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A Cost–Benefit Study of Text Entry Suggestion Interaction

Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York, NY, pp. 83-88


Mobile keyboards often present error corrections and word completions (suggestions) as candidates for anticipated user input. However, these suggestions are not cognitively free: they require users to attend, evaluate, and act upon them. To understand this trade-off between suggestion savings and interaction costs, we conducted a text transcription experiment that controlled interface assertiveness: the tendency for an interface to present itself. Suggestions were either always present (extraverted), never present (introverted), or gated by a probability threshold (ambiverted). Results showed that although increasing the assertiveness of suggestions reduced the number of keyboard actions to enter text and was subjectively preferred, the costs of attending to and using the suggestions impaired average time performance.