Pen might be broken or lost
  • Only single touch at a time

3) Any other tasks that these input methods are better suited for than mouse+keyboard.

  • Quickly want to doodle something during brain storm
  • Drawing, sketching
  • When your hands are not free: such as when you are driving or cooking
  • Text input for non-English characters so sometimes it is good to just write them out, such as Chinese

If the table is not correctly shown, please look at here:

Lauren Fratamico - 2/25/2013 14:31:06

1) These input media do not require the user to have agile fingers. With just a keypad entry, sometimes it is hard to select the right key. We also decrease he overhead of acquisition and homing time by using these media. We do not have to move our fingers from keyboard to mouse, move the mouse, and move back to the keyboard - all therse take place on the screen (or verbally). One downside to verbal is that it is less of a private way to communicate with the device. But it does cut down the time executing the task. Procedural memory allows us to do tasks with less cognitive effort (talking is something we can easily accomplish once we have the thought in our head).

2) These media allow for direct manipulation. However, they do block the screen in ways that a mouse would not. Mouses also allow for "tracking" - the mouse moving on its own to point out something - which is something that will not be able to be done with stylus/direct touch. With direct touch/stylus, we can get a tactile signal that we have manipulated the environment, with mouse we would have to wait for a visual cue.

3) Multi touch environments are particularly good for voice, direct touch, and stylus. With these media, we will be able to interact with displays in more tactile ways that would be harder to interact with with the typical mouse/keyboard.

Harry Zhu - 2/25/2013 14:31:08

1) The strength of voice input for text entry is that it can be very useful when your hands are tied up at the moment(such as when you are driving). Its weakness is that voice input can be very inaccurate, as noise plays a big factor into it. direct touch is more natural, since we are used to keyboards for text entry, but it can be inaccurate if the keys are too close together. stylus helps with accuracy of text entry, but it can be very slow

2) the strength of direct touch for pointing tasks is that it is more natural for the user, but it can be inaccurate. The stylus is the opposite, for it is more accurate, but less natural.

3) the stylus is much better suited for drawing than using a mouse and keyboard, since we are already used to drawing with pens, crayons, and markers

Lemuel Daniel Wu - 2/25/2013 14:33:48

1. For text entry, voice is great because it doesn't require the user to hold the device or have to use hands to input text. However, it does require that the user speak very clearly (without echo or other noise to obscure input). Meanwhile, stylus means that there is one point of input, meaning that the computer can easily understand exactly what the user is staying. However, this requires that the user have at least one hand open for holding the stylus, and that the user actually always have a stylus on them. Direct touch is also ok, provided that the user is careful to be precise, because direct touch means that there are always more than 10 points of input at a time.

2. Pointing tasks for stylus inputs are great, because a stylus gives one point of contact with the machine. It is also thinner than one's finger, meaning that it's clear both to the user (it's easy to see where you're pointing) and the machine what the user's intent was. Again, though, this means that the user must always have a stylus on them. Direct touch is not as clear, meaning that the machine must infer from the shape of all the contact points where the user really intended to point.

3. Other tasks that are really good for input without mouse and keyboard include drawing (like our canvas app), because inputs are not based on key presses. Instead, it's clearest when the user just touches the area that he would like to be affected.

Brian Wong - 2/25/2013 18:00:35

1) The main strength of voice input for text entry is that it can be hands free. It requires no physical contact, and thus the hands can be utilized for other tasks (such as carrying giant boxes of pizza). The device, itself, only needs to be close enough for sound input as well, so in some cases it can be across the room. In general, people also speak faster than they can type, so voice input is generally faster. Weaknesses of voice input come from the fact that it is difficult to isolate sound compared to physical contact. There will always be other sounds (cars, the radio, etc.) that must be filtered out in order for voice input to work (a prime example of an impossible situation is at a concert). Technology wise, as well, there are shortcomings because natural language voice recognition software is still in a somewhat infantile stage, especially with the vast amount of languages that all require specific algorithms for recognition.

Direct touch for text entry is strong because it requires little movement between characters, as well as the rest of the input screen (moving from the keyboard of a touchpad to a button above is a close travel distance). There is generally feedback as well, unlike with voice input. When the point of contact and the point of input recognition is small, a touch screen can also mimic a physical input device very closely. Direct touch, however, is often slower, if the screen is smaller there can be many mistakes made, often times there is no physical separation of text keys for entry (all one planar surface), and as mentioned in the reading, fingers may visibly obstruct the view of the area of input.

A stylus is similar to direct touch, but as mentioned in the reading, because it has a lever effect, it can be much more precise than direct touch. This affords the ability to actually write out words and input (such as when electronically signing after a purchase at stores). A stylus, however, can generally only be used with one hand, which may make input substantially slower. A stylus, as mentioned in the reading, also has a much greater initial time to use, for one must take out the stylus from a sheath, write with it, place in a resting position, then remove it from that position to write again.

2) Direct touch affords a 1:1 mapping for pointing tasks, which nicely mimcs the real world. Direct touch also allows for multiouch, which allows for pinching, zooming, swiping, etc. However, as mentioned in the reading, only dragging has an intuitive action associated with it. Moving one block over or changing color has not singular action that a majority of people will use. And again, the finger can get in the way of what is trying to be viewed.

A stylus can be more precise than a direct touch, but as mentioned in part 1, there are many weaknesses in terms of time when utilizing a stylus. Both methods, direct touch and stylus, also have a difficult type properly doing a hover state (as with a mouse). This means that many times it is difficult to know exactly where the input is going to be detected, and that many menus must be specially designed for theses cases.

3) Graphic design is something that a good tablet and stylus input has been substantially better at than mouse and keyboard. Voice input has been faster for common tasks such as directions to home, playing music, or answering phone calls. Many games also see improvements by using direct touch, as such mini piano games. An task that requires a great distance to travel back and forth (Fitt's law) is much easier to accomplish with direct touch than with a mouse.