Communication and Learning

Project by

Prof. Anirudha Joshi

This project will be exhibited at Design Degree Show 2015, 13th to 17th June.

Tapaatap – A gamified testing tool to evaluate virtual marathi keyboards

Mobile text entry has been a topic of intense research for over two decades. Over the past decade the practice of entering text into a mobile phone has become a pervasive activity performed by billions of people each and every day. It is common to witness individuals sending text messages and emails, tweets and Facebook posts, while going about their daily routines.

Effective text entry methods are crucial for pleasant, fluent, and efficient use of many of the computer systems that surround us. Text entry methods need to be evaluated in order for us to better understand and improve them.

The conventional methods of text input evaluation are lab-based which are heavy on resources for the researcher which result in a controlled testing of text input through a small sample. Moving away from the standardised transcription tasks, new techniques for evaluation using composition tasks, are emerging.

There have been successful attempts at using gamification to conduct evaluations easily with a larger sample and to incentivise the user without affecting the researchers pocket, facilitating a study with higher external validity.

Very little work on text entry evaluation of Indic scripts exists. Along with text entry evaluation for Indic scripts. An ongoing DIT project – Standardisation of virtual keyboards for Indic scripts, involves doing longitudinal studies of text entry through various keyboards on Android platform in several languages.

There are several learnability barriers in adoption of the text input methods in Indic scripts for the Indian Masses. There arises a need to teach to type along with facilitating text input in native languages.

According to 2001 census, Marathi speaking population in India is 71,936,894. Considering other marathi speaking people across the globe, the number can be estimated to approximately 8 crore people. As of 2012 India had about 302 million estimated internet users. The Marathi Wikipedia, which is the marathi edition of Wikipedia has grown on to become a Wiki containing more than 34,000 articles and has more than 23,000 registered users as of February 2012. So it is certain that inspire of having multiple text input methods for marathi, less people type in marathi.

These reasons have triggered me to create a gamified evaluation tool that aids in easing the research process as well as attempt at removing the learning barriers for the masses.