Interactive tv text input usability report 2011

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This documents outlines Amberlight's research into the text input functions used in various smart TV systems and provides guidelines for best practice

Transcript of Interactive tv text input usability report 2011

  • 1. June 2011Text Input for Smart TV Systems 58 Bloomsbury StreetLondon WC1B 3QT+44 (0)207 307

2. Text input for smart TV systems Text input is an essential part of many interactions o Searching o Completing forms o Submitting passwords o Social media, etc Smart TV systems pose problems for text input as: o Typically the screen is 10 feet away from the user o The input device is often a slim remote control with no physical keyboard The goals of this research project were to: o Evaluate how people input text in smart TV systems in order to develop best practice guidelines for text input 3. Top level findings Amberlight performed an expert review of severalsystems and observed users undertake typical tasks From this work eight principles for text input in smartTV systems were identified 1. Use predictive text to help users input text more efficiently 2. Enable content discovery with predictive search results 3. Provide a choice of keyboard layout (qwerty, a-z or sms),but default to an a-z grid 4. Avoid forcing people to read detailed instructions 5. Create simple interfaces and remote controls, but provideadditional shortcuts for experts 6. Enable users to control cursors as flexibly as possible 7. Ensure users find it easy to edit text by deleting and adding 8. Use plain and consistent English in labels 4. Main findings 5. Apple TV ranked #1 by 8 out of 10 participants 8 out of 10 participantsranked the Apple TV as theirpreferred device for text entrydue to: Simplicity of remote control Effective predictive text Search results update in real time 6. Predictive text 7. Predictive text promotes efficiencyApple TVUsers can find content easilyby entering a few lettersIt is likely that the desiredcontent will be shownbefore the search termshave been completed 8. Problems with predictionsWii and PlayStationassume a new word isstarting when text inputis delayedIt is not clear on the Wiithat this button turnspredictive text on and off Predictive words on the PlayStation were not used, and often not seen Place predictions and search input box closely together Only let predictive text identify new words when a space has been entered Make it clear how to turn predictive text on and off 9. Search results 10. Real time results are welcomed by usersApple TVSearch results update inreal time offeringimmediate feedbackand rapid access to thedesired content 11. Thumbnails promote efficient searchApple TV Users find thumbnail images from the search results helpful as they frequently recognise brands, actors and other imagery from content more quickly than names 12. Predictive search results allow serendipity Predictive search results means users receive suggestions about content they may be interested in 13. Keyboard 14. A keyboard signifies that users can enter text Showing a keyboard informs people that they can enter text in a simple wayDisplay a keyboard or a keypad to let users know they can enter text 15. Past experience effects user preferencesNintendo Wii QWERTY layoutKeyboard layout preferencesvary strongly, depending onexperience and skills It is important to make it clear to people that they canFree VIEW A to Z layout switch between different layouts Free SAT SMS layoutOffer a choice of keyboard to avoid forcing people to use systems theyfind difficult 16. Grids make navigation easierApple TVPeople can navigatearound letters usingdirectional buttonson a remote control Make A-Z grid the default option for keyboard layout 17. Layout options need to be obvious Most users keep default settings and do not notice subtle tab options, even at top of screen Options to change input styles at bottom of the screen mean users are even more unlikely to see themFocus on promoting layout and case change options with size and colour 18. Text style 19. Avoid long instructions Sky TV SKY makes users readinstructionsThis causes irritation andmakes people guess howto use the system as theyskip the textA keyboard shows peoplewhat to do without havingto explain how to do itSky Vegas 20. Remote controls 21. Simple remotes are intuitiveApple TVFewer buttons meanparticipants werequickly able to learnwhat each button did People think each button has a function and will make the TV do something they dont want it to do 22. But shortcuts are great for experts Game controllers Games controllers provide many shortcuts Novices are unlikely to use these but experts will find them helpful 23. TV remote buttons can feel unresponsive Buttons on TV remotes can feel sticky and slow They may seem unresponsive because they rely on infra red signals Interactive TV companies should consider including blue tooth as part of their boxes in addition to infra red 24. Cursor control 25. Moving the cursor with the remote Most devices restrict users to moving horizontally or vertically The ability to fly around the Wii keyboard allows increased efficiency when entering text Increasing directional control (e.g. diagonal cursor movement) may increase efficiency for users 26. Cursor control increases input efficiency It is difficult for a user to correct a spelling mistake in the middle of a word without cursor controlSmart TV should learn from games consoles and let users movecursor to any position on the screen in as few moves as possible 27. Confirming targets Many users find the vibration of the Wii remote helpful as a way of identifying exactly what they are pointing at, although some users who are unfamilar with it find it irritating The Wii system helpfully identifies the target letter by expanding it when it is pointed atProvide ways of quickly identifying the selected target e.g. change in sizeor movementAllow users to turn off vibration, if implemented 28. Cursors should facilitate in-page navigationApple TV Not clear how to switch from keyboard to search results>>> Arrows would indicate users can move to the right of the screen 29. Editing text 30. Make it easy to deleteUsers need to beNo instructions on how toable to correct delete text when users areerrorsin non-keyboard layoutBack arrows and the wordbackspace are not seen assynonymous with deleteInstructions wont be read;clicking a left arrow button isnot a normal way to deleteIn contrast, Apple TV uses the word deleteInclude a delete button, either on the remote or as a clear onscreen label 31. Make it easy to add a spaceFree VIEW and Free SAT make the space buttonbigger, like it is on a keyboard But it is not clear to users that thesymbol is a space ] SKY relies on a mobile phone keypad input but displays a speaker symbol which is confusing The word space would be clearer than having a symbol ] 32. Labelling 33. Shortcut labels must be clear and obviousFew people saw linkbetween colouredbuttons on screen andon remote controlThis shortcut label is confusing because theremote control also has a button labelled ok 34. Shapes and buttons can cause confusionSelect suggestsShapes on the PlayStationthat this is the suggest incorrect functionsbutton to use to e.g. cross suggests delete andselect a lettertriangle suggests upwards Shoulder buttons on X-Box and PlayStation have name of button bevelled on the controller which is difficult to see Avoid conflicting symbols and names Avoid hidden buttons on remote controls Remotes need clear, visible labels for what each button does 35. Take care with iconsConnection between play andpause symbols on the screen andon the remote to change a keyboardis not seen SMS suggested people could send a text message instead of changing layouts on Free SAT PlayStation buttons are easily missed and do not communicate that they can be used to change layoutClear labels are needed to tell users how to change keyboard layouts.Icons are potentially confusing ways of communicating 36. Use clear instructionsThe Wii icons show differentoptions clearly Apple TV uses plain English Use clear icons, plain English, and positioning at the top of the screen 37. Colour should not be used to indicate options Sky Vegas Users do not always associate colour with the physical remote control buttons Using colour in this way is also problematic for accessibility 38. Summary: Guidelines for text entry insmart TV systems 39. Guidelines for text entry: 1Use prediction to make text input efficient Make suggestions for what the next letter and what the next word could be Only let the predictive system propose a new word after a space has beenentered to signal the end of the previous word Keep input text and suggested letters and words close together on thescreen so they appear related Let users turn off the predictions if it causes them more problems than itsolves 40. Guidelines for text entry: 2Use search to promote serendipity Show predictive search results as a user enters each letter: live searchresults give users welcome feedback and reduce keystrokes Serendipity is important for most media owners who want users todiscover new types of content. Real time search results, especiallycombined with thumbnail images, will promote serendipity veryeffectively 41. Guidelines for text entry: 3Show a keyboard A keyboard signifies to users that you can enter text Provide alternative layouts to meet differing user needs. Default to anA-Z grid Ensure that commands to select different options are easy to see andunderstand, for instance by ensuring tabs are sufficiently salient andcommands are top of screen rather than bottom of screen 42. Guidelines for text entry: 4 Dont make people read long instructions Reading text at a distance is difficult and causes people irritation or forces them to guess what to do Provide intuitive buttons and tabs, and intuitive functionality such as keyboards, in preference to long instructions 43. Guidelines for text entry: 5 Simplify remotes wherever possible Manufacturers should consider simplifying remote controls byreducing the number of butto