User Experience Evaluation in a Code Playground (Short Paper)

Authors Ricardo Queirós , Mário Pinto , Teresa Terroso

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Author Details

Ricardo Queirós
  • CRACS - INESC-Porto LA, Portugal
  • uniMAD - ESMAD, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal
Mário Pinto
  • uniMAD - ESMAD, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal
Teresa Terroso
  • uniMAD - ESMAD, Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal

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Ricardo Queirós, Mário Pinto, and Teresa Terroso. User Experience Evaluation in a Code Playground (Short Paper). In Second International Computer Programming Education Conference (ICPEC 2021). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 91, pp. 17:1-17:9, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2021)


Learning computer programming is a complex activity and requires a lot of practice. The viral pandemic that we are facing has intensified these difficulties. In this context, programming learning platforms play a crucial role. Most of them are characterized by providing a wide range of exercises with progressive complexity, multi-language support, sophisticated interfaces and automatic evaluation and gamification services. Nevertheless, despite the various features provided, others features, which influence user experience, are not emphasized, such as performance and usability. This article presents an user experience evaluation of the LearnJS playground, a JavaScript learning platform which aims to foster the practice of coding. The evaluation highlights two facets of the code playground: performance and a usability. In the former, lab and field data were collected based on Google Lighthouse and PageSpeed Insights reports. In the later, an inquiry was distributed among students from a Web Technologies course with a set of questions based on flexibility, usability and consistency heuristics. Both evaluation studies have a twofold goal: to improve the learning environment in order to be officially used in the next school year and to foster the awareness of user experience in all phases of the software development life-cycle as a key facet in Web applications engagement and loyalty.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Applied computing → Computer-managed instruction
  • Applied computing → Interactive learning environments
  • Applied computing → E-learning
  • programming learning
  • code playground
  • programming exercises
  • user experience


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