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From User Needs to Opportunities in Personal Information Management: A Case Study on Organisational Strategies in Cross-Media Information Spaces

Beat Signer
September 09, 2014

From User Needs to Opportunities in Personal Information Management: A Case Study on Organisational Strategies in Cross-Media Information Spaces

Presentation given at DL 2014, International Conference on Digital Libraries, London, UK, September, 2014

ABSTRACT: The efficient management of our daily information in physical and digital information spaces is a well-known problem. Current research on personal information management (PIM) aims to understand and improve organisational and re-finding activities. We present a case study about organisational strategies in cross-media information spaces, consisting of physical as well as digital information. In contrast to existing work, we provide a unified view on organisational strategies and investigate how re-finding cues differ across the physical and digital space. We further introduce a new mixing organisational strategy which is used in addition to the well-known filing and piling strategies. Last but not least, based on the results of our study we discuss opportunities and pitfalls for future descriptive PIM research and outline some directions for future PIM system design.

Research paper: https://beatsigner.com/publications/from-user-needs-to-opportunities-in-personal-information-management-a-case-study-on-organisational-strategies-in-cross-media-information-spaces.pdf

Beat Signer

September 09, 2014

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  1. 2 December 2005 From User Needs to Opportunities in Personal

    Information Management A Case Study on Organisational Strategies in Cross-Media Information Spaces Sandra Trullemans and Beat Signer Web & Information Systems Engineering Lab (WISE) Department of Computer Science Vrije Universiteit Brussel WEB & INFORMATION SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
  2. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 3 September 9, 2014 Filing and Piling

    Strategies Elements Groups Titled Ordered Titled Ordered Files Yes Yes ? ? Piles ? No No ? Malone, 1983 filing piling ▪ One-dimensional order variable filing piling
  3. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 4 September 9, 2014 ▪ Is order

    only determined by filing and piling? ▪ Is there any coherency or dependency between these organisational strategies in digital and physical space? ▪ Do we use the same re-finding cues after applying an organisational strategy in physical and digital space? Research Questions filing piling
  4. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 5 September 9, 2014 Methodology ▪ Embedded

    multi-case case study ▪ 2 cases (digital and physical) ▪ Units of analysis ▪ use of organisational strategies ▪ ease of re-finding ▪ use of re-finding cues ▪ Cross-case analysis ▪ Data collection ▪ observation (first phase) ▪ survey (second phase) case 1 physical space case 2 digital space
  5. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 6 September 9, 2014 Observation ▪ 6

    academic offices ▪ Identification of new organisational strategies ▪ Compilation of valid questions for the survey ▪ Identification and definition of new mixing strategy
  6. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 7 September 9, 2014 Mixing Strategy Elements

    Groups Titled Ordered Titled Ordered Files Yes Yes ? ? Piles ? No No ? Malone, 1983
  7. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 8 September 9, 2014 Online Survey ▪

    Use of organisational strategies ▪ factorisation in filing, piling and mixing ▪ Ease of re-finding ▪ how easy do we re-find in a digital file system, … ▪ Use of re-finding cues ▪ use of folder labels, … ▪ Open-ended questions ▪ tools for re-finding
  8. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 9 September 9, 2014 Data Analysis ▪

    Participants ▪ 170 respondents ▪ international academic population ▪ Ordinal data on a 5-point Likert scale ▪ Normal distribution not guaranteed ▪ Correlations determined by Spearman’s rho (p<0.05) ▪ Differences in factors by Wilcoxon signed-rank test (p<0.05)
  9. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 10 September 9, 2014 General Use of

    Organisational Strategies ▪ Common use of the mixing strategy ▪ Less filing than piling and mixing
  10. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 11 September 9, 2014 Use of Strategies

    Across Spaces ▪ No difference between digital and physical space ▪ No correlation between strategies BUT…
  11. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 12 September 9, 2014 What do the

    Results Tell Us? ▪ Piles and mixtures are most frequently used ▪ Use of extra filing tools ▪ digital file systems: “Never happy with the used tools” ▪ physical file cabinets - post-it notes - archive cards - digital index - … ▪ Lack of insights about the mixing strategy ▪ Users have individual cross-media strategies
  12. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 14 September 9, 2014 Re-finding Cues Context

    cue Spatial cue Time cue Physical space Filing ✓ ✓ ✓ Piling ✓ ✓ Mixing ✓ ✓ Digital space Filing ✓ Piling ✓ Mixing ✓ ✓
  13. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 15 September 9, 2014 Filing Re-finding Cues

    ▪ Digital space ▪ Physical space context cue context cue spatial cue time cue
  14. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 16 September 9, 2014 Directions for PIM

    System Design ▪ Provide suitable augmentations for each strategy ▪ Support appropriate re-finding cues in the right strategy ▪ Support for cross-media re-finding activities ▪ include physical space ▪ cross-media annotations
  15. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 17 September 9, 2014 Conclusion ▪ New

    insights about organisational landscape ▪ Piles and mixtures more frequently used than filing ▪ Re-finding is different for each strategy in digital and physical space ▪ Directions for future PIM system design
  16. Sandra Trullemans, [email protected] 18 September 9, 2014 filing piling ▪

    Mixing as a third organisational strategy ▪ It is normal to use paper and to be “unorganised” ▪ Order cannot be expressed as a one-dimensional variable ▪ Organisational strategies should be augmented with support for the right re-finding cues ▪ Exploration of cross-media organising and re-finding solutions Give Away Message 