Measuring the Usability and Capability of App Inventor to Create Mobile Applications
Author(s)Xie, Benjamin X.; Shabir, Isra; Abelson, Hal
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MIT App Inventor is a web service that enables users with little to no previous programming experience to create mobile applications using a visual blocks language. We analyze a sample of 5,228 random projects from the corpus of 9.7 million and group projects by functionality. We then use the number of unique blocks in projects as a metric to better understand the usability and realized capability of using App Inventor to implement specific functionalities. We introduce the notion of a usability score and our results indicate that introductory tutorials heavily influence the usability of App Inventor to implement particular functionalities. Our findings suggest that the sequential nature of App Inventor’s learning resources results in users realizing only a portion of App Inventor’s capabilities and propose improvements to these learning resources that are transferable to other programming environments and tools.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Proceedings of the 2015 ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH)
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Xie, Benjamin, Isra Shabir, and Hal Abelson. "Measuring the Usability and Capability of App Inventor to Create Mobile Applications." 2015 ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) (October 2015).
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