Study to see the role of folders: how do people organize project related
information and how does this organization change over time?
14 participant: interview in their workspace. Questionnaire followed by
a guided tour of one of project of their choice.
Two questions at the end: Why did they created folders and what purpose
created folders served. And if they could have a simple search, would they use
the search instead of folder?
Folders hierarchies are more than a means to an end. They are information
on their own right. They represent an emerging understanding of the associated
information items and their various relationship to one another.
Folders frequently reflect a basic problem decomposition, or a plan for
Information is often squeezed in folder even if it is not well represented
in a single hierarchy.
To the hypothetical question about folder vs. search people said they would
still use folder because:
trust: do not want to depend on search alone
control over grouping of info
Visibility/understandability: creating folders helps understand and see
Example of a wedding folder used to organize wedding.
Non support for ordering: user has to use special name to enforce an
tension between organization for current use and later reuse ??
No support for reuse of structure: example course structure for a
I question the validity of using hypothetical questions
about search, but nonetheless this gives insight on what people think
about their folders.
I am wondering also about the choice of letting the
user chose a project or folder to describe to the researcher.