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2018 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC) (2018)
Lisbon, Portugal
Oct. 1, 2018 to Oct. 4, 2018
ISSN: 1943-6092
ISBN: 978-1-5386-4236-8
pp: 95-103
Rahul Pandita , Phase Change Software, Golden, CO, USA
Chris Parnin , North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
Felienne Hermans , Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Emerson Murphy-Hill , North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
ABSTRACT
The popularity of end-user programming has lead to diverse end-user development environments. Despite accurate and efficient tools available in such environments, end-user programmers often manually complete tasks. What are the consequences of rejecting these tools? In this paper, we answer this question by studying end-user programmers completing four tasks with and without tools. In analyzing 111 solutions to each of these tasks, we observe that neither tool use nor tool rejection was consistently more accurate or efficient. In some cases, tool users took nearly twice as long to solve problems and over-relied on tools, causing errors in 95% of solutions. Compared to manual task completion, the primary benefit of tool use was narrowing the kinds of errors that users made. We also observed that partial tool use can be worse than no tool use at all.
INDEX TERMS
Task analysis, Tools, Manuals, Programming, Automation, Visualization, Data mining
CITATION

R. Pandita, C. Parnin, F. Hermans and E. Murphy-Hill, "No half-measures: A study of manual and tool-assisted end-user programming tasks in Excel," 2018 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), Lisbon, Portugal, 2018, pp. 95-103.
doi:10.1109/VLHCC.2018.8506540
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