A comparative analysis of data entry devices and typing modes
Holden, Kritina L.
Lane, David M.
Master of Arts
In our technology oriented society, data entry and manipulation are some of the most important tasks in which the human is involved. The present research is concerned with optimization of data entry via a computer keyboard. There is evidence that foot pedal devices could prove beneficial when used in conjunction with a keyboard for complex data entry. In the present research, the viability of a foot pedal entry device and a parallel mode of keystroking were examined. These two conditions, along with the standard key input and serial mode of keystroking were compared in two studies. Results showed that for inexperienced or unskilled typists, the addition of a foot pedal does not provide for better performance. Subjects performing with a foot pedal were consistently faster but committed more errors. Worst performance was noted for subjects using the foot pedal in a serial mode. There are indications in the data which suggest that high-skill typists may be able to more successfully adapt to using a foot pedal device, and may also be more able to coordinate their limbs in order to take advantage of the benefits of parallel entry. Implications for these results in light of current computer system design are discussed.