Rethinking Smart Keyboard Layout to Aid Strong Password Creation

  • Md. Faruk Hossain
  • Md. Mizanur Rahman
  • Sarker Tanveer Ahmed Rumee Associate Professor, Department of CSE, University of Dhaka
  • Moinul Islam Zaber


In an era marked by increasing digitization and the omnipresence of smartphones, the importance of robust
password security cannot be overstated. With the ever-growing threat of cyberattacks, there is a pressing need
for user-friendly tools that facilitate the creation of strong and unique passwords. Traditional alphanumeric
keyboard layouts (physical or virtual) have remained largely unchanged for decades, relying on the same
QWERTY layout initially designed for typewriters. However, these layouts may not be optimal for generating
strong passwords. This paper focuses on tailoring virtual keyboard layouts on smartphones specifically for
strong password creation. For this, we have performed extensive user surveys to see if the presence of
dedicated rows for digits and special characters (essential in any strong password) allows users to create
stronger passwords compared to regular smartphone keyboard layout. Apart from that, we also investigated
the optimal assignment of characters, digits, and special characters and their groupings in a single soft key.
The findings from the detailed user experiment suggested optimal settings for a smartphone virtual keyboard
(for Android) like- diagonal length for good typing speed (approximately between 8.38 and 9.41 cm), and
key density (0.88 to 1.21 keys/cm2) which produces the least error without sacrificing the strength of
passwords created using those layouts. We hope the outcome of this paper will help designers to aid virtual
keyboard layouts for smartphones that can motivate and create strong passwords without sacrificing usability.

How to Cite
Hossain, M. F., Rahman, M. M., Ahmed Rumee, S. T., & Zaber, M. I. (2024). Rethinking Smart Keyboard Layout to Aid Strong Password Creation. Jurnal Ilmu Komputer Dan Informasi, 17(1), 97-108.