Survey on user interface programming

Brad A. Myers, Mary Beth Rosson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

215 Scopus citations


This paper reports on the results of a survey of user interface programming. The survey was widely distributed, and we received 74 responses. The results show that in today's applications, an average of 48% of the code is devoted to the user interface portion. The average time spent on the user interface portion is 45% during the design phase, 50% during the implementation phase, and 37% during the maintenance phase, 34% of the systems were implemented using a toolkit, 27% used a UIMS, 14% used an interface builder, and 26% used no tools. The projects using only toolkits spent the largest percentage of the time and code on the user interface (around 60%) compared to around 45% for those with no tools. This appears to be because the toolkit systems had more sophisticated user interfaces. The projects using UIMSs or interface builders spent the least percent of time and code on the user interface (around 41%) suggesting that these tools are effective. In general, people were happy with the tools they used, especially the graphical interface builders. The most common problems people reported when developing a user interface included getting users' requirements, writing help text, achieving consistency, learning how to use the tools, getting acceptable performance, and communicating among various parts of the program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
PublisherPubl by ACM
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 1992
EventACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI '92 - Monterey, CA, USA
Duration: May 3 1992May 7 1992


OtherACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI '92
CityMonterey, CA, USA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Survey on user interface programming'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this