Bag-and-Dump: Design and Evaluation of a User Interface for manipulating items across multiple contexts.
Thesis DisciplineComputer Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The copy-and-paste paradigm is a fundamental operation in graphical user interfaces. However, existing copy-and-paste techniques have limitations, in particular in terms of efficiency and robustness against interruptions. This thesis is focusing on improving the user interface used to copy-and-paste objects across different contexts, such as a series folders. To improve this fundamental operation, a new copy-and-paste technique, called Bag-and-Dump, is proposed, implemented and evaluated. Bag-and-Dump aims to substantially reduce mouse movement by allowing the user to gather up (‘bag’) source data across different folders before ‘dumping’ the whole load at the destination. Additionally, Bag-and-Dump provides constant visual feedback in the form of a bag-like semantic cursor to increase robustness against interruptions. Bag-and-Dump was eval- uated against two standard copy-and-paste techniques (Keyboard Shortcuts and Drag-and-Drop) under a different number of contexts (folders) and with and without inter- ruptions. Results from the experiment not only showed that Bag-and-Dump indeed significantly reduces mouse movement, it also confirmed that Bag-and-Dump was 9% faster than Keyboard Shortcuts, one of the most popular copy-paste techniques among “expert users”.