Typing Math

In this post I will try to explain some of the UX problems that I need to solve as soon as possible for my project.


In LaTeX the solution of quadratic equation is represented by

x = \frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2 - 4 a c}}{2 a}

and will be render as

x=-b±b2-4ac2ax = \frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2 - 4 a c}}{2 a}

Using Firefox OS native English keyboard to type LaTeX representation of the solution of quadratic equation the user need to type:

x ?123 ALT = \ ABC f r a c ?123 ALT { ALT ABC b ...

You can check the keys with the screenshot below:

Screenshot of Firefox OS keyboard.

All three layers of Firefox OS native English keyboard.

One of the goals of my project is reduce the number of switches between keyboard layers and also the number of key typed.

Screenshot of prototype of math keyboard for Firefox OS.

Prototype of math keyboard.

Having enabled the English keyboard and my currently prototype (available at GitHub) to type the same equation the user will need to type:

x g = x/y g b ...

UX Problem

So far I believe that I need to add five layouts to the standard ones:

  1. lowercase Greek letters
  2. uppercase Greek letters
  3. basic math operators
  4. math functions
  5. set operators

How quickly switch between this keyboard layouts? Use the globe with meridians is suitable?