The Science of Managing Our Digital Stuff
Personal Information Management (PIM) is an activity in which an individual stores personal information items (e.g. files, emails and web favorites) in order to retrieve them later. Despite the fact that PIM is a fundamental computer-based activity and millions of computer users manage their personal information on a daily basis, we nevertheless lack systematic scientific knowledge in this domain. The talk will review findings from The Science of Managing Our Digital Stuff, which Prof. Steve Whittaker and I wrote, and was recently published by MIT Press. I will report on multiple studies that compared the use of the traditional folder method with various alternatives — search, tags and group information management. I will explain our counterintuitive results in terms of our new cognitive and neuropsychological findings. I will conclude by introducing the user-subjective approach, which is the first design approach dedicated specifically to PIM.
Ofer Bergman is an associate professor in the information science department at Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and currently on sabbatical leave at UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Bergman is a specialist in human-computer interaction, personal information management, and information behavior. He has published over 30 papers in the field. He received the Best JASIST Paper Award in 2009 and has received several grants and awards.