Fisheyes in the field: using method triangulation to study the adoption and use of a source code visualization

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Information visualizations have been shown useful in numerous laboratory studies, but their adoption and use in real-life tasks are curiously under-researched. We present a field study of ten programmers who work with an editor extended with a fisheye view of source code. The study triangulates multiple methods (experience sampling, logging, thinking aloud, and interviews) to describe how the visualization is adopted and used. At the concrete level, our results suggest that the visualization was used as frequently as other tools in the programming environment. We also propose extensions to the interface and discuss features that were not used in practice. At the methodological level, the study identifies contributions distinct to individual methods and to their combination, and discusses the relative benefits of laboratory studies and field studies for the evaluation of information visualizations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems
Number of pages10
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2009
ISBN (Print)978-1-60558-246-7
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventCHI' 09 - Boston, United States
Duration: 4 Apr 20099 Apr 2009
Conference number: 27


ConferenceCHI' 09
LandUnited States

ID: 13862234