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Improving Automatic BPMN Layouting by Experimentally Evaluating User Preferences
Good layouts of BPMN diagrams help readers to better understand the contents. Automatic layout algorithms try to efficiently layout diagrams in order to make them consistently well readable. In order to improve the quality of automatic layouting, we need to identify subjective and objective characteristics of diagram layouts. While research into objective criteria has been ongoing, we want to evaluate subjective layout preferences by model readers. Therefore, we conducted an experiment, which let participants select the preferred layout out of two layout variants. The experiment yields significant findings for subjective layout preferences, e.g., with regards to spacing of elements, layout options after gateways, and the routing of edges. The findings were incorporated into an automatic layout tool.