BubbleType: Enabling Text Entry within a Walk-Up Tabletop Installation

We address the issue of enabling text entry for walk-up-and-use interactive tabletop displays located in public spaces. Public tabletop installations are characterized by a diverse target user group, multiperson interaction, and the need for high approachability and intuitiveness. We first define the design constraints of text-entry methods for public tabletop installations such as clear affordances, audience expertise, support of direct-touch interaction, visual appearance, space requirements, multi-user support, and technical simplicity. We then describe an iterative design process that was informed by these constraints and led to the development of two stylus keyboard prototypes—BubbleQWERTY and BubbleCIRCLE—for use in interactive public tabletop installations.