CPSC 436 - 500: Computer-Human Interaction
Assign letters to a phone keypad : Due 9/23/2004
Congratulations! As a new
graduate with a baccalaureate degree in Computer Science you have
snagged a job with a leading cell phone manufacturer. Upon realizing
that you have had some experience in interface and interaction design,
your manager has assigned you to a project that is investigating
possible improvements to mapping letters of the alphabet to the various keys.
The manufacturer acknowledges that the current (traditional)
letter-to-key assignment is not optimized for text messaging. The
company hopes to significantly increase its market share by changing
the letter associations with the twelve basic keys so that the phone
units ease text messaging.Here is the task specification handed to you:
You have been given two weeks to complete this task. At the end of the
week, your manager (or instructor :-) ) expects the following:
- Design a letter to key mapping for the 12 basic keys (the 10 digits, *, and #).
- Do not be constrained by the traditional mapping (1: no assignment, 2: a,b,c, 3: d,e,f and so on).
- You may assume that the cell phone will be equipped with both
predictive word mathcing as well as multi-type capabilities. Your
design may optimize the key assignments for either of these approaches.
- Do not consider use of any other keys that the cell phone
unit may have. The functions for these keys have been optimized to the company's satisfaction and are outside the scope of
- Explain your rationale for the new key assignments. In
particular, explain why you believe that this assignment is better than
the traditional key assignment.
- While some phone numbers are mapped to the existing key-letter
assignments (866-CINGULAR is really 866-246-4852), the cell phone will include software to translate from the
new to the old assignments to maintain compatibility with the existing
phone system. This compatibility or the software to maintain it is not a part of this project.
- A visual mapping of the key to letter assignments (graphic on a single page).
- Two additional pages of the design rationale. In particular, describe
- your design considerations
- a reasonable explanation for why you believe this assignment is better than the traditional letter assignment
- the type of input that these letter assignments are optimized for
- the reasons why you believe that this assignment is better suited to one method (described in the earlier bullet) than the other