Information Visualization in Programming Environments – Københavns Universitet

Information Visualization in Programming Environments

PhD defence - Mikkel Rønne Jakobsen


Programming is challenging work. Programmers must navigate and understand large and complex source code, and the careful coordination of many peoples' efforts is often required. Information visualization promises to help programmers cope with these challenges. On this basis, the use of visualization in programming is investigated in empirical studies.

Three studies show evidence of the usefulness of fisheye interfaces for navigating and understanding source code. Usability problems are uncovered and fundamental questions about the design and use of fisheye interfaces are highlighted for further research.

The results suggest that a particular fisheye interface may not support all tasks in programming equally well. Two experiments investigate how transient use of visualization may support specific infrequent tasks without permanently changing the interface.

An experimental design of a visualization to support team coordination and awareness among team members is described. An evaluation study identifies lessons useful for further development of the visualization and for awareness technologies in general.

Concerning the research approaches, it is demonstrated how method triangulation can help overcome some of the traditional challenges of field studies.

Assessment committee:

Professor Patrick Baudisch (University of Potsdam, Germany)
CEO Jørgen Lindskov Knudsen (Mjølner Informatics)
Associate professor Erik Frøkjær (DIKU, Copenhagen University)


Professor Kasper Hornbæk (DIKU, Copenhagen University)

For an electronic copy of the thesis, please contact Marianne Henriksen 

Bemærk at forsvaret afholdes på Søndre Campus