Understanding Version Control as Material Interaction with Quickpose
Eric Rawn, Jingyi Li, Eric Paulos, Sarah E. Chasins
Whether a programmer with code or a potter with clay, practitioners engage in an ongoing process of working and reasoning with materials. Existing discussions in HCI have provided rich accounts of these practices and processes, which we synthesize into three themes: (1) reciprocal discovery of goals and materials, (2) local knowledge of materials, and (3) annotation for holistic interpretation. We then apply these design principles generatively to the domain of version control to present Quickpose: a version control system for creative coding. In an in-situ, longitudinal study of Quickpose guided by our themes, we collected usage data, version history, and interviews. Our study explored our participants’ material interaction behaviors and the initial promise of our proposed measures for recognizing these behaviors. Quickpose is an exploration of version control as material interaction, using existing discussions to inform domain-specific concepts, measures, and designs for version control systems.