Readings' list

Ducheneaut, N. and Bellotti, V. 2001. E-mail as habitat: an exploration of embedded personal information management. interactions 8, 5 (Sep. 2001), 30-38.

Summary/ Key Points

Email has become more like an habitat than an application.

Field study: 60 formal and informal interviews in three companies (28 formal)

Even if the more folder the less efficient, users have an average of 60 folders. The more the experience the more the number of folders. Folder hierarchies are shallow, usually about two levels deep.

The sort feature appears to be more popular than the search because it can be used to more quickly specify search criteria.

Filtering doesn't work for anyone (60%).

Email is a central medium for document exchange. Exchanging documents is part of a wider context of exchanges aimed at accomplishing tasks.

Email is used as a medium to provide a record or possibly some accountability and for organizing and scheduling meetings.

There is a correlation between status or occupation and quantity and organization strategies.


E-mail is a killer application.

Communication is a central part of organized work. Consequently as email captures an increasing share of an organization's total communication volume, individual progressively appropriate their email client as a habitat in which they spend most of their work day.

Disclaimer: I wrote these summaries to help me remember the content and the main ideas of the paper. Since I am interested in certain aspects, I may leave out others.

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