Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Paper Or Mouse-click? What's On Computers Is Easier To Find, Study Shows

Date:
September 1, 2004
Source:
University Of Washington
Summary:
Participants in a survey from the University of Washington's Information School reported that they were much more likely to misfile and lose track of paper information than information stored on a computer.

More than twice as many survey respondents lost track of a paper document as lost information stored on a computer. (Graphic courtesy of University Of Washington)

As office workers pause for Labor Day and students prepare for school, a new study sheds harsh light on an item that gives both groups headaches -- paper.

Participants in a survey from the University of Washington's Information School reported that they were much more likely to misfile and lose track of paper information than information stored on a computer.

More than half of survey participants admitted losing track of a paper document at least once a week -- more than twice the number of people who reported losing electronic information.

The result? While more than 60 percent reported being satisfied with their ability to handle computerized records such as e-mails, electronic documents and Web bookmarks, only 31 percent were satisfied with their ability to organize their papers.

"People report more problems with paper than with other forms of information," said William Jones, an associate research professor. "This suggests that many will be happy to see a more complete transition to electronic storage."

But a "paperless office" would bring its own challenges. Just 10 percent of those surveyed were extremely satisfied with their ability to keep track of computerized records (compared with 2 percent for paper), and computer users reported an ongoing trial-and-error search for strategies to manage information in a way that worked for them. The challenge is likely to grow as music, images, notes and data get scattered among an ever-expanding array of electronic devices and computer applications.

"With the ongoing digitization of our workplaces, homes and even our cars, so many things are acting to pull our information apart," said Jones.

To help pull it back together, Jones and colleague Harry Bruce, the Information School's associate dean for research, are developing a "Universal Labeler." Now in a prototyping stage, the software tool is designed to help people organize information according to the things they need to get done, by making it easy to "drag and drop" many different kinds of information -- e-mails and portions of Web pages, for example -- into logical folders.

It's all part of an ongoing National Science Foundation-funded project called Keeping Found Things Found whose goal is to understand how to help people to manage their information better regardless of its form or location.

"We really have to focus on the whole person -- not just the 'pc user' and not just the 'pda user' -- people have to bring these things together in their lives," Bruce said.

"The increasing sophistication of desktop search engines is helping," added Jones, "but is not likely to solve the problem by itself."

For example, participants in fieldwork observations of the Keeping Found Things Found project repeatedly expressed a desire to organize their information, even if it could be easily found through search tools, said Ammy Jiranida Phuwanartnurak, a doctoral student working on the project. Jones and Bruce are preparing a new survey that aims to understand better the reasons why people would want to organize their information even if they had a hypothetical "desktop Google" at their fingertips.

The latest study demonstrates the need for better tools. Among the 219 respondents to the detailed online survey, nearly half were librarians, with the other half a mix of managers, researchers, professional people, students and others, Phuwanartnurak said.

The librarians, not surprisingly, reported being better organized with all forms of data, but even many librarians reported losing track of personal information.

"It seems we all experience similar problems managing our personal information," Phuwanartnurak said, "regardless of our profession or our training."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Washington. "Paper Or Mouse-click? What's On Computers Is Easier To Find, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040901085206.htm>.
University Of Washington. (2004, September 1). Paper Or Mouse-click? What's On Computers Is Easier To Find, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040901085206.htm
University Of Washington. "Paper Or Mouse-click? What's On Computers Is Easier To Find, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040901085206.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter, Apple Social Data Purchases Likely to Spur More Mergers and Acquisitions

Twitter, Apple Social Data Purchases Likely to Spur More Mergers and Acquisitions

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) The social media data space is likely to see more mergers and acquisitions following Twitter Inc.'s acquisition of tweet analyzer Gnip Inc. on Tuesday and Apples Inc.'s purchase of Topsy Labs Inc. back in December. One firm in particular, the U.K.'s DataSift Inc., could be on the list of potential buyers. Among other social media startups that could be ripe for picking is Banjo, whose mobile app provides aggregated content by topic and location. Banjo could also be a good fit for Twitter. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox to Liquidate After Rebuilding Rejected

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox to Liquidate After Rebuilding Rejected

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has agreed to liquidate after a Japanese court rejected its plans to rebuild, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection in February after announcing about 850,000 bitcoins, worth around $454 million at today's rates, may have been stolen by hackers. It has since recovered 200,000 of the missing bitcoins. The court put Mt. Gox's assets under a provisional administrator's control until bankruptcy proceedings begin. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
BlackBerry: The Crash That Launched 1,000 Startups

BlackBerry: The Crash That Launched 1,000 Startups

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Tech startups in BlackBerry's hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, are tapping talent from the struggling smartphone company and filling the void left in the region by its meltdown. Reuters correspondent Euan Rocha visits the region that could become Canada's Silicon Valley. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins