Dependable keyed data entry for interactive systems

Harold Thimbleby, Andy Gimblett

Abstract


Keyed data entry is fundamental and ubiquitous, occurring when filling data fields in web forms, entering burglar alarm pass-codes, using calculators, entering drug delivery rates in infusion pumps, making cash withdrawals from cash machines, setting destinations for GPS navigation, to name but a few of its applications. Unfortunately data entry is often implemented poorly.

We introduce divergence, a loss of predictability in a user interface, and show that it is in general unavoidable in data entry, and therefore a systematic approach is called for. This paper presents one such an approach. Many inter-related ideas ``fall into place''---e.g., autocompletion, prompting, automatic color coding---through the approach. The approach contrasts with conventional systems that are generally inconsistent and unhelpful to users, particularly after errors.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14279/tuj.eceasst.45.642

DOI (PDF): http://dx.doi.org/10.14279/tuj.eceasst.45.642.658

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