Differences on How People Organize and Think about Personal Information
Personal information management (PIM) is a study on how people handle personal information to support their needs and tasks. In the last decade a lot of studies focused on how people acquire, organize, maintain and retrieve information from their information spaces. Results have led to many research prototypes that tried to either augment present tools or integrate these collections within entirely new designs. However, not much has changed in the present tools, and hierarchies still prevail as the storage foundation. Our research aims at understanding the difference between how people organize their information in various applications and physical space and how they actually think of this information in relation to tasks they have to accomplish. We carried out a preliminary study and are currently finishing another study which both show that there is a difference on how information is organized in formal structures on computers and physical spaces and how it is thought of in users’ heads. These findings have motivated the design of an application that tries to mimic the latter and adapts to current computer activities.
Keywordspersonal information management task information collection mental links
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