Proceedings: GI 2013

User perceptions of drawing logic diagrams with pen-centric user interfaces

Bo Kang, Jared Bott, Joseph LaViola

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2013: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, 29 - 31 May 2013, 79-86

  • BibTex

    author = {Kang, Bo and Bott, Jared and LaViola, Joseph},
    title = {User perceptions of drawing logic diagrams with pen-centric user interfaces},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2013},
    series = {GI 2013},
    year = {2013},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-4822-1680-6},
    location = {Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada},
    pages = {79--86},
    numpages = {8},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {Toronto, Ontario, Canada},


Researchers hypothesize pen-based interfaces are the input method of choice for structured 2D languages, as they are natural for users. In our research we asked whether naturalness, similarity to pen and paper, is more important than speed of entry and ease of use by performing a study comparing interfaces for creating logic diagrams. We compared a Wizard of Oz based sketch interface with 100% accuracy, a drag-and-drop interface, and a hybrid interface combining features from sketch and drag-and-drop. Eighteen college students with logic gate diagram backgrounds participated in the study. We found that participants finished fastest with the hybrid interface, but ten out of eighteen participants felt that the sketch interface was fastest. Ten participants ranked the sketch interface easiest to use, while the hybrid interface was rated highly on ease of use metrics. Participants showed significant inclination towards the sketch interface as being natural. While the hybrid and sketch interfaces were ranked best for overall preference, neither was ranked more than the other. Even though the hybrid interface was empirically faster, user preferences for the interfaces varied, with many participants favoring the sketch interface. Finally, we tested for correlations between overall ranking for interfaces and other rankings on the interfaces and found the strongest correlation to be with ease of use. Based on our results, we believe that combining sketching with other interface paradigms could lead to better interfaces for structured 2D languages.