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Subject Interviews

After the experiments, subjects were debriefed about their use of multiple windows. Most of the subjects expressed a preference to use more windows for some tasks, given efficient means to do so. They described opening multiple copies of the same program source code file to view different parts of the code simultaneously, thereby avoiding disruptive scrolling and find commands.

Some subjects said that, although it was not easy to see the hierarchy at first, they claimed to get used to it after several tasks. According to our observations during the experiment, subjects were initially following the hierarchy to access information, however after some time they started to use their spatial memory and access information directly based on that knowledge. This observation was confirmed by most of the subjects. Some subjects, however had no problems visualizing the hierarchy. One subject said that he liked the overview of hierarchical roles as a guide to his daily tasks.

Most of the users indicated preference for clicking to see contents. This could be due to their past practice on the independent overlapping windows systems, but also their desire for a quick look at window contents.

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Eser Kandogan
Sun Sep 13 18:34:46 EDT 1998

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