Text Entry Using a Dual Joystick Game Controller

Andrew D. Wilson, Maneesh Agrawala


We present a new bimanual text entry technique designed for today’s dual-joystick game controllers. The left and right joysticks are used to independently select characters from the corresponding (left/right) half of an on-screen selection keyboard. Our dual-stick approach is analogous to typing on a standard keyboard, where each hand (left/right) presses keys on the corresponding side of the keyboard. We conducted a user study showing that our technique supports keyboarding skills transfer and is thereby readily learnable. Our technique increases entry speed significantly compared to the status quo single stick selection keyboard technique.

Like many console game controllers, the XBOX controller includes 2 thumbsticks (left). We have designed an interface that allows users to enter text using both thumbsticks (right). The left stick controls the left half of the keyboard while the right stick controls the right half.

Research Paper

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Text Entry Using a Dual Joystick Game Controller
ACM Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), 2006. pp. 475-478.