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Show HN: A better typing tutor, based upon the OK Plateau Effect (oktypist.com)
39 points by ZaneClaes on Nov 25, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 42 comments

Sometimes it skips to the next word before you are finished a word, and it's not clear if you need to press space or keep typing, but pressing space skips to the next word after THAT. Pretty frustrating, actually.

That's exactly the point -- you need to try to keep up. This slight frustration is the part that makes you get better ;)

But your score includes mistakes that you make! Is a space not a mistake? Is it not a key that you need to press? When it skips to the next word, it's quite non-intuitive to not put a space first.

If you don't press space, you're violating the idea of words. If you press space, the sentence you've constructed in your head is broken. Either way, it slows me down and frustrates me too much to play :)

The way it's coded, there are 2 conditions that move it forward: either pressing space, or the timer expiring. Pressing the space thus is not an error, but rather the condition that moves the text forward. Also, as I mentioned below, the timer gets faster as you get more words correct.

The original study used only a timer, and had the same frustration which you speak of here.

>> It will force you to type faster than you are able

The text is appearing really slowly for me. Is there something that I'm missing? I have to keep waiting for it to catch up to me.

EDIT: I was using Firefox. In Chrome, it's completely different.

It only seems to work correctly in Chrome.

It was randomly delayed for me as well (granted I'm using Chromium v20...). That (and the otherwise mentioned skipping to the next word erratically... and the not explaining visually how errors are handled) made it nearly useless to me. I would not be inclined to prefer it over, say Type-racer, except as a curio in the show-HN area.

Thanks for pointing out the Chrome vs. FF. I'll take a look.

Reporting the same. Chrome and Safari are fine, FF lags significantly.

Updated the FF about 30min ago; try again now :)

The number at the bottom isn't updating at all (stuck at 0). Edit: refreshing twice brought it back– odd. I have to say though, it's quite a bit of fun. I'm not slow and I can already feel the push, I'm really glad you showed this :)

It would be a much better experience if it were immediately obvious that words marked in red must be abandoned.

Each non-matching character counts as an error; but you can still recover. Eg, if you type "heloo" instead of "hello", it is only 1 error.

I normally get a 50-70 WPM score on typing tests, but got a 6 on this. There was a fair amount of errors but surely 6 isn't the best representation of WPM with adjustment for errors.

I also am getting what I believe to be an inaccurate wpm. I am getting 30 but I normally score around 65wpm. It might be because it makes the mistake of counting actual words instead of 5 character chunks.

When you get to the end, it explains that it uses net WPM (NOT Gross WPM), which is error-adjusted to create an "effective" WPM.

Shared with two friends in chat and said, "prepare to be challenged."

Their responses:

"Two seconds in and I'm pissed."


"This is infuriating"

So congratulations? These are both people that do extensive amounts of work on the computer but none of it involves copying quickly.

For me, I'm a bit curious why words per minute matters for people. It seems like the only time typing so quickly matters is when you are copying things down (written or spoken). Don't you think it is only a matter of time before no one will have to copy something down into text format manually ever again?

I have little knowledge about how the brain works when copying information but it seems that when someone is working hard to quickly copy something down they are not analyzing the meaning of the content nearly as well as if they were sitting and listening. It seems like time could be better spent.

I still think this is an interesting site. I would love to improve my typing accuracy.

Hahaha :) Re: copying... I'm not sure that there's really a necessary distinction between copying input and simply being able to type fast. In this scenario, yes, you're simply copying input; for that reason I added a 800 ms delay to allow the brain to process the word before the variable timer is enabled, so ultimately what's being tested is your ability to write what is in your brain already.

That said, I do acknowledge that WPM is not necessarily the best gauge of efficiency. I'm a programmer, and I'm not sure exactly how WPM relates to my work (I'd be curious to see a study) since much of what I type is "nonsense" words to begin with, and WPM is largely a function of your ability to habitually reproduce the same character sets (aka, common words in your given language).

>I have little knowledge about how the brain works when copying information but it seems that when someone is working hard to quickly copy something down they are not analyzing the meaning of the content nearly as well as if they were sitting and listening. It seems like time could be better spent.

Once you get fast and accurate enough - you've built into yourself the buffer space to be able to spend time on understanding.

Plus its always a neat ability to have. Especially being accurate. Making spelling mistakes and having to press backspace is infuriating.

I find I type slower because the text keeps moving.

The text moves forward a little faster than you are able to type; this is the principle of the OK Plateau -- you need to be forced to "try" to type faster. However, it is certainly uncomfortable! But, no pain, no gain.

How is it based on the OK Plateau effect? All I'm seeing is an (innacurate) WPM counter, does something else happen after a certain amount of typing?

edit: ok, I was typing too fast to notice that it automatically moves on after some time.

Yep, and not only does it automatically move -- it speeds up as it moves. Eg, as you get more words correct, the speed and which it moves forward increases.

Quite a neat idea.

Sometimes, if you mistype a word or forget a space, it incorrectly matches the word you're typing to the word on screen. Took me a while to figure that out and go back a few words to retype them.

I made a prettier, nicer and more configurable one of these a while ago that works in Firefox too for my own use based off of Keyzen. You can set your preferred target speed and it has more accurate wpm, click measure at the bottom to to make it skip over words after time runs out.

Try it at http://thume.ca/keyzen

Because of this post I also submitted it to HN, upvote if you like it: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4829982

It works well and looks nice, but part of typing quickly is seeing the next word in advance so I know what to start typing after the space. Your app doesn't show me those words, so I have to hite space-bar and then wait some time before I know what key to strike next (probably worth mentioning that part of seeing the next word involves consuming the word, rather than individual characters -- so that standard letter-groups are queued up).

Edit: ...and now I can reply. Go figure.

There is a setting for that, look in the bottom bar. I had some friends test it out and got the same complaint.

Thanks for the quick feedback, and for giving an alternative option. But it doesn't do what I need: show the word _before_ I finish the previous word. I look at the next word as I'm typing the current word (something like: parse word, start typing, load next work, repeat). If I can't see the next word until I've finished the current, my overall speed goes _way_ down.

Please understand that I'm not trying to be difficult, but that this is how I normally type. I'm interested because I haven't found the best typing app yet. But for a typing test to be accurate for me, it has to conform to the way text (or my train of thought) normally works.

My instinct is to go back and correct my typos, but it seems like this punishes you for doing that?

If so, I think that not correcting my typos is a habit I would prefer to avoid.

Actually, the best way to improve is to just keep going, without correcting -- but to keep typing the rest of the word correctly. Eg, if you know you typed the 2nd character incorrectly, just make sure you get the 3rd right.

Totally hated this, which of course means that you're on the right track! (They say that your software should evoke strong feelings).

Haha thanks

The animations when switching a to a new word are very jarring and distracting. Perhaps a more continuous method (like a tape roll that's constantly moving) would help with the transitions?

Animations? No animations... perhaps it's slow javascript?

Running slowly for me, I am having to wait for the text.

Does this get more than 2-3 words ahead? Perhaps I'm typing faster than I read (which makes no sense), but I'm missing words.

And it can be gamed as well. Hold the space bar down from the start. 1,380 net WPM.

True. But you're only cheating yourself ;)

The Chrome extension apparently adds a user tracking script

I feel like I'm in swim practice. Holy hell.


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