PIM analysis and development : improving information visibility in a micro-note taking tool
Author(s)Styke, Wolfe B. (Wolfe Brandon)
Personal information management analysis and development : improving information visibility in a micro-note taking tool
Improving information visibility in a micro-note taking tool
Finders/keepers : a longitudinal analysis of people managing information scraps in List-it
Longitudinal analysis of people managing information scraps in List-it
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
David R. Karger.
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The digital age has brought about an information overload for individuals. While digital personal information management (PIM) tools are advancing, any one PIM tool generally fails to meet all the information management needs of an individual. Tools that require too much effort to save a new piece of information cause users to record less of their information, which often results in these pieces of information becoming fragmented and/or lost. People frequently lack the right information at the right time, even if the information is kept by one of their PIM tools. Individuals either forget that they previously recorded a piece of information, or are away from their digital devices at the wrong times. How can people keep better track of more of their information? Micro-note tools, which require minimal time, effort, and distraction for the task of capturing new pieces of information may be part of the answer. This thesis evaluates the List-it micro-note PIM tool, a Firefox add-on that lets users take notes in a browser sidebar. This evaluation has led to a better understanding of how users interact with and view PIM tools. An analysis of two years of List-it usage led to many insights into PIM tool usage. An examination of List-it users resulted in the discovery of four types of interaction styles that describe how users interact with their PIM tool: Packrats, Minimalists, Sweepers, and Revisers. An examination of notes kept in List-it identified five major categories of personal information: reminders (memory triggers), reference items, journal/diary entries, scratch pad (external cognition), and posterity. The analysis also resulted in several hypothesized unmet needs and the development of new features to meet these needs, which focused primarily on improving the visibility of notes. Finally, a new application was designed and constructed that, as a single codebase, produces a Chrome Extension, a Firefox add-on, and a regular multi-browser compatible website for the new features of List-it. This thesis is one iteration in the understanding of and design for future needs faced by users of PIM tools.
Thesis (M. Eng.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 56).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.