Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 9 Number 3 1992 pp. 71-90

Whither the Pen-Based Interface?

Briggs, Robert O, Dennis, Alan R, Beck, Brenda S, and Nunamaker Jr, Jay F

ABSTRACT: This paper reports the results of six experiments to investigate the kinds of applications for which a pen-based interface might be useful, the kinds of users who might adopt pen-based interfaces, and the features or components of the pen-based interface that users find acceptable. The experiments revealed a strong user acceptance of pen-based systems for software navigation and position control across a range of applications, and showed that the responses of current nonusers were very similar to those of experienced users when using pen-based systems. The results also suggest that, contrary to conventional wisdom, handwriting recognition is unlikely to be widely accepted as a direct keyboard substitute for general-purpose computing. The paper discusses alternatives to handwriting recognition for pen-based character input, and ends with a brief discussion of future directions in pen-based interface research.

Key words and phrases: handwriting recognition, pen-based systems, user acceptance