the keyboard on the competition

Dylan McCall dylanmccall at
Fri Jun 29 02:19:44 CEST 2007

Perhaps someone could try building a Messag-ease keyboard that follows the
growing keys scheme?

MessagEase is a fantastic input method for touch screens. I've been playing
with it on my DS, and after getting used to, it is far superior to a
miniature qwerty!
Instead of a too many tiny buttons, there are 12 (maybe more, maybe less)
big buttons. You input characters by touching them and stroking in the
direction of the letter you want which is on that key.
It may sound a bit weird, but in action it makes sense and you can rather
easily get the feel for it. The way it is organized makes fine sense.

A really adventurous designer could go so far as adding a predictive text
key with letters that change on the fly.
(Whereas with qwerty, the layout is completely rigid). For example, if a
date is being typed, the keyboard could be told (perhaps via d-bus?) to pop
some numbers into the predictive text key. (Or, more adventurously, strings
containing more than one character?)

Combine the conventional Messag-Ease layout with the fancy scrolling effects
like those used in the iPhone's keyboard (press a key, it expands), and it
can be a really intuitive interface!
Since the keys on a messag-ease layout can still only really be thumb sized,
it is difficult to learn the layout if you keep covering up keys before they
do anything, and since it is a weird layout to learn there are no hints for
what to do. The solution there is that when a key is pressed, the key could
expand with each letter becoming separate. When the user is making his
stroke, the key that would be selected if he was to let go could be
illuminated somehow.

-Dylan McCall

On 6/27/07, Robin Paulson <robin.paulson at> wrote:
> someone on this list had a similar idea for enlarging number keys i
> think, they would appear or resize depending on context iirc?
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> community at
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