Publication statistics

Pub. period:2005-2012
Pub. count:16
Number of co-authors:41


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Juho Kim:
Benjamin Malley:
Diana Joseph:



Productive colleagues

Mira Dontcheva's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

James A. Landay:91
Robert C. Miller:42
Scott R. Klemmer:38

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Mira Dontcheva


Publications by Mira Dontcheva (bibliography)

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Kim, Juho, Malley, Benjamin, Brandt, Joel, Dontcheva, Mira, Joseph, Diana, Gajos, Krzysztof Z. and Miller, Robert C. (2012): Photoshop with friends: a synchronous learning community for graphic design. In: Companion Proceedings of ACM CSCW12 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2012. pp. 271-272.

Photoshop with Friends is an online community of learners exchanging just-in-time help on graphic design tasks. The system attempts to provide an interactive, visual, context-aware, and personalized mode of learning. Developed as a Facebook application, Photoshop with Friends allows users to help each other in live sessions, with built-in screen sharing, recording, and voice chat support. Major design decisions are guided by two laboratory studies that identified challenges in learning graphic design skills on the web.

© All rights reserved Kim et al. and/or ACM Press

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Chi, Pei-Yu, Ahn, Sally, Ren, Amanda, Dontcheva, Mira, Li, Wilmot and Hartmann, Bjorn (2012): MixT: automatic generation of step-by-step mixed media tutorials. In: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2012. pp. 93-102.

Users of complex software applications often learn concepts and skills through step-by-step tutorials. Today, these tutorials are published in two dominant forms: static tutorials composed of images and text that are easy to scan, but cannot effectively describe dynamic interactions; and video tutorials that show all manipulations in detail, but are hard to navigate. We hypothesize that a mixed tutorial with static instructions and per-step videos can combine the benefits of both formats. We describe a comparative study of static, video, and mixed image manipulation tutorials with 12 participants and distill design guidelines for mixed tutorials. We present MixT, a system that automatically generates step-by-step mixed media tutorials from user demonstrations. MixT segments screencapture video into steps using logs of application commands and input events, applies video compositing techniques to focus on salient information, and highlights interactions through mouse trails. Informal evaluation suggests that automatically generated mixed media tutorials were as effective in helping users complete tasks as tutorials that were created manually.

© All rights reserved Chi et al. and/or ACM Press

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Laput, Gierad, Adar, Eytan, Dontcheva, Mira and Li, Wilmot (2012): Tutorial-based interfaces for cloud-enabled applications. In: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2012. pp. 113-122.

Powerful image editing software like Adobe Photoshop and GIMP have complex interfaces that can be hard to master. To help users perform image editing tasks, we introduce tutorial-based applications (tapps) that retain the step-by-step structure and descriptive text of tutorials but can also automatically apply tutorial steps to new images. Thus, tapps can be used to batch process many images automatically, similar to traditional macros. Tapps also support interactive exploration of parameters, automatic variations, and direct manipulation (e.g., selection, brushing). Another key feature of tapps is that they execute on remote instances of Photoshop, which allows users to edit their images on any Web-enabled device. We demonstrate a working prototype system called TappCloud for creating, managing and using tapps. Initial user feedback indicates support for both the interactive features of tapps and their ability to automate image editing. We conclude with a discussion of approaches and challenges of pushing monolithic direct-manipulation GUIs to the cloud.

© All rights reserved Laput et al. and/or ACM Press

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Lewis, Sheena, Dontcheva, Mira and Gerber, Elizabeth (2011): Affective computational priming and creativity. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2011. pp. 735-744.

While studies have shown that affect influences creativity, few investigate how affect influences creative performance with creativity support tools. Drawing from methods commonly used in psychology research, we present affective computational priming, a new method for manipulating affect using digitally embedded stimuli. We present two studies that explore computational techniques for inducing positive, neutral, and negative affect and examine their impact on idea generation with creativity support tools. Our results suggest that positive affective computational priming positively influences the quality of ideas generated. We discuss opportunities for future HCI research and offer practical applications of affective computational priming.

© All rights reserved Lewis et al. and/or their publisher

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Pongnumkul, Suporn, Dontcheva, Mira, Li, Wilmot, Wang, Jue, Bourdev, Lubomir, Avidan, Shai and Cohen, Michael F. (2011): Pause-and-play: automatically linking screencast video tutorials with applications. In: Proceedings of the 2011 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2011. pp. 135-144.

Video tutorials provide a convenient means for novices to learn new software applications. Unfortunately, staying in sync with a video while trying to use the target application at the same time requires users to repeatedly switch from the application to the video to pause or scrub backwards to replay missed steps. We present Pause-and-Play, a system that helps users work along with existing video tutorials. Pause-and-Play detects important events in the video and links them with corresponding events in the target application as the user tries to replicate the depicted procedure. This linking allows our system to automatically pause and play the video to stay in sync with the user. Pause-and-Play also supports convenient video navigation controls that are accessible from within the target application and allow the user to easily replay portions of the video without switching focus out of the application. Finally, since our system uses computer vision to detect events in existing videos and leverages application scripting APIs to obtain real time usage traces, our approach is largely independent of the specific target application and does not require access or modifications to application source code. We have implemented Pause-and-Play for two target applications, Google SketchUp and Adobe Photoshop, and we report on a user study that shows our system improves the user experience of working with video tutorials.

© All rights reserved Pongnumkul et al. and/or ACM Press

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Brandt, Joel, Dontcheva, Mira, Weskamp, Marcos and Klemmer, Scott R. (2010): Example-centric programming: integrating web search into the development environment. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 513-522.

The ready availability of online source-code examples has fundamentally changed programming practices. However, current search tools are not designed to assist with programming tasks and are wholly separate from editing tools. This paper proposes that embedding a task-specific search engine in the development environment can significantly reduce the cost of finding information and thus enable programmers to write better code more easily. This paper describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of Blueprint, a Web search interface integrated into the Adobe Flex Builder development environment that helps users locate example code. Blueprint automatically augments queries with code context, presents a code-centric view of search results, embeds the search experience into the editor, and retains a link between copied code and its source. A comparative laboratory study found that Blueprint enables participants to write significantly better code and find example code significantly faster than with a standard Web browser. Analysis of three months of usage logs with 2,024 users suggests that task-specific search interfaces can significantly change how and when people search the Web.

© All rights reserved Brandt et al. and/or their publisher

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Secord, Adrian, Winnemoeller, Holger, Li, Wilmot and Dontcheva, Mira (2010): Creating collections with automatic suggestions and example-based refinement. In: Proceedings of the 2010 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2010. pp. 249-258.

To create collections, like music playlists from personal media libraries, users today typically do one of two things. They either manually select items one-by-one, which can be time consuming, or they use an example-based recommendation system to automatically generate a collection. While such automatic engines are convenient, they offer the user limited control over how items are selected. Based on prior research and our own observations of existing practices, we propose a semi-automatic interface for creating collections that combines automatic suggestions with manual refinement tools. Our system includes a keyword query interface for specifying high-level collection preferences (e.g., "some rock, no Madonna, lots of U2,") as well as three example-based collection refinement techniques: 1) a suggestion widget for adding new items in-place in the context of the collection; 2) a mechanism for exploring alternatives for one or more collection items; and 3) a two-pane linked interface that helps users browse their libraries based on any selected collection item. We demonstrate our approach with two applications. SongSelect helps users create music playlists, and PhotoSelect helps users select photos for sharing. Initial user feedback is positive and confirms the need for semi-automated tools that give users control over automatically created collections.

© All rights reserved Secord et al. and/or their publisher

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Brandt, Joel, Guo, Philip J., Lewenstein, Joel, Dontcheva, Mira and Klemmer, Scott R. (2009): Two studies of opportunistic programming: interleaving web foraging, learning, and writing code. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 1589-1598.

This paper investigates the role of online resources in problem solving. We look specifically at how programmers -- an exemplar form of knowledge workers -- opportunistically interleave Web foraging, learning, and writing code. We describe two studies of how programmers use online resources. The first, conducted in the lab, observed participants' Web use while building an online chat room. We found that programmers leverage online resources with a range of intentions: They engage in just-in-time learning of new skills and approaches, clarify and extend their existing knowledge, and remind themselves of details deemed not worth remembering. The results also suggest that queries for different purposes have different styles and durations. Do programmers' queries "in the wild" have the same range of intentions, or is this result an artifact of the particular lab setting? We analyzed a month of queries to an online programming portal, examining the lexical structure, refinements made, and result pages visited. Here we also saw traits that suggest the Web is being used for learning and reminding. These results contribute to a theory of online resource usage in programming, and suggest opportunities for tools to facilitate online knowledge work.

© All rights reserved Brandt et al. and/or ACM Press

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Toomim, Michael, Drucker, Steven M., Dontcheva, Mira, Rahimi, Ali, Thomson, Blake and Landay, James A. (2009): Attaching UI enhancements to websites with end users. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 1859-1868.

We present reform, a step toward write-once apply-anywhere user interface enhancements. The reform system envisions roles for both programmers and end users in enhancing existing websites to support new goals. First, a programmer authors a traditional mashup or browser extension, but they do not write a web scraper. Instead they use reform, which allows novice end users to attach the enhancement to their favorite sites with a scraping by-example interface. reform makes enhancements easier to program while also carrying the benefit that end users can apply the enhancements to any number of new websites. We present reform's architecture, user interface, interactive by-example extraction algorithm for novices, and evaluation, along with five example reform enabled enhancements.

© All rights reserved Toomim et al. and/or ACM Press

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Medynskiy, Yevgeniy, Dontcheva, Mira and Drucker, Steven M. (2009): Exploring websites through contextual facets. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 2013-2022.

We present contextual facets, a novel user interface technique for navigating websites that publish large collections of semi-structured data. Contextual facets extend traditional faceted navigation techniques by transforming webpage elements into user interface components for filtering and retrieving related webpages. To investigate users' reactions to contextual facets, we built FacetPatch, a web browser that automatically generates contextual facet interfaces. As the user browses the web, FacetPatch automatically extracts semi-structured data from collections of webpages and overlays contextual facets on top of the current page. Participants in an exploratory user evaluation of FacetPatch were enthusiastic about contextual facets and often preferred them to an existing, familiar faceted navigation interface. We discuss how we improved the design of contextual facets and FacetPatch based on the results of this study.

© All rights reserved Medynskiy et al. and/or ACM Press

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Cypher, Allen, Lau, Tessa, Nichols, Jeffrey and Dontcheva, Mira (2009): Workshop on end user programming for the web. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2009 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2009. pp. 4779-4782.

In the past several years, there has been a resurgence in research activity in end user programming (EUP), all focused on the web. This work is spread across a variety of institutions and has been published in a variety of conference venues, including CHI, UIST, IUI, and WWW. This workshop will bring these researchers together for a common discussion, with the following goals: establish a sense of community amongst researchers in this area; discuss common problems and lessons learned about doing research in EUP for the web; define a standard corpus of tasks that can be used to evaluate current and future EUP systems; and plan the publication of an edited book on the topic of end user programming for the web.

© All rights reserved Cypher et al. and/or ACM Press

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Schrier, Evan, Dontcheva, Mira, Jacobs, Charles, Wade, Geraldine and Salesin, David (2008): Adaptive layout for dynamically aggregated documents. In: Proceedings of the 2008 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2008. pp. 99-108.

We present a system for designing and displaying grid-based document designs that adapt to many different viewing conditions and content selections. Our system can display traditional, static documents, or it can assemble dynamic documents "on the fly" from many disparate sources via the Internet. Our adaptive layouts for aggregated documents are inspired by traditional newspaper design. Furthermore, our system allows documents to be interactive so that readers can customize documents as they read them. Our system builds on previous work on adaptive documents, using constraint-based templates to specify content-independent page designs. The new templates we describe are much more flexible in their ability to adapt to different types of content and viewing situations. This flexibility comes from allowing the individual components, or "elements," of the templates to be mixed and matched, according to the content being displayed. We demonstrate our system with two example applications: an interactive news reader for the New York Times, and an Internet news aggregator based on MSN Newsbot.

© All rights reserved Schrier et al. and/or ACM Press

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Adar, Eytan, Dontcheva, Mira, Fogarty, James and Weld, Daniel S. (2008): Zoetrope: interacting with the ephemeral web. In: Cousins, Steve B. and Beaudouin-Lafon, Michel (eds.) Proceedings of the 21st Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology October 19-22, 2008, Monterey, CA, USA. pp. 239-248.

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Dontcheva, Mira, Drucker, Steven M., Salesin, David and Cohen, Michael F. (2007): Relations, cards, and search templates: user-guided web data integration and layout. In: Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology October 7-10, 2007, Newport, Rhode Island, USA. pp. 61-70.

We present three new interaction techniques for aiding users in collecting and organizing Web content. First, we demonstrate an interface for creating associations between websites, which facilitate the automatic retrieval of related content. Second, we present an authoring interface that allows users to quickly merge content from many different websites into a uniform and personalized representation, which we call a card. Finally, we introduce a novel search paradigm that leverages the relationships in a card to direct search queries to extract relevant content from multiple Web sources and fill a new series of cards instead of just returning a list of webpage URLs. Preliminary feedback from users is positive and validates our design.

© All rights reserved Dontcheva et al. and/or ACM Press

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Dontcheva, Mira, Drucker, Steven M., Wade, Geraldine, Salesin, David and Cohen, Michael F. (2006): Summarizing personal web browsing sessions. In: Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology 2006. pp. 115-124.

We describe a system, implemented as a browser extension, that enables users to quickly and easily collect, view, and share personal Web content. Our system employs a novel interaction model, which allows a user to specify webpage extraction patterns by interactively selecting webpage elements and applying these patterns to automatically collect similar content. Further, we present a technique for creating visual summaries of the collected information by combining user labeling with predefined layout templates. These summaries are interactive in nature: depending on the behaviors encoded in their templates, they may respond to mouse events, in addition to providing a visual summary. Finally, the summaries can be saved or sent to others to continue the research at another place or time. Informal evaluation shows that our approach works well for popular websites, and that users can quickly learn this interaction model for collecting content from the Web.

© All rights reserved Dontcheva et al. and/or ACM Press

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Dontcheva, Mira, Drucker, Steven M. and Cohen, Michael F. (2005): v4v: a View for the Viewer. In: Proceedings of the Conference on Designing for User Experiences DUX05 2005. p. 19.

We present a View for the Viewer (v4v), a slide viewer that focuses on the needs of the viewer of a presentation instead of the presenter. Our design centers on representing the deck of slides as a stack embedded in a 3-D world. With only single button clicks, the viewer can quickly and easily navigate the deck of slides. We provide four types of annotation techniques and have designed a synchronization mechanism that makes it easy for the viewer to move in and out of sync with the presenter. We also supply alarms as a method for viewer notification. We evaluate our approach with a preliminary user study resulting in positive feedback about our design plus suggestions for improvements and extensions.

© All rights reserved Dontcheva et al. and/or ACM Press

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