Data transfer: A longitudinal analysis of clipboard and drag-and-drop use in desktop applications

Jonathan Woodruff, Jason Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Data transfer within and between desktop applications facilitates efficient data-centric tasks on modern computer operating systems. This data can be transferred via the clipboard (cut, copy, paste) or through more direct drag-and-drop actions. This paper presents results gathered during a 90-day longitudinal log study of 17 participants’ clipboard and drag-and-drop interactions. The paper characterises the frequency, time and type of actions, interaction mechanism, and whether the users’ computer configuration affects these findings. We found clipboard operations are more common than drag-and-drop operations (and drag-and-drop is rarely used by some participants), most data transfer occurs on the same screen for multi-screen users, clipboard and drag-and-drop operations are used for different applications and the applications used for clipboard operations align with previously reported results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-120
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Volume132
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

Keywords

  • Clipboard
  • Copy-and-paste
  • Drag-and-drop
  • Desktop interaction
  • Data transfer
  • Multiple screens

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