Modelling Learning of New Keyboard Layouts
Predicting how users learn new or changed interfaces is a long-standing objective in HCI research. This paper contributes to understanding of visual search and learning in text entry. With a goal of explaining variance in novices' typing performance that is attributable to visual search, a model was designed to predict how users learn to locate keys on a keyboard: initially relying on visual short-term memory but then transitioning to recall-based search. This allows predicting search times and visual search patterns for completely and partially new layouts. The model complements models of motor performance and learning in text entry by predicting change in visual search patterns over time. Practitioners can use it for estimating how long it takes to reach the desired level of performance with a given layout.