Optimise My Mobile

Affiliation: UClan
Resolution: Individual | Duration: Two to four hours



Your goal is to optimize your mobile keyboard design for your mobile texting activity

Learning Objectives

You will learn about the ergonomics of mobile keyboards You will learn how language modelling can be applied to keyboard design You will learn a little bit about Fitts Law


The mobile phone keyboard is a legacy design which has its roots in mechanical typewriters. There is debate about the design of the QWERTY keyboard, with Baker (2010) suggesting the design was intended to keep typing speeds down, stating that Sholes “rejigged the letters on his machine”. David (1985) claimed the design was in response to a problem, where keys “clash and jam if struck in rapid succession” (p. 333). The QWERTY keyboard’s design is “not optimal from a physiological standpoint” (Rempel, 2008, p. 338) and, in addition, the keys are not grouped logically (Ciobanu, 2014). Anderson et al. (2009) commented that alternative keyboards “offer ergonomic benefits over the conventional, single plane QWERTY keyboard designs” (p. 35), although these alternative keyboards lack widespread acceptance. Anderson, A. M., Mirka, G. A., Joines, S. M. B., & Kaber, D. B. (2009) Analysis of alternative keyboards using learning curves. Human Factors, 51, 35-45. Baker, N. (2010) Why do we all use Qwerty keyboards? Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10925456 (Accessed 18/7/2016). Ciobanu, O. (2014) An evaluation of the ergonomics of the QWERTY keyboards. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 657, 1051-1055. David, P. A. (1985) Clio and the economics of QWERTY. The American Economic Review, 72, 332-337.