Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



2013 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, Pages: 59 - 66, DOI: 10.1109/VLHCC.2013.6645244


Copyright © 2013 IEEE. Used by permission.


Web active end users often coalesce web information using web mashups. Web contents, however, tend to evolve frequently, and along with the black box nature of visual languages this complicates the process of debugging mashups. While debugging, end users need to locate faults within the code and then find a way to correct them; this process requires them to seek information related to web page content and behavior. In this paper, using an information foraging theory lens, we qualitatively study the debugging behaviors of 16 web-active end users. Our results show that the stronger scents available within mashup programming environments can improve users’ foraging success. Our results lead to a new model for debugging activities framed in terms of information foraging theory, and to a better understanding of ways in which end-user programming environments can be enhanced to better support debugging.