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Introducing Constraints into Web Layouts: Evaluating the Intuitiveness of Current Approaches for Designers

  • When it comes to web applications and their dynamic content, one seemingly common trouble area is that of layouts. Frequently, web designers resort to frameworks or JavaScript-based solutions to achieve various layouts where the capabilities of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) fall short. Although the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is attempting to address the demand for more robust and concise layout solutions to handle dynamic content with the recent and upcoming specifications, a generic approach to creating layouts using constraint syntax has been proposed and implementations have been created. Yet, the introduction of constraint syntax would change the CSS paradigm in a fundamental way, demanding further analysis to determine the viability of its inclusion in core web standards. This thesis focuses on one particular aspect of the introduction of constraint syntax: how intuitive constraint syntax will be for designers. To this end, an experiment is performed involving participants thinking aloud while reading code snippets. Also, cursor movements are recorded as a proxy for eye movement over the code snippets. The results indicate that, upon first-impression, constraint syntax within CSS is not intuitive for designers.

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Author:William Clear
Referee:Kristian Fischer, Christian Noss
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Publishing Institution:Hochschulbibliothek der Technischen Hochschule Köln
Granting Institution:Technische Hochschule Köln
Date of Publication (online):2016/08/08
GND-Keyword:Benutzerfreundlichkeit; Cascading Style Sheets; Constraint <Künstliche Intelligenz>; Webdesign
Tag:Cascading Style Sheets; Constraint Satisfaction Problem; Syntax; Usability; Web Layouts
Institutes:Informatik und Ingenieurwissenschaften (F10) / Fakultät 10 / Advanced Media Institute
CCS-Classification:J. Computer Applications
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften
Open Access:Open Access
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen