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Supporting Software Developers' Focused Work on Window-Based Desktops

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author Pilzer Jan, Rosenast Raphael, Meyer André N., Huang Elaine M., Fritz Thomas,
Project Developers' Perception and Retrospection of Productivity
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings CHI '20: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place Honolulu HI USA
DOI 10.1145/3313831.3376285

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Software developers, like other information workers, continuously switch tasks and applications to complete their work on their computer. Given the high fragmentation and complexity of their work, staying focused on the relevant pieces of information can become quite challenging in today's window-based environments, especially with the ever increasing monitor screen-size. To support developers in staying focused, we conducted a formative study with 18 professionals in which we examined their computer based and eye-gaze interaction with the window environment and devised a relevance model of open windows. Based on the results, we developed a prototype to dim irrelevant windows and reduce distractions, and evaluated it in a user study. Our results indicate that our model was able to predict relevant open windows with high accuracy and participants felt that integrating visual prominence into the desktop environment reduces clutter and distraction, which results in reduced window switching and an increase in focus.