Til is an alternative virtual keyboard that mixes single key selection with directional strokes.
By using simple gestures started on specific keys, users can accentuate words, punctuate phrases, move the cursor around the text and fix mistakes in a simple and quick way, most of the time using only the keyboard’s main screen.
Til was built based on the findings of a three year study on how people type on touchscreen mobile phones. It showed that people often loose their focus and decrease their typing speed when a change in the keyboard´s screen is required, for example, when switching from letters to symbols and punctuation. In such cases, it takes time not only for the writer to find the key he was looking for in the secondary mapping but also to find the next letter he was supposed to touch, when he comes back to the primary screen. The same occurs when a typo needs to be fixed manually and the user touches the backstroke key multiple times until he finds the mistake to be corrected, most of the times, requiring the word to be typed again.
The image on the left shows Til´s main screen. Each key that contains a red arrow is a key that can handle strokes. For example, if you hit the period key and slide your finger to the left and upwards, the result would be a question mark.
The two keys next to Z and N are special keys. The former allows users to move the cursor through the text without erasing it, and the latter is used to erase the text, both forward and backwards, one letter or one word at a time, depending on the presence and direction of a stroke.
The spacebar key also holds some special functions: it switches the keyboard´s mapping depending of the direction of the stroke initiated on it.
Since most common punctuation marks (question mark, exclamation mark and comma) can be reached with strokes initiated on the period key, placed right next to the spacebar, users don´t need to leave the primary screen to punctuate most of their sentences.
Accented characters, very common in latin languages, can be produced with strokes initiated on vowels. Special characters, such as Ç and Ñ can also be produced the same way.
With such features, Til enables users to type faster, as they would not need to switch mappings very often, and correct typos easily, improving typing experience on mobile touchscreen devices.
These videos show how to use Til keyboard´s features.
How to erase characters
How to move the cursor without erasing text
How to punctuate
How to accentuate characters
How to switch keyboard´s mapping
Til in action