Publications can also be viewed by category: Visual Representation; End-User Development; Interdisciplinary Design; Tangible and Embodied Interaction; Psychology of Programming; Computer Music; Critical Theory; Research Policy; Art; General HCI; or all publications.
Blackwell, A.F. (forthcoming). What does Digital Content Mean? Umberto Eco and The Open Work
Blackwell, A.F. (in press). Structuring the social, inside software design. To appear in J. Leach and L. Wilson (eds). Subversion, Conversion, Development: Diversity and the adoption and use of information and communication technologies. MIT Press.
Output from the Subversion, Conversion and Development conference at CRASSH in April 2008.
Nash, C. and Blackwell, A.F. (in press). Flow of creative interaction with digital music notations. To appear in Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio.
Based on work from Chris's PhD, this chapter presents a theory of creative interaction, in the context of digital audio workstation use.
Blackwell, A.F., McLean, A., Noble, J. and Rohrhuber, J. (2014). Collaboration and learning through live coding. Dagstuhl Reports 3(9), 130-168. Edited in cooperation with Jochen Arne Otto.
Final report from Dagstuhl Seminar 13382. Although I was one of the seminar organisers, please note that the authorship attribution is purely a Dagstuhl convention, and that the bulk of the editorial work was done by Jochen Arne Otto.
Blackwell, A.F. (2013). Critical Codes – from forkbomb to braincameron Computational Culture, Issue 3.
Review of Speaking Code: Coding as Aesthetic and Political Expression. Text by Geoff Cox, code by Alex McLean, and foreword by Franco “Bifo” Berardi MIT Press, 2013. Note that the above title has been modified from the published version in response to David Cameron's internet filtering initiative.
Blackwell, A.F. (2013). The craft of design conversation. In A. Van Der Hoek and M. Petre, (Eds), Software Designers in Action: A Human-Centric Look at Design Work. Abingdon: Chapman and Hall/CRC, pp. 313-318.
A reflection on a collection of studies analysing transcripts of early-phase software design.
Bai, Z., Blackwell, A.F. and Coulouris, G. (2013). Through the looking glass: pretend play for children with autism. Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR), pp. 49-58.
Central experiment of Zhen's PhD. Received an honourable mention and nomination for best paper at ISMAR.
Bai, Z. and Blackwell, A.F. (2013). See-through window vs. magic mirror: a comparison in supporting visual-motor tasks. Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR), pp. 239-240.
Aaron, S. and Blackwell, A.F. (2013). From Sonic Pi to Overtone: Creative musical experiences with domain-specific and functional languages. Proceedings of the first ACM SIGPLAN workshop on Functional art, music, modeling & design, pp. 35-46.
Guevara, K. and Blackwell, A.F. (2013). A reflective examination of a process for innovation and collaboration in internet science. In Proceedings of the The 1st International Conference on Internet Science, Brussels, 9-11 April 2013, pp. 37-41.
Bai, Z., Blackwell, A.F., Coulouris, G. (2013). Can we augment reality with "mental images" to elicit pretend play? A usability study. CHI '13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1-6.
Wilson, L. and Blackwell, A.F. (2013). Interdisciplinarity and Innovation. In E.G. Carayannis (ed). Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Springer, pp 1097-1104.
Summary findings from NESTA-funded investigation of research policy around interdisciplinarity, in the context of actual social factors of innovative teams. Theoretical concerns in this paper are driven by anthropologist Lee Wilson.
Blackwell, A.F. and Charalampidis, I. (2013). Practice-led design and evaluation of a live visual constraint language. University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory Technical Report UCAM-CL-TR-833.
Design rationale and user study of the Palimpsest prototype, with the study carried out by Ignatios as an exercise in the Master's module Usability of Programming Languages.
Church, L., Rothwell, N., Downie, M., deLahunta, S. and Blackwell, A.F. (2012). Sketching by programming in the Choreographic Language Agent. In Proceedings of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group Annual Conference. (PPIG 2012), pp. 163-174.
Description and evaluation of the Choreographic Language Agent, a programming language constructed for use by dancers within an improvisation process.
Bai, Z., Blackwell, A.F., Coulouris, G. (2012). Making pretense visible and graspable: an augmented reality approach to promote pretend play. In Proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR 2012), 5-8 November 2012, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Bai, Z. and Blackwell, A.F. (2012). Analytic Review of Usability Evaluation in ISMAR. Interacting With Computers 24(6), 450-460.
A comprehensive study of publications from the ISMAR conference, assessing changing approaches to how usability is understood in the context of augmented reality research.
Nash, C. and Blackwell, A.F. (2012). Liveness and Flow in Notation Use. In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), pp. 76-81..
Results of Chris's PhD research.
Crilly, N., Blackwell, A.F. and Clarkson, P.J. (2012). Graphic elicitation: using research diagrams as interview stimuli. In J Hughes (Ed.), SAGE Visual Methods, SAGE Library of Research Methods (Vol. 4, Ch. 65, pp. 283-307).
Republication of a 2006 article originally published in the journal Qualitative Research.
Stead, A.G., Blackwell, A.F. and Aaron, S. (2012). Graphic Score Grammars for End-Users. In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), pp. 176-179.
Results from Alistair's Masters project..
Coyle, D., Moore, J., Kristensson, P.O., Fletcher, P. & Blackwell, A.F. (2012). I did that! Measuring users' experience of agency in their own actions. Proceedings of the 30th ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2012) ACM Press - Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 2025-2034.
Result of a collaboration with the Cambridge Psychiatry department, using experimental paradigms from neuroscience to gain insight into subjective feelings of control when intelligent systems are giving assistance, or the body becomes more intimately involved in interaction. Received an honourable mention for best paper at the CHI conference.
Eckert, C., Blackwell, A.F., Stacey, M., Earl, C. and Church, L. (2012). Sketching across design domains: Roles and formalities. Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing 26(3), 245-266..
Extended results from the Across Design project, drawing on more recent work on the role of sketch tools in creative processes.
Fincher, S., Cairns, P., Blackwell, A.F. (2012). A contextualised curriculum for HCI. Extended abstracts of ACM CHI 2012, ACM Press, pp. 2707-2710
A CHI workshop investigating how people actually teach HCI, as preparation for the next revision of HCI components in the ACM computer science curriculum.
Fritz, C., Blackwell, A.F., Cross, I., Woodhouse, J. and Moore, B. (2012). Exploring violin sound quality: Investigating English timbre descriptors and correlating resynthesized acoustical modifications with perceptual properties. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 131(1):783-94.
Report of the final experiments in the Virtual Violins project, mapping descriptions of musical sound perception to actual audio signal parameters.
Aaron, S., Blackwell, A.F., Hoadley, R. & Regan, T. (2011). A principled approach to developing new languages for live coding. In Proceedings of NIME'11.
First publication from the Improcess project.
Blackwell, A.F. (2011). Historical perspectives and the adaptable brain. In A. Mieczakowski, T. Goldhaber & J. Clarkson (Eds). Culture, Communication and Change: Reflections on the use and impact of modern media and technology in our lives. Engineering Design Centre, Cambridge (ISBN 978-0-9545243-5-7), pp. 3-5.
Research commissioned by BT, to explore influence of communication technology on family and personal life in multiple countries.
Nash, C. and Blackwell, A.F. (2011). Tracking virtuosity and flow in computer music. Proceedings of ICMC 2011. International Computer Music Association, pp. 575-582
Summary of results from Chris's PhD research.
Kristensson, P.O. and Blackwell, A.F. (2011). Ethics in Large-Scale User Studies: Guidelines vs. Practice. Paper presented at CHI 2011 Workshop on Ethics in Large Scale Trials & User Generated Content.
Summary for an HCI audience of work carried out by the Cambridge working group on human participants in technology research.
Church, L.E. and Blackwell, A.F. (2011). Computation, visualisation and critical reflection. Paper presented at conference on Visualisation in the Age of Computerisation. Oxford, March 2011. Pages 33,46.
Presentation of results from Luke's PhD research, for an audience primarily in Science and Technology Studies.
Blackwell, A.F. (2011). Collaborative Priorities for Empowering Users through End-User Development. Contribution to European-American Collaboration Workshop at ISEUD-2011.
Invited contribution to strategic workshop taking forward results from the EUSES consortium.
Gernand, B., Blackwell, A. and MacLeod, N. (2011). Coded Chimera: Exploring relationships between sculptural form making and biological morphogenesis through computer modelling. Crucible Network.
Final report and exhibition publication from a Crucible sculpture research project.
Blackwell, A.F. (2011). Encyclopedia entry on Visual Representation. Retrieved 1 February 2011 from Interaction-Design.org: http://www.interaction-design.org/encyclopedia/visual_representation.html
Ko, A.J., Abraham, R., Beckwith, L., Blackwell, A.F., Burnett, M., Erwig, M., Lawrence, J., Lieberman, H., Myers, B., Rosson, M.-B., Rothermel, G., Scaffidi, C., Shaw, M., and Wiedenbeck, S. (2011). The State of the Art in End-User Software Engineering. ACM Computing Surveys 43(3), Article 21. (preprint)
Major output of the EUSES consortium, refined at the 2007 Dagstuhl symposium on End User Software Engineering (see below).
Morrison, C., Fitzpatrick, G. and Blackwell, A.F. (2011). Multi-disciplinary collaboration during ward rounds: Embodied aspects of electronic medical record usage. International Journal of Medical Informatics 80(8), pp e96-e111.
Levin, R.A., Laughlin, S.B., De La Rocha, C.L., and Blackwell, A.F. (Eds.). (2011). Work Meets Life: Exploring the Integrative Study of Work in Living Systems. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Unusually broad set of perspectives on what work is.
Blackwell, A.F. (2011). The work of designers: Cultures of making and representation. In Levin, R., Laughlin, S., De La Rocha, C and Blackwell, A. (Eds) Work Meets Life: A guidebook to the integrative study of work in living systems. MIT Press, pp 133-148.
Results from the Across Design project, considering professional design in the context of biological, social and archaeological studies of work.
Blackwell, A.F. (2011). Reconfiguring a classic: Review of "Human-machine reconfigurations: Plans and situated actions" by Lucy A. Suchman. Journal of Natural Language Engineering 17(1), 137-139.
An invited book review, related to an ongoing research project with Mark Blythe and Jofish Kaye, in which we are investigating the history of Xerox EuroPARC subsequent to the publication of the first edition of this book.
Blackwell, A.F. (2010). When systemizers meet empathizers: Universalism and the prosthetic imagination. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 35(3-4), 387-403.
Part of a special issue with perspectives on Lloyd's 'Cognitive Variations' book. This paper uses case studies in HCI research, such as affective computing, to explore the engineering desire to deal with human users as standardised components. People with severe disabilities become desirable targets for correction, because computer systems can then be plausibly substituted for ordinary human-human interfaces.
Blackwell, A.F. & Fincher, S. (2010). PUX: Patterns of User Experience. interactions 17(2), 27-31.
Morrison, C., Blackwell, A.F. and Vuylsteke, A. (2010). Practitioner-customizable clinical information systems: a case-study to ground further research and development opportunities. Journal of Healthcare Engineering 1(3), 297-314.
Study of end-user programming in a medical context.
Eckert, C.M., Blackwell, A.F., Bucciarelli, L.L. and Earl, C.F. (2010). Shared conversations across design. Design Issues 26(3), 27-39.
More results from the Across Design project, a sequel to the earlier paper in this journal that developed the methodology and analytic approach.
Blackwell, A.F. and Morrison, C. (2010). A logical mind, not a programming mind: Psychology of a professional end-user. In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG 2010). September 19-22, 2010. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Leganès, Spain. Published by Maria Paloma Díaz Pérez and Mary Beth Rosson. (ISBN 978-84-693-3416-4), pp. 175-184.
Church, L., Nash, C. and Blackwell, A.F. (2010). Liveness in notation use: From music to programming. In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG 2010). September 19-22, 2010. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Leganès, Spain. Published by Maria Paloma Díaz Pérez and Mary Beth Rosson. (ISBN 978-84-693-3416-4), pp. 2-11.
Blackwell, A., Wilson, L., Boulton, C. and Knell, J. (2010). Creating value across boundaries: Maximising the return from interdisciplinary innovation. NESTA Research Report CVAB/48, May 2010.
Final report on 2-year research policy project commissioned by NESTA.
Blackwell, A.F. (2010). The Dark Side of Metaphor: Fetish in User Interfaces. Paper presented at CHI 2010 workshop on Critical Dialogue: Interaction, Experience and Cultural Theory.
Blythe, M., McCarthy, J., Light, A., Bardzell, S., Wright, P., Bardzell, J. and Blackwell, A. (2010). Critical Dialogue: Interaction, Experience and Cultural Theory. In Extended Abstracts of CHI 2010, pp 4521-4524.
Blackwell, A.F. and Dodgson, N.A. (2010). Computational aesthetics as a negotiated boundary. Leonardo 43(1), 88-89.
Norman, S.J., Blackwell, A.F., Warren, L. & Woolford, K. (2010). Gesture and embodied interaction: capturing motion/ data/ value. Leonardo 43(2), 198-199.
Woolford, K., Blackwell, A.F., Norman, S.J. & Chevalier, C. (2010). Crafting a critical technical practice. Leonardo 43(2), 202-203.
The three short papers above present results from projects within the EPSRC CREATOR consortium.
C. Fritz, J. Woodhouse, F. P-H. Cheng, I. Cross, A.F. Blackwell and B.C.J. Moore (2010). Perceptual studies of violin body damping and vibrato. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 127(1), 513-524.
Output from the Virtual Violins project.
Blackwell, A.F., Wilson, L., Street, A., Boulton, C. and Knell, J. (2009). Radical innovation: crossing knowledge boundaries with interdisciplinary teams. University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory Technical Report UCAM-CL-TR-760.
Results from project funded by NESTA, and carried out at CRASSH, investigating the relationship between interdisciplinarity and innovation.
Blackwell, A.F. (Ed.) (2009). People and Computers XXIII - Celebrating People and Technology. Proceedings of HCI 2009, Churchill College Cambridge, UK. 1 - 5 September 2009. British Computer Society. (eWiC: electronic Workshops in Computing, ISSN 1477-9358)
Chairing a national conference must be the most painful way of editing a book! Some nice research was presented, though.
Morrison, C & Blackwell, A.F. (2009). Hospital user research using new media arts. In People and Computers XXIII - Celebrating People and Technology, Proceedings of HCI 2009. British Computer Society, pp. 345-353
Describes techniques developed during Cecily's PhD research for exploring the social consequences of technology interventions without either disrupting or attempting to simulate the safety-critical environment of the intensive care unit.
Morrison, C & Blackwell, A.F. (2009) Observing end-user customisation of electronic patient records. In V. Pipek, M.-B. Rosson, B. de Ruyter and V. Wulf (Eds). Proc. 2nd International Symposium on End-User Development, IS-EUD'09. Springer Verlag (Lecture Notes in Computer Science - LNCS 5435), pp. 275-284.
Initial work that is now the subject of a more extended investigation into end-user customisation of clinical information systems. (Cecily has proceeded to a post-doctoral research post investigating IT in healthcare settings).
Costabile, M.F. and Blackwell, A.F. (2009). Article on "Visual Metaphor" for Springer Encyclopedia of Database Systems, Edd. L. Liu and M.T. Özsu.
Blackwell, A.F. and Costabile, M.F. (2009). Article on "Direct Manipulation" for Springer Encyclopedia of Database Systems, Edd. L. Liu and M.T. Özsu.
C. Fritz, I. Cross, A.F. Blackwell, B.C.J. Moore, E. Feygelson, J. Woodhouse. (2009). Acoustical correlates of violin timbre descriptors. Abstracts of the Fifth Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (CIM09), pp. 80-81.
Blackwell, A.F., Eckert, C.M., Bucciarelli, L.L. and Earl, C.F. (2009). Witnesses to design: A phenomenology of comparative design. Design Issues 25(1), 36-47.
A theoretical stance and practical research method for the comparative study of design across disciplines, derived from the research practices of comparative religion. This paper is a major output of the Across Design project.
Edge, D. and Blackwell, A.F. (2009). Peripheral tangible interaction by analytic design. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI'09), pp. 69-76.
Summary of the main findings from Darren's PhD research.
Blackwell, A.F. and Edge, D. (2009). Articulating tangible interfaces. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI'09), pp. 113-118.
Exploration of what happens when you put joints in things. This includes description of a summer project done by Ignas Budvytis and Vilius Naudziunas.
Edge, D. and Blackwell, A.F. (2009). Bimanual tangible interaction with mobile phones. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI'09), pp. 131-136.
Summary of findings from research supported by Nokia and by Boeing.
Blackwell, A.F., Rode, J.A. and Toye, E.F. (2009). How do we program the home? Gender, attention investment, and the psychology of programming at home. International Journal of Human Computer Studies 67, 324-341.
Final findings from the EPSRC-funded project Cognitive Ergonomics for Ubiquitous Computing.
Morrison, C., Jones, M., Blackwell, A. and Vuylsteke, A. (2008). Electronic patient record use during ward rounds: a qualitative study of interaction between medical staff. Critical Care 12:R148.
Initial findings from Cecily's PhD research, presented for medical audiences.
Blackwell, A.F. (2008). Design research and academic disciplines. Design Research Quarterly 3(4), 3-8.
Based on keynote address given to the annual meeting of the Design Research Society, describing the benefits and problems of being academically 'undisciplined' when engaging in design research.
Blythe, M., Bardzell, J., Bardzell, S. and Blackwell, A.F. (2008). Critical issues in interaction design. People and Computers XXII: Culture, Creativity, Interaction - Volume 2, pp. 183-184.
Workshop convened at HCI 2008 (link to workshop website).
Blackwell, A.F., Church, L., Plimmer, B. and Gray, D. (2008). Formality in sketches and visual representation: Some informal reflections. In B. Plimmer and T. Hammond (Eds). Sketch Tools for Diagramming, workshop at VL/HCC 2008, pp. 11-18.
Contribution to sketch recognition and creation workshop, drawing on philosophy of representation and design practice.
Blackwell, A.F., Church, L. and Green, T.R.G. (2008). The abstract is 'an enemy': Alternative perspectives to computational thinking. In Proceedings PPIG'08, 20th annual workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group, pp. 34-43.
Philosophy of computation from a social perspective.
Church, L. and Blackwell, A.F. (2008). Structured text modification using guided inference. In Proceedings PPIG'08, 20th annual workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group, pp. 83-94.
Results from Luke's undergraduate dissertation.
Church, L. and Blackwell, A.F. (2008). Playful Programming: Higher Order Design as Shaping Emergence - A life-like work in progress. In Proceedings PPIG'08, 20th annual workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group.
A central theme of Luke's PhD project.
Blackwell, A.F., Phaal, R., Eppler, M. and Crilly, N. (2008). Strategy Roadmaps: New Forms, New Practices. In G. Stapleton, J. Howse and J. Lee (Eds) Diagrammatic Representation and Inference, Proceedings of 5th International Conference (Diagrams 2008). Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence LNAI 5223. Berlin: Springer Verlag, pp. 127-140.
Complete description of a project conducting research into the professional practice of strategy roadmap visualisation.
Blackwell, A.F. (2008). Cognitive Dimensions of Notations: Understanding the Ergonomics of Diagram Use. In G. Stapleton, J. Howse and J. Lee (Eds) Diagrammatic Representation and Inference, Proceedings of 5th International Conference (Diagrams 2008). Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence LNAI 5223. Berlin: Springer Verlag, pp. 5-8.
Invited tutorial at Diagrams 2008.
Morrison, C. and Blackwell, A.F. (2008). Co-located Group Interaction Design. CHI 2008 Extended Abstracts, pp. 2587-2590.
"Design Theatre" presentation at CHI 2008, drawing on improvisatory and ethnomethodological perspectives on a hospital intensive care unit.
C. Fritz, A.F. Blackwell, Ian Cross, B.C.J. Moore, J. Woodhouse (2008). Investigating English Violin Timbre Descriptors. Paper presented at 10th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, 25-29 August 2008, Sapporo, Japan.
Blackwell, A.F. and Good, D.A. (2008). Languages of innovation. In H. Crawford (Ed.), Artistic Bedfellows: Histories, theories and conversations in collaborative art practices. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America, pp.127-138.
First (print) published description of the Crucible research strategy.
Nash, C. & Blackwell, A.F. (2008). Realtime representation and gestural control of musical polytempi. In A. Camurri, S. Serafin and G. Volpe (Eds), Proc. 8th Int Conf on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME'08). Genova Italy June 4-8, pp. 28-33.
Results from collaboration with Alejandro Vinao.
Blackwell, A.F. (2008). A Master on the Mind. The Darwinian Spring 2008, p. 9.
Another book review, this time of a new book by Geoffrey Lloyd, previously Master of Darwin College, and Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Science. Cognitive Variations: Reflections on the Unity and Diversity of the Human Mind (Oxford University Press 2007) is a fascinating overview of the mysterious links between neuroscience and culture.
Bresciani, S., Blackwell, A.F. and Eppler, M. (2008). A Collaborative Dimensions Framework: Understanding the mediating role of conceptual visualizations in collaborative knowledge work. Proc. 41st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICCS 08), pp. 180-189.
Sabrina Bresciani spent summer 2007 working in our group on business applications of Cognitive Dimensions. This paper describes the research results.
Bresciani, S., Blackwell, A.F. and Eppler, M. (2008). Choosing visualisations for collaborative work and meetings: A guide to usability dimensions. Darwin College Research Reports DCRR-007, available online at www.dar.cam.ac.uk/dcrr/
As a practical outcome of Sabrina's project, we also compiled a simple guide for practitioners, to be used as a source of advice when choosing visualisations
Crilly, N., Blackwell, A.F. and Clarkson, P.J. (2007). Using diagrams in interviews. In C. Spinillo, P. Farias & S. Padovani (Eds.) Selected Readings of the 2nd Information Design International Conference, pp. 141-149.
R.A. Burkhard, G. Andrienko, N. Andrienko, J. Dykes, A. Koutamanis, W. Kienreich, R. Phaal, A. Blackwell, M. Eppler, J. Huang, M. Meagher, A. Grün, S. Lang, D. Perrin, W. Weber, A. Vande Moere, B. Herr, K. Börner, J.-D. Fekete and D. Brodbeck (2007). Visualization Summit 2007: ten research goals for 2010. Information Visualization (2007) 6, 169-188.
Results from the International Summit, to which Rob Phaal, Martin Eppler and I contributed the component on strategic roadmapping.
Morrison, C. and Blackwell, A.F. (2007). Manifolds of social interaction in physical-digital environments. In Proceedings ECSCW 2007.
Poster summarising analysis of interaction when a clinical information system was introduced into the Papworth hospital critical care unit.
Morrison, C. and Blackwell, A.F. (2007). Interaction manifolds: theory from experiment. In Proceedings HCI 2007.
Overview of Cecily's PhD work, including plans for experiments based on observations at Papworth.
Morrison, C. and Blackwell, A.F. (2007). BodyPaint: a physical interface. Paper presented at Physicality 2007, Lancaster UK.
Description of the motivation and design of an experimental full-body-motion interface.
Petre, M. and Blackwell, A.F. (2007). Children as unwitting end-user programmers. In P. Cox and J. Hosking (Eds), Proceedings of 2007 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), pp 239-242.
Observation of a group of early teenage children as they encounter small programming tasks in social contexts, as contrasted to typical "educational" presentation of programming as a modern construction toy. (preview copy of manuscript)
Blackwell, A.F., Morrison, C. Dubuc, L. and Church, L. (2007). The physicality of digital museums. Darwin College Research Reports, DCRR-006. Available online at www.dar.cam.ac.uk/dcrr/.
Description of a tangible prototyping workshop held as part of a research investigation into museums of the future.
Blackwell, A.F. (2007). Toward an undergraduate programme in Interdisciplinary Design. University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory Technical Report UCAM-CL-TR-692.
Proposal for an innovative first-year Cambridge syllabus on "Design, Theory and Society". This will not be offered as a course at the Computer Laboratory, but is published as a technical report for reference and use by other universities that might be developing similar curricula.
Jones, R., Milic-Frayling, N., Rodden, K. and Blackwell, A. (2007). Contextual method for the re-design of existing software products. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 22(1-2), 81-101.
A mixed-method study (interaction logging plus contextual interview) used to develop new design proposals for history navigation in Internet Explorer. This work was funded by Microsoft Research, with most of the leg-work done by Kerry Rodden.
Blackwell, A.F., Fitzmaurice, G., Holmquist, L.E. Ishii, H. and Ullmer, B. (2007). Tangible user interfaces in context and theory. CHI '07 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 2817-2820 (workshop session).
Description of the CHI workshop on tangible user interfaces. The proceedings of the workshop itself are maintained in an archive site.
Blackwell, A.F., Morrison, C. and Edge, D. (2007). A solid diagram metaphor for tangible interaction. Paper presented at CHI 2007 workshop on Tangible user interfaces in context and theory.
Blackwell, A.F., Bailey, G., Budvytis, I., Chen, V., Church, L., Dubuc, L., Edge, D., Linnap, M., Naudziunas, V. and Warrington, H. (2007). Tangible interaction in a mobile context. Paper presented at CHI 2007 workshop on Tangible user interfaces in context and theory.
Church, L.E. and Blackwell, A.F. (2007). Usable morality: A challenge for End-User security. Paper presented at Psychology of Programming Interest Group Work in Progress workshop, University of Salford, 4 January 2007.
Results from Luke's Nuffield sponsored research into cognitive dimensions of security, in summer 2006.
Blackwell, A.F. (2007). Interdisciplinary design research for end-user software engineering. In M.H. Burnett, G. Engels, B.A. Myers and G. Rothermel (Eds), End-User Software Engineering (Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings). Dagstuhl, Germany: Internationales Begegnungs- und Forschungszentrum fuer Informatik (IBFI). Available online at http://drops.dagstuhl.de/opus/volltexte/2007/1078/
Work in progress and research vision, as one component of the work of the EUSES consortium.
Blackwell, A.F. (2006). The reification of metaphor as a design tool. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 13(4), 490-530.
An analysis of the early history and subsequent evolution of research into human-computer interaction, from the perspective of social studies of science and technology.
Blackwell, A.F. and Biggs, S. (2006). Making material culture. Leonardo 39(5), 471-474.
Results from art-science collaboration project.
McCarthy, R., Blackwell, A.F., deLahunta, S., Wing, A., Hollands, K., Barnard, P., Nimmo-Smith, I and Marcel, T. (2006). Bodies meet minds: Choreography and cognition. Leonardo 39(5), 475-478.
More results from art-science collaboration project.
Blackwell, A.F. (2006). Metaphors we program by: Space, action and society in Java. Proceedings of PPIG 2006, pp. 7-21.
A corpus analysis of documentation for the Java programming language, using techniques from applied linguistics / cognitive anthropology.
Edge, D. and Blackwell, A.F. (2006). Correlates of the cognitive dimensions for tangible user interface. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, 17(4), 366-394.
Desribes the tangible correlates of the cognitive dimensions when abstract information is being manipulated in the physical world as "solid diagrams".
Crilly, N., Clarkson, P.J. and Blackwell, A.F. (2006). Using research diagrams for member validation in qualitative research In Proceedings of Diagrammatic Representation and Inference: 4th International Conference (Diagrams 2006), pp. 258-262.
Further reflection on Nathan's project (see also journal publication).
Edge, D., Blackwell, A.F. & Dubuc, L. (2006). The physical world as an abstract interface. In P. D. Bust (Ed), Contemporary Ergonomics. London: Taylor and Francis, pp. 224-228.
Overview of our work on tangible user interfaces.
Blackwell, A.F. and Postgate, M. (2006). Programming culture in the 2nd-generation attention economy. Presentation at CHI Workshop on Entertainment media at home - looking at the social aspects.
An interesting perspective on how end-user customisation of new digital media is changing the nature of the BBC's public mission.
Blackwell, A.F. (2006). Gender in domestic programming: From bricolage to séances d'essayage. Presentation at CHI Workshop on End User Software Engineering
Compares Laura Beckwith's work on gender in spreadsheet programming to work that Eleanor Toye and Jennifer Rode did with me on programming of DVD recorders.
Crilly, N., Blackwell, A.F. and Clarkson, P.J. (2006). Graphic elicitation: using research diagrams as interview stimuli. Qualitative Research, 6(3), 341-366.
Methodology paper, based on Nathan's PhD research, which pioneered the use of diagrams to express research concepts in interview contexts.
Blackwell, A.F. (2006). Ten years of cognitive dimensions in visual languages and computing. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, 17(4), 285-287.
Guest editor's introduction to special issue on Cognitive Dimensions of Notations.
Blackwell, A.F. (2006). Psychological issues in end-user programming. In H. Lieberman, F. Paterno and V. Wulf (Eds.), End User Development. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 9-30
This should be a useful introduction for new researchers aiming to develop programming languages for use by anyone other than professional programmers. The book in which it appears was an outcome of the European Network of Excellence in End User Development, which met in 2002 and 2003.
Beckwith, L., Kissinger, C., Burnett, B., Wiedenbeck, S., Lawrance, J., Blackwell, A. and Cook, C. (2006). Tinkering and gender in end-user programmers' debugging. In Proceedings of CHI 2006, pp. 231-240.
Work carried out with the EUSES consortium, subsequent to Laura Beckwith (student at Oregon State University) spending a summer working with me in Cambridge. The consortium has an ongoing interest in gender issues in programming.
Toye, E., Sharp, R., Madhavapeddy, A., Scott, D., Upton, E., and Blackwell, A. (2006). Interacting with mobile services: An evaluation of camera-phones and visual tags. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Jan 2006, pp. 1 - 10.
Work mainly done by Eleanor Toye, with my collaboration as consultant to Intel Research. This was a user-research contribution to a large project on mobile phone infrastructure for the use of visual tags.
Blackwell, A.F. (2006). Designing knowledge: An interdisciplinary experiment in research infrastructure for shared description. University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory Technical Report UCAM-CL-TR-664.
Describes the "Blackwell Leach Process" for facilitation of interdisciplinary design workshops. This is the principal outcome from my involvement in the ESRC-funded project Social Property and New Social Forms.
Blackwell, A.F. (2006). Whatever happened to Empirical Studies of Programmers? Newsletter of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group, June 2006.
Blackwell, A. and Mackay, D. (2005). Power. Cambridge University Press.
Collected papers from the 2002 Darwin College Lectures.
Yan, J., Anderson, R., Blackwell, A., and Grant, A. (2005). The memorability and security of passwords. In L. Cranor & S.L. Garfinkel (Eds.) Designing secure systems that people can use. O'Reilly & Associates, pp. 129-142.
Blackwell, A.F., Edge, D., Dubuc, L.M., Rode, J.A., Stringer, M. and Toye, E.F. (2005). Using solid diagrams for tangible interface prototyping. IEEE Pervasive Computing, Oct-Dec, 18-21.
A workshop technique for brainstorming of novel physical user interfaces.
Stringer, M., Rode, J.A., Toye, E.F., Blackwell, A.F. and Simpson, A.R. (2005). The Webkit tangible user interface: A case study of iterative prototyping. IEEE Pervasive Computing, Oct-Dec, 35-41.
Describes why and how we made so many different versions of the user interface in this ubiquitous computing project.
Presents the objectives of Lorisa's PhD project.
Blackwell, A. and Collins, N. (2005). The programming language as a musical instrument. In Proceedings of PPIG 2005, pp. 120-130.
Describes Nick's work on Live Coding of computer music performance from the perspective of programming language design.
Blackwell, A.F., Rode, J.A. and Toye, E.F. (2005). The social context of domestic end-user programming. In Proceedings of Less is More, Cambridge UK.
Summary of investigations into home technology use.
Rode, J.A., Toye, E.F. and Blackwell, A.F. (2005). The domestic economy: A broader unit of analysis for end user programming. In proceedings CHI'05 (extended abstracts), pp. 1757-1760
Blackwell, A., Jones, R., Milic-Frayling, N. and Rodden, K. (2005). Combining logging with interviews to investigate web browser usage in the workplace. Presented at workshop on Usage analysis, combining logging and qualitative methods. CHI 2005.
Blackwell, A., Bucciarelli, L, Clarkson, P.J., Earl, C.F., Eckert, C., Knight, T., Macmillan, S., Stacey, M. and Whitney, D. (2005). Comparative study of design - application to engineering design. Presented at International Conference on Engineering Design.
Toye, E., Madhavapeddy, A., Sharp, R., Scott, D., Blackwell, A. and Upton, E. (2004). Using camera-phones to interact with context-aware mobile services. Technical Report UCAM-CL-TR-609, University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory.
An interaction technique for controlling site-specific mobile services using commercially available camera-phones, public information displays and visual tags. Collaboration with Intel Research Cambridge.
Delahunta, S., McGregor, W. and Blackwell, A.F. (2004). Transactables. Performance Research 9(2), 67-72.
Outcome from art-science research fellowship, collaborating with Random Dance company.
Rode, J.A., Toye, E.F. and Blackwell, A.F. (2004). The Fuzzy Felt Ethnography - understanding the programming patterns of domestic appliances. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 8, 161-176.
Blackwell, A.F., Burnett, M.M. and Peyton Jones, S. (2004). Champagne Prototyping: A research technique for early evaluation of complex end-user programming systems. In Proceedings of IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC04), pp. 47-54.
We recruited expert users to evaluate a proposed enhancement to Excel, where the whole study was very low cost compared to earlier research. The title may imply otherwise, but in fact a few bottles of Champagne was just about the only cost involved in this study.
Yan, J., Blackwell, A.F., Anderson, R. & Grant, A. (2004). Password memorability and security: Empirical results. IEEE Security and Privacy 2(5), 25-31.
An extended version of an earlier tech report, describing an experiment in which we gave several large student groups different advice on how to choose a good password, then observed the results.
Blackwell, A.F. (2004). End user developers at home. Communications of the ACM 47(9), 65-66.
Brief summary of the results from several projects in the domestic programming area.
Eckert, C.M., Blackwell, A.F., Stacey, M.K. and Earl, C.F. (2004). Sketching across design domains. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design (VR'04).
Results from the Across Design project.
Stringer, M., Toye, E.F., Rode, J.A. and Blackwell, A.F. (2004). Teaching rhetorical skills with a tangible user interface. In Proceedings of Interaction Design and Children IDC'04.
Final report of results from the WEBKIT project.
Rode, J.A., Toye, E.F. and Blackwell, A.F. (2004). The Fuzzy Felt Ethnography - understanding the programming patterns of domestic appliances. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Appliance Design, pp. 10-22.
Rode, J.A., Toye, E.F., Stringer, M. and Blackwell, A.F. (2004). Rapid prototyping for tangible UIs. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Appliance Design, p. 153.
Milic-Frayling, N., Jones, R., Rodden, K., Smyth, G. Blackwell, A.F. and Sommerer, R. (2004). SmartBack: Supporting users in back navigation. In Proceedings of the Thirteenth International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2004), pp. 63-71.
Milic-Frayling, N., Sommerer, R., Rodden, K. and Blackwell, A.F. (2004). SmartView and SearchMobil: Providing overview and detail in handheld browsing. In Mobile and Ubiquitous Information Access (Lecture Notes in Computer Science), Springer, pp 158-171.
Blackwell, A.F., Stringer, M., Toye, E.F. and Rode, J.A. (2004). Tangible interface for collaborative information retrieval. Proceedings of ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI'2004, pp 1473-1476.
Blackwell, A.F., Marriott, K. and Shimojima, A. (eds) (2004). Diagrammatic Representation and Inference. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence LNAI 2980. Springer Verlag.
Eckert, C., Blackwell, A., Bucciarelli, L., Clarkson, P.J., Earl, C., Knight, T., Macmillan, S., Stacey, M. and Whitney, D. (2004). What designers think we need to know about their processes: early results from a comparative study. Proceedings of Design 04.
Stringer, M., Rode, J.A., Blackwell, A.F. and Toye, E.F. (2003). Facilitating argument in physical space. In Proceedings of Fifth International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, pp. 123-126.
Hague, R., Robinson, P. and Blackwell, A. (2003). Towards ubiquitous end-user programming. In Adjunct Proceedings of Fifth International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, pp. 169-170.
Sutherland, I.E. (1963/2003). Sketchpad, A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System. PhD Thesis at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, online version and editors' introduction by A.F. Blackwell & K. Rodden. Technical Report 574. Cambridge University Computer Laboratory
Jansen, A.R., Blackwell, A.F. and Marriott, K. (2003). A tool for tracking visual attention: The Restricted Focus Viewer. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers 35(1), 57-69.
Blackwell, A.F. (2003). Cognitive dimensions of tangible programming techniques. In Proc. First Joint Conference of EASE & PPIG, pp. 391-405.
How do you design programming languages where the elements are physical objects, rather than symbols on a screen? Arrangements of physical objects can be notational systems too, and when they have electronic sensors that make them into ubiquitous computing systems, we need some theoretical way of comparing their usability to the things we can do on screen.
Blackwell, A.F. and Green, T.R.G. (2003). Notational systems - the Cognitive Dimensions of Notations framework. In J.M. Carroll (Ed.) HCI Models, Theories and Frameworks: Toward a multidisciplinary science. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann, 103-134.
Blackwell, A.F., Hewson, R.L. and Green, T.R.G. (2003) Product design to support user abstractions. In E. Hollnagel (Ed.) Handbook of Cognitive Task Design. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0-8058-4003-6, pp. 525-545.
N. Milic-Frayling, R. Sommerer, K. Rodden and A. Blackwell (2003). SearchMobil: Web Viewing and Search for Mobile Devices. In Proceedings of the Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference.
Peyton Jones, S., Blackwell, A and Burnett, M. (2003). A user-centred approach to functions in Excel. In Proceedings International Conference on Functional Programming, pp. 165-176.
Stringer, M., Toye, E.F., Rode, J.A. and Blackwell, A.F. (2003). Iterative design of tangible user interfaces. In Proceedings HCI 2003, pp. 89-92.
Rodden, K., Milic-Frayling, N., Sommerer, R. and Blackwell, A. (2003). Effective Web Searching on Mobile Devices. In Proceedings HCI 2003, pp. 281-296.
Rode, J.A., Stringer, M., Toye, E., Simpson, A.R. and Blackwell, A. (2003) Curriculum focused design. In Proceedings ACM Interaction Design and Children, pp. 119-126.
Our approach to designing novel technology for application in English schools.
Blackwell, A.F. (2002). First steps in programming: A rationale for Attention Investment models. In Proceedings of the IEEE Symposia on Human-Centric Computing Languages and Environments, pp. 2-10.
Blackwell, A.F. and Burnett, M. (2002). Applying Attention Investment to end-user programming. In Proceedings of the IEEE Symposia on Human-Centric Computing Languages and Environments, pp. 28-30.
Ward, D.J., Blackwell, A.F. & MacKay, D.J.C. (2002). Dasher: A gesture-driven data entry interface for mobile computing. Human-Computer Interaction 17, 199-228.
Blackwell, A.F. (2002). What is programming? In Proceedings of PPIG 2002, pp. 204-218.
Rodden, K. and Blackwell, A.F. (2002). Class libraries: A challenge for programming usability research. In Proceedings of PPIG 2002, pp. 186-195.
Blackwell, A.F., Robinson, P., Roast, C, and Green, T.R.G. (2002). Cognitive models of programming-like activity. Proceedings of CHI'02, 910-911.
A small workshop convened to consider techniques and motivation for modelling cognitive phenomena that extend beyond conventional user interfaces to problems more typical of programming.
Blackwell, A.F. and Wallach, H. (2002). Diagrammatic integration of abstract operations into software work contexts. In M. Hegarty, B. Meyer and N.H.Narayanan (Eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Inference, Springer-Verlag, pp. 191-205.
Six experimental systems are described, each taking a different approach to minimising the investment of attention required to extend direct manipulation into an abstract task context.
Blackwell, A.F. and Engelhardt, Y. (2002). A meta-taxonomy for diagram research. In M. Anderson & B. Meyer & P. Olivier (Eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Reasoning, London: Springer-Verlag, pp. 47-64.
Heavily updated version of the 1998 conference paper (at Thinking with Diagrams 98). Now includes many more taxonomies, a new analytic structure, a more complete and ordered comparative table, new theoretical content and some new figures. The initial sentence is still the same!
Blackwell, A.F. (2002). Psychological perspectives on diagrams and their users. In M. Anderson & B. Meyer & P. Olivier (Eds.), Diagrammatic Representation and Reasoning. London: Springer-Verlag, pp. 109-123.
A review chapter for a research collection on diagrammatic reasoning.
Blackwell, A.F. (2001). See What You Need: Helping end users to build abstractions. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, 12(5), 475-499.
This presents major results from the Vital Signs project relating to abstraction investment, end-user programming and document processing tasks.
Blackwell, A.F. and Hague, R. (2001). AutoHAN: An Architecture for Programming the Home. In Proceedings of the IEEE Symposia on Human-Centric Computing Languages and Environments, pp. 150-157.
This describes the cognitive challenges of programming in the home environment, and presents a technical architecture for the MediaCubes language.
Blackwell, A.F. (Ed.), (2001). Thinking with Diagrams. Kluwer Academic.
An introductory overview to the interdisciplinary field of diagrammatic representation and reasoning, from perspectives in psychology, education, architecture, philosophy, linguistics and cognitive science.
Blackwell, A.F., Britton, C., Cox, A. Green, T.R.G., Gurr, C.A., Kadoda, G.F., Kutar, M., Loomes, M., Nehaniv, C.L., Petre, M., Roast, C., Roes, C., Wong, A. and Young, R.M. (2001). Cognitive Dimensions of Notations: Design tools for cognitive technology. In M. Beynon, C.L. Nehaniv, and K. Dautenhahn (Eds.) Cognitive Technology 2001 (LNAI 2117). Springer-Verlag, pp. 325-341
An overview of the cognitive dimensions of notations framework, including current advances such as new dimensions and activities. The "official" online version provided by the publisher seems to be restricted through some kind of subscription service. If you cannot access it, here is the text from the CDs archive.
Blackwell, A.F. (2001). Pictorial representation and metaphor in visual language design. Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, 12(3), 223-252.
This reports a series of experiments assessing the effect of pictorial representation and metaphor on the usability of visual programming languages. This is the most comprehensive published summary of the work described in my PhD thesis.
Blackwell, A.F (2001). Vital Signs: Usable abstractions at home and at work. I3 Magazine 11, 10-13.
A general introduction to my current work for the non-specialist reader.
Blackwell, A.F. and Hague, R. (2001). Designing a programming language for home automation. In G. Kadoda (Ed.) Proceedings of the 13th Annual Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG 2001), 85-103.
This describes the programming languages being created for use in domestic contexts by the AutoHAN project team, including the first published description of the MediaCubes language.
This compares the experience of working programmers using a novel visual programming language to theoretical considerations of programming language usability.
Blackwell, A.F., Whitley, K.N., Good, J. and Petre, M. (2001). Cognitive factors in programming with diagrams. Artificial Intelligence Review 15(1), 95-113.
This is an overview of the areas in which the study of the psychology of programming can throw light on thinking with diagrams. This is a revised version of an earlier discussion paper presented at the 1997 Thinking with Diagrams workshop
Blackwell, A.F. (2001). Thinking with Diagrams - guest editor's introduction. Artificial Intelligence Review 15(1), 1-3.
This presents the case for the value of Diagrams as a subject of research, and introduces the papers on representation, reasoning and application of diagrams that appear in this special journal issue.
Blackwell, A.F. (2001). SWYN: A Visual Representation for Regular Expressions. In H. Lieberman (Ed.), Your wish is my command: Giving users the power to instruct their software. Morgan Kauffman , pp. 245-270.
Blackwell, A.F. (2000). Dealing with new Cognitive Dimensions. Paper presented at Workshop on Cognitive Dimensions: Strengthening the Cognitive Dimensions Research Community. University of Hertfordshire, 8 December 2000.
A discussion of the factors involved in defining new Cognitive Dimensions.
Blackwell, A.F. & Green, T.R.G. (2000). A Cognitive Dimensions questionnaire optimised for users. In A.F. Blackwell & E. Bilotta (Eds.) Proceedings of the Twelth Annual Meeting of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group , 137-152
A technique for applying cognitive dimensions to usability analysis, where the users themselves get to make structured feedback about the system.
Ward, D.J., Blackwell, A.F. & MacKay, D.J.C. (2000). Dasher - a Data Entry Interface Using Continuous Gestures and Language Models. In Proceedings of UIST 2000: 13th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. San Diego, CA, pp. 129-137.
This describes the design and evaluation of a novel text-entry system that can be operated by continuous gestures with a pointing device. The result provides an unusually good compromise between ease of learning and text entry speed.
Blackwell, A.F., Green, T.R.G. & Nunn, D.J.E. (2000). Cognitive Dimensions and Musical Notation Systems Paper presented at ICMC 2000, Berlin: Workshop on Notation and Music Information Retrieval in the Computer Age.
A description of the relevance of Cognitive Dimensions to music notation systems.
Yan, J., Blackwell, A., Anderson, R. & Grant, A. (2000). The Memorability and Security of Passwords - Some Empirical Results. Computer Laboratory Technical Report TR-500. Also available in Hungarian as "A Jelszavak Megjegyezhetosége És Biztonsága Néhány Gyakorlati Eredmény" (translated by Zoli Kincses).
An experiment conducted with first-year students at Cambridge, investigating what types of advice make it most likely that students will choose a pasword that is both secure and memorable.
Blackwell, A.F., Jansen, A.R. and Marriott, K. (2000). Restricted Focus Viewer: A tool for tracking visual attention. In M. Anderson, P. Cheng & V. Haarslev (Eds.), Theory and Applications of Diagrams. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence 1889. Berlin: Springer Verlag, pp. 162-177.
Description of a new research tool for use in research into visual displays.
Blackwell, A.F. & Bilotta, E., Eds. (2000) Proceedings of the Twelth Annual Meeting of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group. Cosenza, Italy: Edizioni Memoria.
It was my turn to organise the PPIG meeting this year.
Comparison of two studies in which programmers reflect on the tools that they use and the way that they visualise their designs.
Presentation of a central result from my PhD research. Visual programming languages which present pictorial metaphors as an instructional device do not aid novice users much more than plain geometric diagrams.
Blackwell, A.F. & Green, T.R.G. (1999). Investment of Attention as an Analytic Approach to Cognitive Dimensions. In T. Green, R. Abdullah & P. Brna (Eds.) Collected Papers of the 11th Annual Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG-11), pp. 24-35.
Working paper describing the development of Green's Cognitive Dimensions framework that is being used as a basis for the Vital Signs project.
Blackwell, A.F. (1998). Metaphor in Diagrams. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Cambridge University.
This page contains the abstract, table of contents, and complete downloadable copies of my PhD thesis.
Green, T.R.G. & Blackwell, A.F. (1998). Design for usability using Cognitive Dimensions. Tutorial session at British Computer Society conference on Human Computer Interaction HCI'98.
This tutorial has 3 parts: an introduction to the framework; analysis of two real-life examples; and a set of interactive widgets, accessible via the web, which illustrate different design decisions and their trade-offs.
An informal discussion of the use of questionnaires in psychology of programming research.
Blackwell, A.F. and Engelhardt, Y. (1998). A taxonomy of diagram taxonomies. In Proceedings of Thinking with Diagrams 98: Is there a science of diagrams?, pp. 60-70.
This proposes a set of dimensions to be used as a basis for future taxonomies of diagrammatic representations.
Simos, M. & Blackwell, A.F. (1998). Pruning the tree of trees: The evaluation of notations for domain modeling. In J. Domingue & P. Mulholland (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th Annual Meeting of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group, pp. 92-99.
This discusses the more abstract requirements of notations used in the field of Domain Modelling, and considers how theories of metaphor in notation, as well as Green's Cognitive Dimensions, can be used to analyse them.
Petre, M. Blackwell, A.F. and Green, T.R.G. (1998). Cognitive Questions in Software Visualisation. In J. Stasko, J. Domingue, M. Brown, and B. Price (Eds.) Software Visualization: Programming as a Multi-Media Experience MIT Press, pp. 453-480.
This book chapter written with Marian Petre and Thomas Green describes some of the cognitive questions that arise in the study of software visualisation.
Blackwell, A.F. (Ed.) (1997). Thinking with Diagrams Discussion Papers. Interdisciplinary workshop on Thinking with Diagrams, Portsmouth, Jan. 9-10 1997.
Printed form of the on-line discussion papers and position papers submitted to and presented at the Thinking with Diagrams Workshop.
This is an overview of the areas in which the study of the psychology of programming can throw light on thinking with diagrams.
Blackwell, A.F. (1997). Diagrams about Thoughts about Thoughts about Diagrams. In M. Anderson, (Ed.) Reasoning with Diagrammatic Representations II: Papers from the AAAI 1997 Fall Symposium. Technical Report FS-97-03. Menlo Park, California: AAAI Press, pp. 77-84.
This is a review of the research literature in cognitive psychology, looking at cognitive issues relevant to diagrammatic reasoning.
A critique (with experimental evidence) of the not-so-ancient "milleverbalist" claim that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Petre, M. and Blackwell, A.F. (1997). A glimpse of expert programmer's mental imagery. In S. Wiedenbeck & J. Scholtz (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Empirical Studies of Programmers, pp. 109-123.
This is an analysis of interviews with professional programmers, in which they spoke about the way that they visualise software designs.
Whitley, K.N. and Blackwell, A.F. (1997). Visual programming: the outlook from academia and industry. In S. Wiedenbeck & J. Scholtz (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Empirical Studies of Programmers, pp. 180-208.
This compares users of the LabVIEW visual programming language to the programmers and computer scientists whose opinions about visual programming were analysed in my two 1996 papers.
Blackwell, A.F. & Arnold, H. (1997). Simulating a Software Project: The PoP Guns go to War. In R. Osborn & B. Khazaei (Eds.), Proceedings of the 9th Annual Meeting of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group, pp. 53-60.
A description of a tutorial exercise which created a condensed simulation of two hours in the life of a commercial programmer.
Blackwell, A.F. (1996). Metaphor or Analogy: How Should We See Programming Abstractions? In P. Vanneste, K. Bertels, B. De Decker & J.-M. Jaques (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th Annual Workshop of the Psychology of Programming Interest Group, pp. 105-113.
This is a rather speculative framework that formed the original theoretical basis for my experimental program.
A study of why computer scientists think that visual programming languages will be easier to use, based on a survey of the research literature.
Blackwell, A.F. (1996). Do Programmers Agree with Computer Scientists on the Value of Visual Programming? In A. Blandford & H. Thimbleby (Eds.), Adjunct Proceedings of the 11th British Computer Society Annual Conference on Human Computer Interaction, HCI'96, pp. 44-47.
This presents the results of a survey of professional programmers, comparing their opinions to those of computer scientists in the previous publication.
Blackwell, A.F. (1996d). Chasing the Intuition of an Industry: Can Pictures Really Help Us Think? In M. Ireland (Ed.), Proceedings of the first Psychology of Programming Interest Group Postgraduate Student Workshop, pp. 13-24.
An historical view of the origins and theoretical grounds for my research project. This is probably the best introduction to my work.
Green, T.R.G. and Blackwell, A.F. (1996). Thinking about visual programs. Presented at Thinking with Diagrams. Colloquium of IEE Computing and Control Division, Digest No 96/010.
Describes the need for a more mature understanding of cognitive processes when analysing the properties of visual programming languages.
Green, T.R.G. and Blackwell, A.F. (1996). Ironies of Abstraction. In Proceedings 3rd International Conference on Thinking. British Psychological Society.
Some ideas about the relationship between abstraction and notation.
Blackwell, A.F. (1989). Spatial Reasoning with a Qualitative Representation. Knowledge-Based Systems, 2(1), 37-45.
Background material from my Master's degree in Computer Science, describing work on qualitative spatial reasoning.
Blackwell, A.F. (1988). Spatial Reasoning for Robots: A Qualitative Approach Unpublished Masters' thesis, Victoria University of Wellington.
The actual text of my Masters' thesis, laboriously reconstructed from backup files!
Blackwell, A.F. (1993). Bottom-Up Design and this Thing called an 'Object' .EXE Magazine, 8(7), 28-32.
A comment on the "naturalness" of object oriented design - a question that is often raised in the psychology of programming community. This article was written for a popular programming magazine, in an attempt to deflate some of the hype that was then current with respect to C++.