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I have a fantasy script which looks like this:

enter image description here

(Just the text part)

What is the best UX in terms of typing the characters, given the characters aren't in Unicode? Also, there are more than ASCII number of characters. There are about 32 main characters (more than the alphabet), and each character has some number of variations, whether it is accent marks, variational form, making a sharp or stop sound, click sound, tones, etc. That's how you get over a hundred variations.

So in theory you would need to type a letter representing the base glyph, then another character or 2 to get the appropriate diacritics (accent marks). Should you type the 2 or 3 characters, then press tab to get the main fantasy character? Or you type and it automatically changes to the fantasy character? What about deleting, should pressing delete delete a typed character or a fantasy character? Generally what would be a good UX for editing such text content?

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  • I suggest that you research existing languages with features similar to your script and follow what's being done there. In addition to malayalam mentioned by @locationunknown, you can try Hebrew which works in a similar fashion. Jan 31 at 16:09

2 Answers 2

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You can have a specialized keyboard that has the main characters and accent marks variational forms and sounds on it.

For example keyboard for writing malayalam script (a language spoken by 45M people in Kerala, India) has specialized keys for writing additional character features.

Keyboard for writing malayalam script https://fr.droidinformer.org/tools/inscript-keyboard-malayalam/

Dotted circles denote the place where basic character is supposed to go.

How this keyboard works – in Android at least – is that you first type in the basic character and then the additional feature. When the additional feature is typed, combination of the two is then automatically entered in the text field.

Pressing backspace first deletes the additional feature, then the basic character.*

If your users need to add more than one additional character they just need to type in more additional characters. Backspace should delete them in the order they were entered.

You can test this by adding malayalam in the settings as a secondary language to your phone's keyboard.

You might need to add another row to your keyboard to house all the basic characters and add-ons.

*) This is different from how western (laptop) keyboards work when additional features are added. For example ü is formed by first typing ¨ and then u. When backspace is pressed it deletes ü as a whole.

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  • Note that one could use an existing keyboard for such an alphabet, and simply make a font that renders the Malayalam characters as the fantasy script, assuming enough combinations are covered. Jan 31 at 14:16
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This Russian translation site lets you type out the words on a western keyboard and automatically turns specific character combinations into Russian characters (since there are more Russian letters than German or English):

https://translit.ru/

enter image description here

Here the base sound "s" is expanded on two times by typing additional characters in a certain time-frame after the first one.

enter image description here

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