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CHI
2011
ACM

Am I wasting my time organizing email?: a study of email refinding

8 years 11 months ago
Am I wasting my time organizing email?: a study of email refinding
We all spend time every day looking for information in our email, yet we know little about this refinding process. Some users expend considerable preparatory effort creating complex folder structures to promote effective refinding. However modern email clients provide alternative opportunistic methods for access, such as search and threading, that promise to reduce the need to manually prepare. To compare these different refinding strategies, we instrumented a modern email client that supports search, folders, tagging and threading. We carried out a field study of 345 long-term users who conducted over 85,000 refinding actions. Our data support opportunistic access. People who create complex folders indeed rely on these for retrieval, but these preparatory behaviors are inefficient and do not improve retrieval success. In contrast, both search and threading promote more effective finding. We present design implications: current search-based clients ignore scrolling, the most prevalent...
Steve Whittaker, Tara Matthews, Julian A. Cerruti,
Added 25 Aug 2011
Updated 25 Aug 2011
Type Journal
Year 2011
Where CHI
Authors Steve Whittaker, Tara Matthews, Julian A. Cerruti, Hernan Badenes, John C. Tang
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