What is CodeGraffiti?

With CodeGraffiti, we explore the integration of sketching techniques and artifacts into the IDE of software developers. Current IDEs excel at text manipulation, but offer little support for sketching and capturing informal visual artifacts that developers create during their work on the code base. Such artifacts promise to help the examination of existing source bases and the orientation therein when linked up to corresponding code fragments.

Below, we present a (1) design and prototype how to use linked sketches to assist the the developer in orientating in the code base
and (2) a design that allows pair programmers simultaneously write their code, and annotate it with ephemeral and persistent sketches on screen using touch or pen input.


You can download the prototype file and the study materials as well. Feel free to contact Leonhard for questions.


The Team

CodeGraffiti is a research project by Leonhard Lichtschlag, Lukas Spychalski, and Jan Borchers from the Media Computing Group.



  • Leonhard Lichtschlag, Lukas Spychalski and Jan Borchers. CodeGraffiti: Using Hand-drawn Sketches Connected to Code Bases in Navigation Tasks.  In VL/HCC 2014: Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, pages 65–68,July 2014.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2013

  • Lukas Spychalski. Communication Of Source Code Designs Through Sketching. Diplomarbeit, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, May 2013.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • 2010

  • Leonhard Lichtschlag and Jan Borchers. CodeGraffiti: Communication by Sketching for Pair Programming.  In UIST 2010: Adjunct proceedings of the 23nd annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology, pages 439–440,New York, NY, October 2010.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry

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Download this file ( to from VLHCC 2014 paper48225 kB15242014-08-17 16:32

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