XLBlocks: A Block-based Formula Editor for Spreadsheet Formulas

Bas Jansen, Felienne Hermans

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

Abstract

Spreadsheets are frequently used in industry to support critical business decisions. Unfortunately, they also suffer from error-proneness, which sometimes results in costly consequences. Experiments in the field of program education have shown that programmers tend to make fewer errors and can better focus on the logic of a program if they use a block-based language instead of a textual one. We hypothesize that a block-based formula editor could support spreadsheet users in a similar way. Therefore, we develop XLBlocks and conduct a think-aloud study with 13 experienced spreadsheet users from industry. Participants are asked to create and edit several formulas, using our block-based language. We then ask them to evaluate this editor using the Cognitive Dimensions of Notations framework. We found that for all dimensions the block-based formula editor received a better evaluation than the default text-based formula editor.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC 2019
EditorsJustin Smith, Christopher A. Bogart, Judith Good, Scott D. Fleming
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages55-63
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781728108100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event2019 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC 2019 - Memphis, United States
Duration: 14 Oct 201918 Oct 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC
Volume2019-October
ISSN (Print)1943-6092
ISSN (Electronic)1943-6106

Conference

Conference2019 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, VL/HCC 2019
CountryUnited States
CityMemphis
Period14/10/1918/10/19

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