Results: S&T Evaluation and Web Survey

Blog post by czeidler on Tue, 2013-09-24 00:27

Most work on my PhD thesis is done and I like to provide you with the results from our research at Uni Auckland on Stack & Tile. At BeGeistert 023 (October 2010) I conducted a user evaluation of Stack & Tile to answer the question whether stacking and tiling within an overlapping window manager bring any benefits to the user. At the end of last year I used a web survey to investigate if and how Stack & Tile is used by actual users. The results of both studies have been presented recently at the INTERACT'13 conference in Cape Town. INTERACT is an A ranked conference for Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and hopefully I was able to interest some other researchers in Haiku. Thanks again for all participants of the evaluation and the survey!

The encouraging results are summarized in the following. The complete paper can be found here.

Stack & Tile Evaluation (BeGeistert 023)

We investigated the benefits of Stack & Tile's stacking and tiling features in a traditional overlapping window manager. Therefore we looked at use-cases where the user is working with documents of the same or of different applications, and a use-case where data is exchanged between documents of the same application, and designed experimental tasks accordingly. Another task measured the time needed to switch between different groups of windows.

In a controlled experiment, we found that stacking and tiling features can significantly improve completion times for tasks involving several windows (of the same application as well as of different applications). Furthermore, switching between different tasks was found to be much faster when windows were grouped by task using Stack & Tile. Setting up a Stack & Tile group is an initial overhead that may prevent users from using these features. However, the potential time savings as well as questionnaire answers indicate that the advantages outweigh this overhead.

Stack & Tile Web Survey

Stack & Tile is already integrated into Haiku for over two years, and thus is already exposed to a large group of developers and users. This allowed us to target another interesting question: How are stacking and tiling features used and accepted by real users? In a web-based survey we asked the Haiku community about their opinions and experiences of Stack & Tile. From 146 responses we got a detailed insight into how, how often and for what applications Stack & Tile is used.

There was a wide agreement that Stack & Tile can be useful, especially by participants who had used Stack & Tile before the survey. The stacking feature was perceived as being slightly more useful and also estimated to be used more than the tiling feature. We found that people were using the stacking and tiling features for a multitude of different use-cases, e.g., programming, browsing or file management. In a field for general comments many people wrote that they like Stack & Tile and suggested further ideas to integrate it more into the desktop. These ideas include future works such as grouping of windows by their Stack & Tile group in the taskbar and Stack & Tile group persistence.

Stack & Tile web questionnaire closes on Sun 23/11/12

Blog post by czeidler on Mon, 2012-12-10 23:06

Thanks to everybody who has participated in the Stack & Tile web questionnaire! We have got much more participants than we had expected! So far there were 140 complete responses. I think this is great number! From these 140 participants there were 75 who had already tried S&T. It also shows that the Haiku community is not that small at all. This should be quite motivating for all developers :).

The questionnaire closes on Sun 23/11/12. So if you haven't participated yet but you are willing to fill the questionnaire please do so before this date.

Stack & Tile web questionnaire

In case you have already participated but you have some more interesting screenshots of how you use Stack & Tile feel free to send them directly to me (czei002@aucklanduni.ac.nz). Thank you!

UPDATE: the database is up again and the survey is working now.

Stack & Tile web questionnaire

Blog post by czeidler on Fri, 2012-10-19 19:55


as part of my PhD thesis at the Uni Auckland I would like to do a web survey about Stack & Tile.

Stack & Tile (S&T) is an extension of the window manager used in HAIKU. S&T allows the user to stack windows on top of one other or tile windows beside each other.

With the questionnaire we would like to gather some information about how and how often people are using S&T. Even if you never tried S&T before or you don't know S&T at all, we have some general questions for you and we are interested in your feedback! If you don't know S&T please take a look at the Haiku user guide *).

In the questionnaire you are asked to upload some screenshots as examples of how you typically use S&T. If you want to provide some screenshots please take them beforehand to avoid eventual problems with the web questionnaire (e.g. timeouts).

To participate click:

Stack & Tile web questionnaire

Thank you for your help!

*) Haiku user guide (S&T)

Managing multiple documents in applications

Blog post by stippi on Fri, 2010-10-29 12:41

Working on my rewrite of WonderBrush, I've been thinking about the document management. As you may know, WonderBrush is a stricly single window application in its current release. It can still open more than one document at once, of course, and those are displayed in a list above the navigational preview of the current document. One of the drawbacks of this approach is that there are no previews of all the documents visible at once, and it's harder to make non-current documents the target of drag&drop operations, like when dragging objects from one document onto another document to move or copy them there.

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