Investigating the influence of structure of user performance with UML interaction diagrams

Maria Kutar; Carol Britton; Trevor Barker; J. Swan

The importance of structure in specifications and programs has long been recognised in both theoretical research and empirical studies, particularly with reference to the ease with which a reader can understand information representations. In this paper we report on an investigation, using diagrams from the Unified Modelling Language (UML), into whether different structures applied to the same information affect the ease with which readers can understand the information. Our hypothesis was that one of the structure types would produce diagrams that were easier for readers to understand than the other. However, although three studies were carried out, results in each case showed that participants performed equally well on diagrams with each type of structure. We conclude that the difference between two types of structure appears less important than the fact that the two diagram types provide both visible structure and abstractions that the reader may reason with.

Type of Publication: Paper
Conference: PPIG 2003 - 15th Annual Workshop
Publication Year: 2003
Paper #: 18
TitleInvestigating the influence of structure of user performance with UML interaction diagrams
Publication TypePaper
AuthorsKutar, M, Britton, C, Barker, T, Swan, J
PPIG Workshop: 
2003-04-15th