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What Ails End-User Composition: A Cross-Domain Qualitative Study

Vishal Dwivedi, James Herbsleb and David Garlan.

In End-User Development. IS-EUD 2017, Vol. 10303 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, 2017.

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Across many domains, end-users need to compose computational elements into novel configurations to perform their day-to-day tasks. End-user composition is a common programming activity performed by such end-users to accomplish this composition task. While there have been many studies on end-user programming, we still need a better understanding of activities involved in end-user composition and environments to support them. In this paper we report a qualitative study of four popular composition environments belonging to diverse application domains, including: Taverna workflow environment for life sciences, Loni Pipeline for brain imaging, SimMan3G for medical simulations and Kepler for scientific simulations. We interview end-users of these environments to explore their experiences while performing common compositions tasks. We use “Content Analysis” technique to analyze these interviews to explore what are the barriers to end-user composition in these domains. Furthermore, our findings show that there are some unique differences in the requirements of naive end-users vs. expert programmers. We believe that not only are these findings useful to improve the quality of end-user composition environments, but they can also help towards development of better end-user composition frameworks.

Keywords: End-user Architecture.  
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