Speedtest Redesign

Update: Work in Progress I

After almost 4 years I finally decided to start redesigning my typing speedtest. Redesign might not be the appropriate word though there will be definitely a new design but I also plan to improve and extend the functionality (without corrupting the core experience).

These are the features/improvements I currently plan on implementing:

  • a new Layout
  • improved WPM calculation – currently I just count the number of words (silly me) which is apparently wrong: Words per minute
  • higher cheat prevention – as for almost every application which runs client-side, its really hard to prevent cheating. I will research possibilities to prevent cheating, maybe we can finally have a nice little ranking list without those pesky cheater :)
  • “smooth” next line – everytime users reach the last word and wait for the next block of words, their typing flow is interrupted. This is bad… really bad! Definitely need to fix that.
  • Increased site speed – the speedtest is quiet optimized already and with the additional features I’m a little bit concerned about the site performance (afterall over 1.000.000 users worldwide use the speedtest every month). A few things I will try to keep the load as small as possible:
  • Login with Facebook or Twitter, save your results and see if you improve over time
  • Gamification/Badges: I might add badges to improve your typing experience like: “typing more than 80 WPM, 10 times in a row” or “typing more than 100 WPM”. This won’t be in the first release but if the login system will be implemented there is a high chance that I add a few game elements
  • I’m not yet a logo designer but I will try to create something sexy and recognizable

But before I start hacking one line of code I need your feedback. If you have any suggestions, things you don’t like with the current version or features you might enjoy, just leave me a comment. Or, and this might be even better, participate on my uservoice forum. You can make suggestions or vote up suggested features from other users. I won’t implement every feature. Actually I will only implement the most requested features, so VOTE!

If you are interested in the current development, just follow me on twitter. If you find a mistake, please let me know in the comments!

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33 Antworten auf Speedtest Redesign

  1. thegoodoldseventies sagt:

    All ideas are really cool.
    The gamification one especially as it would provide more impetous for users to actually come here and test their speeds / play this game on a regular basis.
    Also a new eye-pleasing layout would be more welcome but this is of course an opitional.
    But the improved wpm calculation is actually a compulsory as I see it.. Why on earth would you want to come on a site to know your typing speed and when it actually doesn't provide your actual speed?.
    But more than anything else… there are all too many ways to cheat on this site (for example: viewing source code and then macroing it with auto-typist software (found on youtube)). So if the gamification idea has to be successful cheaters who are sure to ruin the game must be stopped from doing this. I know this is not completely possible but all easy methods of cheating should be weeded out to discourage the kill-joys.

    Seeing new changes on this site will be like breathing in fresh air.

    • chris_strang sagt:

      A new layout and correct WPm calculation will definitely be implemented. And for the cheat prevention I try my best to make cheating as hard as possible, I have to research applicable methods first, but I will definitely do something about it!

  2. Alex sagt:

    Hi! Would just like to say that I only recently discovered this page and have already improved my average wpm here with +20 , great stuff!!

    I think all of these changes listed seem very sound even though the current version is alright too. Calculating "correct" wpm has not been an issue for me since you just have to divide characters per minute in 5, right ?

    One new function I've always thought it would be nice to have with this site is an _unlimited_ mode where you could just practise away on these common words. that would also be a nice thing to be able to download and be able to use offline. dunno how applicable all that would be though… Just a thought :P

    Oh also on a less serious note I don't know if I am the only one to have this problem, but may I suggest you remove the chunky words like "sentence" "important" "because" etc. etc. since not only are they a unreasonably difficult to write fast, but also distrupt flow like nothing else. this goes especially for "sentence" ! x|

    Finally, of course a hall of fame is an absolute must, at least once (or if) you get a reasonable grip on the cheaters and bots and whatnot =P A high score list would add to the competition and give the greatest typers here their rightful recognition and glory. I realize that would require some kind off login for users and maybe extra coding and stuff (not technically inclined on that), but anyhow..

    Mit freundlichen Grüssen,

    • Jamey sagt:

      Oh also on a less serious note I don't know if I am the only one to have this problem, but may I suggest you remove the chunky words like "sentence" "important" "because" etc. etc. since not only are they a unreasonably difficult to write fast, but also distrupt flow like nothing else. this goes especially for "sentence" !
      I agree with that. It messes up my flow when typing "important" or "sentence", they are the longer words instead of the normal "school" or "course". This makes the "counting the words instead of calculating the speed" problem bigger.

  3. Paul Baughman sagt:

    It would be nice if there were a keyboard short cut to restart the test. It's a real pain to have to reach for the mouse again if you are practicing and want to get into a groove. Personally I would like to see it re-start with the enter key.

    • chris_strang sagt:

      You can just press F5 to "restart" the speedtest. But I understand what you mean, you don't want to reload the hole page. I added it to the list, let's see if other people would also appreciate this feature.

  4. Markus sagt:

    Please look into the Polish set of words. “ze” is a word (I had to think about it), but if you were looking for the most frequent ones, you almost certainly meant “że”. Keeps throwing me off.

    Also: whatever scoring and word-counting method you use, it’d be good if the site clearly described it. Doesn’t have to be on the front page, just possible to reach easily.

    Other than tht, thanks for the useful application. :)

  5. Lioned sagt:

    I suggest you also make some rankings best on achievements

  6. ariel sagt:

    What about a 1-5 minute speed test? This will avoid need to load the page at every minute. I agree with all the changes you plan on implementing. Thank you for this nice website, you have helped me improve a lot my typing speed on both qwerty and dvorak layout.

  7. Robby sagt:

    maybe at other common words to the dictionary.

  8. What about a 1-5 minute speed test? This will avoid need to load the page at every minute. I agree with all the changes you plan on implementing. Thank you for this nice website, you have helped me improve a lot my typing speed on both qwerty and Dvorak layout.

  9. Markus sagt:

    Gonna add more comments.

    First of all don’t get too hung up on rankings and cheater elimination. The latter is bound to fail, because the typing is done client-side and in the end you just can’t prevent a clever scripter from figuring out how to abuse it. Which will also corrupt the ranking list. This isn’t what made the application popular so as much as people would like to see it (wrongly imagining it free of the inevitable cheating), it doesn’t matter.

    What you said about being slowed down by having to wait for the next line of text is true. My suggestion: make the app produce two lines of text, 8 or so words each, and when the first line is typed, it disappears, second line becomes first line and a new line becomes second line. Basically like automatic scrolling. That way the reader always has at least 8 words ahead of him.

    Even better, make it 3 lines, the middle one always being the one you’re typing. Sometimes I make an error in the last word of a line, and then it disappears and my brain has no time to register what error I made. So having 3 lines would be best IMO.

    Another idea: how about make it possible to make corrections even after you’ve pressed space. Make the words you type only disappear at the end of a line, so that you can go back and make corrections in a previous word. That would measure a more realistic typing speed, since that’s what you’d do in a real life typing situation. Just an idea, I don’t know how it compares to common testing standards.

  10. michael_jackson.10 sagt:

    i liked the idea of adding badges because then it would be a competition of having the most no. of badges.
    and we should not care about cheating because it will not affect us in any way.

  11. lucb1e sagt:

    I would like to make two suggestions:
    - Make a mobile mode. Due all elements the page loads quite slow over a mobile connection, the text is too large, and after the test I can't scroll down for the result. Zooming out is the only option for some reason.
    - Make an option not to autoupdate when a word is entered, might be just me but I always glance up (cogniously or uncogniously) to see if I got it right. Getting a word wrong is quite distracting :P
    - [less important] Option for custom time. And just exclude those results from the highscores list or set a minimum to be included.

    And I hope the "smooth next line" works out well, I'm one of those people whose typing flow gets interrupted by the current way (just a bit though, not thát bad).

    For cheat prevention, I'd start with minifying and possibly obfuscating javascript, there are scripts out there. Real cheat prevention is not needed as long as you can't view the highscores list anyway.

  12. Rutger sagt:

    I would like to see more different words in the dictionary. The amount of dutch words is very limited. Maybe it would be possible to let people practice their own chosen words.

  13. j.rawand sagt:

    you're just amazing, your speed test made me and our friend to compete against each other at university

    while having break, and fortunately , I taught them all about typing and I won over them at each time.

    many thank.

    From ::: Kurdistan

  14. Clay sagt:

    Just a grammatical error, on the box that you can post to facebook/twitter it says: "Are you faster? Try and click here!". I think it should say "Are you faster? Click here to try!". This is in the English version, of course.

  15. dJe781 sagt:

    Hi !
    Thanks for this awesome tool that I've been using for some time now :)
    However, I'd have a short, yet difficult, suggestion about the dictionary. I'm using the French version, and nearly every single word currently implemented is a verb in its infinitive form. It results in a greatly increased recurrence of "-er" and "-re" ending words.
    Would it be possible to implement some other words ? Like the ones you'll find over there : http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/ss/mostcomm
    Anyway, thanks a lot for what you've achieved until now :)

    • chris_strang sagt:

      Hi :)
      I will add them to the list.

    • chris_strang sagt:

      Sorry that it took me so long, I added the following word to the french speedtest:

      "après te an où cent comprendre maintenant bon aussi encore trois parler toujours trouver quoi grand donner arriver beaucoup croire heure rien jour mettre passer devoir si plus même sur ou autre deux venir prendre tout avec lui son enfin falloir par quand vouloir petit non savoir nous puis mon moi tout très que pouvoir se aller au bien ce cet cette ces tu en là comme voir mais elle elles en dire du des pour dans me et on vous ça que ne faire qui oui alors le la l les être avoir de un une des je il ce pas"

  16. lucb1e sagt:

    Why is the site so slow lately (last month or something I think)? Sometimes I can access it normally, sometimes I hit f5 to retry (keyboard whore xD there's a button to retry but i never click it) and it takes 20 seconds…

  17. Hey, just wanted to say that this is a really nice web app you’ve made. I’m somewhat of a typing enthusiast myself– I get about 80 WPM using Dvorak. QWERTY, not so much… I just started training in QWERTY again yesterday, after 7 months of using Dvorak exclusively. I’ve been using your app to measure my progress, so thanks for building it.

    As for features (are you still working on the redesign? It’s been a month since you posted this), the only thing that really comes to mind is displaying the correct WPM, as you’ve mentioned. Besides that, it might be nice to show a percentile ranking instead of just an “X out of Y” ranking. Depending on how big the cheating problem really is, that might not matter anyway.

    If you really want to add to the site, you might consider adding a forum. You might be able to develop a community of typing enthusiasts; it would be a nice place to discuss things with other people that share our obsession ;) . That could be a lot of work though (maybe you could use a 3rd party’s service?), so it’s just a thought.

    • chris_strang sagt:

      Hi Jacob,
      yes, I'm still working on the redesign or planning on starting in a few days (I needed to finish another project first and the last 2 weeks I have been on vacation). The Redesign is definitely comming!!

      The forum idea is interesting, I will first implement the new features/design and after that I will think about adding a forum/community software.

  18. Harald sagt:

    Really great tool! I just discovered it, thanks.

    The only thing I would like is more German words.

    There are several lists around on the web, this one I like most:

    How ambitious are you? ;-) .

    • chris_strang sagt:

      Hi Harald,
      I might implement different modes for the redesign, one could be a version with more than just the core 200 words. Thanks for the link, I think I used this list for the core version as well (4 years ago) :D

  19. Harald sagt:

    me again…

    In case you really agree to implement this list, I coutd do some work myself and edit it for you beforehand, because there are some inappropiate single letters, abbreviations and English words in it. Just mail to hareck@web.de.


  20. Hop sagt:

    By the way, another remark : I am not sure that a smooth transition from a list of word to another is a good idea. It might be harder to follow the list of words that way.

  21. Jane Nicholes sagt:

    I was thinking you could have the choice to make your own list of words, it would be great for the elementary children and their spelling tests. I know alot of small kids who like to get on the website, and I think it would be great for my class to be able to use this.

    -Jane N.

  22. Andrei sagt:

    From my experience, I find it better when the text is not too big, say size 1.5 times the size of this text. This makes reading easier. Otherwise, long words raise difficulties.

  23. Yoel sagt:

    This is a really good website, you should add like rankings because people in the world like to compete and i now that you also want that. There is a school called Blue Valley and they use this website, and they like it I guess so make this website competitive with rankings and awards are badges to the best people and you could also add or make people create a person or a avatar for them or that they could choose a picture. I love this website and i learn the write really fast.

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