Why do People Prefer to Navigate to their Files?

Although nearly a year "old" I finnaly scanned the paper titled "Navigating through digital folders uses the same brain structures as real world navigation"

A short video explaining its content can be viewed here

Posters @ #CHI2016 "Playing with the Artworks" & "3D virtual tracing"

After acouple of months, but better late than never

Klen Čopič Pucihar, Kljun Matjaž, Paul Coulton
Playing with the Artworks: Engaging with Art through an Augmented Reality Game CHI EA '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems
DOI | Download draft paper (PDF)

In the majority of cases our experiences of artworks in galleries and museums is as passive observers. While this is widely accepted practice in terms of preserving the artworks it limits the engagement potential with younger visitors. In this paper we present a way of using augmented reality (AR) technology to create engaging and personal art experience for such an audience. To achieve this, we built a prototype for a treasure hunt style game where players colour a contour drawing not knowing what exactly they are colouring. However, they are told that if this coloured drawing is placed correctly, it should wrap around a 3D object (statue) or overlay a 2D canvas (picture) somewhere in the gallery. In the paper we present an evaluation of the augmented colouring aspect of the proposed game with nine K-6 children.

Leo Gombač, Klen Čopič Pucihar, Matjaz Kljun, Paul Coulton, Jan Grbac
3D virtual tracing and depth perception problem on mobile AR CHI EA '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems
DOI | Download draft paper (PDF)

Mobile Augmented Reality (AR) is most commonly implemented using a camera and a flat screen. Such implementation removes binocular disparity from users’ observation. To compensate, people use alternative depth cues (e.g. depth ordering). However, these cues may also get distorted in certain AR implementations, creating depth distortion. One such example is virtual tracing — creating a physical sketch on a 2D or 3D object given a virtual image on a mobile device. When users’ hands and drawn contours are introduced to the scene, the rendering of the virtual contour with the correct depth order is difficult as it requires real time scene reconstruction. In this paper we explore how depth distortion affects 3D virtual tracing by implementing a first of its kind 3D virtual tracing prototype and run an observational study. Contrary to our initial expectations, drawing performance exceeded our expectations suggesting that the lack of visual depth cues, whilst 3D virtual tracing, is not as important as initially expected. We attributed this to the positive impact of proprioception on drawing performance enhanced by holding the object in hand while drawing. As soon as the participants were asked to hold the mobile device in their hands while drawing, their performance drastically decreased.

Paper: "An empirical study of long-term personal project information management" published in ASLIB

A paper published in Aslib Journal of Information Management

Klen Čopic Pucihar, Matjaž Kljun, John Mariani, Alan John Dix
An empirical study of long-term personal project information management
Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 68, Iss: 4, pp. 495 - 522

Draft available here.

Personal projects are any kind of projects whose management is left to an individual untrained in project management and is greatly influenced by this individual’s personal touch. This includes the majority of knowledge workers who daily manage information relating to several personal projects. The authors have conducted an in-depth qualitative investigation on information management of such projects and the tacit knowledge behind its processes that cannot be found in the organisational structures of current personal information management (PIM) tools (file managers, e-mail clients, web browsers). The purpose of this paper is to reveal and understand project information management practices in details and provide guidelines for personal project management tools.
emi-structured interviews similar to that in several other PIM exploratory studies were carried out focusing on project fragmentation, information overlap and project context recreation. In addition, the authors enhanced interviews with sketching approach not yet used to study PIM. Sketches were used for articulating things that were not easily expressed through words, they represented a time stamp of a project context in the projects’ lifetime, uncovered additional tacit knowledge behind project information management not mentioned during the interviews, and were also used to find what they have in common which might be used in prototype designing.
The paper presents first personal project definition based on the conceptualisations derived from the study. The study revealed that the extensive information fragmentation in the file hierarchy (due to different organisational needs and ease of information access) poses a significant challenge to context recreation besides cross-tool fragmentation so far described in the literature. The study also reveals the division of project information into core and support and emphasises the importance of support information in relation to project goals. Other findings uncover the division of input/output information, project overlaps through information reuse, storytelling and visualising information relations, which could help with user modelling and enhancing project context recreation.
Research limitations/implications
On of the limitations is the group of participants that cannot represent the ideally generalised knowledge worker as there are many different kinds of knowledge workers and they all have different information needs besides different management practices. However, participants of variety of different backgrounds were observed and the authors converged observations into points of project information management similarities across the spectrum of different professions. Nevertheless, its observations and conceptualisations should be repeatable. For one, some of the issues that emerged during this work have been to different extents discussed in other studies.
Practical implications
The empirical findings are used to create guidelines for designing personal project information management tools: support the selective focus on information with the division into core and supportive information; visualise changes in project information space to support narratives for context recreation; overcome fragmentation in the file system with selective unification; visualising project’s information relationship to better understand the complexity of project information space; and support navigating in project information space on two axes: time and between projects (overlaps through information). Originality/value
The study presents a longitudinal insight into personal project information management. As such it provides a first formal definition of personal project from the information point of view. The method used in the study presented uses a new approach – sketching in which participants externalised and visualised personal information and projects they discussed. The insights derived from the study form design implications for personal project management tools for knowledge workers.

Every door needs operating instructions ... like this

Something is wrong with the design if simple objects like doors and taps need instructions. 

But this one makes sense!


Solu - a new computer that does away with the folders' hierarchy system

Solu is a little computer that aims to fix all what PCs have been doing wrong all these years (e.g. files, folders, mice ...) based on the CEO behind this new gadget.

A long story short:

  • there is currently a Kickstarter campaign going on,
  • it will come out in 2016 for 349€,  and
  • it will be subscription based (no software to install, no storage to buy ...)

It's a nice concept very similar to my Task Information Collections (TIC) with clusters of related information together. These clusters are project based (like TIC) and based on the video it features a zoomable interface. I wonder how it scales up with thousands of files. And a question remains if we are willing to give up hierarchies and PCs for this? And some (with a reason) don't believe in its success (yet).