Google Research

Spacewalker: Rapid UI Design Exploration Using Lightweight Markup Enhancement and Crowd Genetic Programming

CHI 2020 (2021)

Abstract

User interface design is a complex task that involves designers examining a wide range of options. We present Spacewalker, a tool that allows designers to rapidly search a large design space for an optimal web UI with integrated support. Designers first annotate each attribute they want to explore in a typical HTML page, using a simple markup extension we designed. Spacewalker then parses the annotated HTML specification, and intelligently generates and distributes various configurations of the web UI to crowd workers for evaluation. We enhanced a genetic algorithm to accommodate crowd worker responses from pairwise comparison of UI designs, which is crucial for obtaining reliable feedback. Based on our experiments, Spacewalker allows designers to effectively search a large design space of a UI, using the language they are familiar with, and improve their design rapidly at a minimal cost.

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