A usability analysis of blocks-based programming editors using cognitive dimensions

Robert Holwerda, Felienne Hermans

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Blocks-based programming holds potential for end-user developers. Like all visual programming languages, blocks-based programming languages embody both a language design and a user interface design for the editing environment. For blocks-based languages, these designs are focused on learnability and low error rates, which makes them effective for education. For end-user developers who program as part of their professions, other characteristics of usability, like efficiency of use, will also be important. This paper presents a usability analysis, supported by a user study, of the editor design of current blocks-based programming systems, based on the Cognitive Dimensions of Notations framework, and we present design manoeuvres aimed at improving programming time and effort, program comprehension and programmer comfort.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2018 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC 2018
EditorsCaitlin Kelleher, Gregor Engels, Joao Paulo Fernandes, Jacome Cunha, Jorge Mendes
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages217-225
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781538642351
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event2018 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC 2018 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 1 Oct 20184 Oct 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC
Volume2018-October
ISSN (Print)1943-6092
ISSN (Electronic)1943-6106

Conference

Conference2018 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC 2018
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period1/10/184/10/18

Keywords

  • Blocks-based languages
  • Cognitive dimensions
  • End-user development
  • Programmer experience

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