Performance measures and satisfaction ratings were obtained from skilled typists and from non-typists using two different designs of editor, one requiring more commands but simpler (“short transactions”), the other needing fewer commands but more complex (“long transactions”). Each subject used the same editor in two versions, one with all input from the keyboard, the other with spoken commands but typed parameter strings. The results indicate that short transactions were preferred, although they were not always most error-free. Speech input was consistently rated lower than keyboard by typists; non-typists initially preferred speech but swung to preferring keyboard. Although the dislike of speech may have been due to the limited hardware, subjects' comments suggested that switching modality during a command was inherently disruptive. © 1984, Academic Press Inc. (London) Limited. All rights reserved.
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