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"Saral" Devanagari text input system for Mobile Phones
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"Saral" Devanagari text input system for Mobile Phones


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This project discusses out efforts on developing A Devanagari text input system for Mobile Phones

This project discusses out efforts on developing A Devanagari text input system for Mobile Phones

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  • Where can I get Saral Devanagari For nokia mobiles ? Will it work for emails ? Will it work for emails and browsing devnagari websites over Android. apple. windows, samsung propritary platforms
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  • Hi everyone thanks for coming back, my name is anshumankumar, I am an interaction designer. I’ll be sharing before you some of my academic work that I have been doing with my professor Anirudha Joshi and my colleague HemRuchi Shah. The work revolves around developing a Devanagari text input system….”Saral”….for mobile phone users in India. Now Devanagari an Indic script from which many of the Indian languages have originated. Hindi our nation language being the most commonly used one also follows the Devanagari script. To set up some context, In the next few slides, I would walk you through some statistics, these statistics would point to the challenges and opportunities the Mobile phone industry India faces in.
  • One fifth world’s population is Indian. It is the second most populated country with around 1.13B people.
  • Out of this Billion+ people only 440M people have mobile phones. But the market is expanding at a rate of 15m new subscribers every month. What is more exciting is the split of teledensity in Urban and rural india.
  • Only one third of the India’a population is urban. Remaining 2/3 rural population is not benefited with the advancements of telecommunication.
  • The teldensity in rural india is only around 13% while in urban areas it fairly high upto 81%. There is a vast untapped market. But this market faces a lots of challenges Literacy is one of them.
  • There is disparity in terms of literacy between rural and urban india. The literacy rates have improved a lot in the recent past. But there is a issue to literacy. In India, A literate is a person who can read and write in atleast one language (generally hi mother tongue). This raises the important question Languages in India.
  • India has lots of languages and dialects. There are……….11 different languages in a country is a night mare. Moving from state to another is like more to a new country with a different language. The most common languages spoken in India are India has Hindi, Bengali. TeGujarati, tamil. Kannada, marathi… you wont find english over here, though there are around 300 M English users with vastly varying degree of efficiency because…English is generally the 2nd or 3rd language for Indians and generally not he first choice of communication.
  • This leads us to the irony of tele-communication in India where all the services are designed for English speaking people who by now already have mobile phones. But for the remaining 800M Language becomes a hindrance in using the simplest of features like a phonebook, type an sms, use VAS. To address the communication needs of these people and to tap the vast market of the non englishspearkers. There is an eminent need for a Devanagari text input system.We started the project with designing a text input system for Hindi with the idea of later scaling it to the other Devanagari languages. Now Before I get on to the design part , it’s a good idea to send a minute over the structure of Hindi.
  • These are the frequently used hindi characters, and this particular sequence of alphabets is referred to as Varnamala. A vowel modifier is a glyph which replaces the corresponding vowel when that vowel appears after a consonant.Conjuncts are glyphs formed by the combination of 2 or more consonants. the two most important concepts of Hindi are….1 we have already seen c+v=cm and the other is that of half consonants.Now implicitly all the consonants are a combination of a half consonant and this implicit vowel. This sign at the bottom is called halant , and used for denoting half consonants
  • There are some issues when it comes to text input majorly of them raising from complex script structure, large number of characters and glyphs and difference between writing and typing. On mobile phones, these issues are even more enhanced because of the small screen and keypad and users’ less attention span than on desktop computers. Some of these issues have been addressed by the available text input methods,
  • there are the three most commonly used hindi text input methods. The first one is the Multi tap, which is very similar to the way we type English on a 12 key phone. We keep tapping till we get the required character. The ‘Two level coding’ method leverages the hierarchical grouping of letters in Devanagari by assigning a two digit code to each letter. The first digit represents the group and the second represents the individual letter in the group. On pressing a key, the group associated to it is displayed on the screen. While the user is in this mode, the same keys are associated with a letter in the group.In the third method Devanagari alphabets are phonetically grouped on to the keypad to their closest Roman characters. For example, (ba, bha) are mapped to the Roman B (key 2) and (ka, kha) are mapped to K (key 5).
  • We started with ahuertistc analysis, we invited 8 experts from different fields, they tested the different text input methods by trying to type sms’s in hindi and by saving contacts. Then we conducted some contextual enquires across 3 different cities. The participants had some experience of typing in hindi and a few had none.
  • These are the very high level user needs that emerged out of the user study…Based on these needs we came up with several design solutions
  • After taking some informal user feedback on the different design ideas we had, we settled for the on screen keyboard option…because, it not only suited with our user needs of ease of use and learn but also interms of adoption and feasibility.
  • The goal of the evaluation was to compare the three different text input systems and Saral with respect to learnability, error free use and ease for beginners.
  • of the phone model and its native text input method by typing a few words in Hindi. the user was shown cards each with a Hindi word printed on it and was asked to type it on the phone. In all, there were 18 words shown in increasing order of difficulty. The number and sequence of words was the same for all users. The users were encouraged to type without help. If they could they were “successful without help”. If they needed some help they were successful with help and they coundn’t type even after help they were unsuccessful
  • well this might help you remember my name “An+shoe+man”. So next time you see “a” “man” wearing a ‘shoe’ should……. So
  • well this might help you remember my name “An+shoe+man”. So next time you see “a” “man” wearing a ‘shoe’ should……. So
  • Transcript

    • 1. Globicomp @Ubicomp
      30 Sept’09
      Anshuman Kumar
      Prof. Anirudha Joshi
      Hemruchi Shah
    • 2. population
      Population of India
      1.13 Billion
    • 3. mobile phones
      Mobile Phones
      441.66 Million
      billion +
      Increasing at
      14.38 M/month
    • 4. population distribution
      Urban : 33%
      Rural : 66%
      billion +
    • 5. teledensity
      Urban : 33%
      Rural : 66%
      billion +
      Teledensity : 37.8%
      Urban : 80.97%
      Rural : 12.80%
    • 6. literacy
      Literacy: 64.8%
      Urban : 79.9%
      Rural : 58.7%
      billion +
    • 7. language
      Total Languages
      Most Popular
      11 (1B people)
      Most Commonly used Languages in India are
      Hindi – 422M
      Bengali – 83M
      Telugu – 74M
      Marathi – 72M
      Tamil – 61M
      Urdu – 52M

      English Users
      300 M
    • 8. Irony of telecommunication in India
      ‘All the services are designed for these 300M English speakers’
      ‘But for the remaining 800 Million people Language becomes a hindrance’
      “Need for a Devanagari text input systems
      for mobile phones”
    • 9. Structure of Devanagari
      Half Consonants
    • 10. Issues with Hindi Text Input
      • Complex script system
      • 11. Large number of characters
      • 12. Large number of glyphs
      • 13. Differences in methods of writing and typing
    • Existing solutions
      two level coding
      Phonetic mapping
      1 2 3 4 5
    • 14. User Study
      Heuristic analysis
      Contextual Enquires
      • Middle class users
      • 15. Hindi speaking
      • 16. Had received atleast primary education.
      • 17. They were asked to save a given contact and type an sms in Hindi.
      • 18. 8 field experts
      • 19. tested different text input methods
      • 20. by typing SMS and adding contacts to the phone book
    • User Needs
      • The Varnamala needs to be clearly represented on the keypad / screen.
      • 21. The diacritic of halant should be highlighted
      • 22. The number of characters mapped on each key of the keypad could be reduced
      • 23. They want something that’s very simple
      Users Preference
      • Learnability,
      • 24. Ease of use
      • 25. Speed of typing.
    • Design Explorations
      On screen Keypad
      Circular layout Stylus based
      Joystick based Navigation
    • 26. Design Refinement
    • 27. “Saral”
      Scrollable screen, three lines of text visible at a time. Has a blinking cursor.
      When the screen appears ‘अ’ is highlighted by default
      The navigation keys are used to move around the grid
      The central button is used
      to make a selection
      Audio feedback
    • 28. Final Design
    • 29. Usability Evaluation
      User Profile
      • Hindi-speaking users
      • 30. Educational background between 7th to 10th standards
      • 31. Mobile phone User
      • 32. Has never typed in Hindi on Mobile phone
      ‘Saral’ deployed
      on Nokia 6300
      ‘Multi-tap’ Nokia 1100
      ‘two level coding ’ Samsung SCH – C140
      ‘Phonetic mapping’ Sony Ericsson – J100i
    • 33. Test Plan
      • 5 users per input method were recruited (5x4)
      • 34. 5-minute orientation
    • Test Results
      • Saral had the highest success rate without help per user - 53% [43%, 44%, 19%]
      • 35. The total number of words typed successfully per user - 98%. [89%, 58%, 42%]
      For the last six hardest words
      • Saral had the highest success rate without help per user (23%) [13%, 13%, 10%]
      • 36. The total number of words typed successfully per user (93%). [77%, 30%, 20%]
    • Conclusion
      • Saral is a lot more easier for beginners
      • 37. The layout and the contextual vowel modifiers helped in easy learning and eventually speed and error free use.
      • 38. Audio feedback was preferred by the users.
      • 39. Making options visible is important in inputting complex scripts.
      • 40. It’s important to tailor-make the input system for a complex script rather than using standard method for all scripts.
    • Acknowledgement
      We are thankful to
      Kumar Ahir, Riyaz Sheikh, Shwetha, Nikhil Welanakar and KirtiKantikar
      Prof. UdayAthvankar and Prof. MilindMalshe for their valuable feedback
      The participants of our heuristic evaluations and students of course IN 604 ’08
      Nokia for part-funding our prototyping effort
    • 41.