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TitleTagTrees: Improving Personal Information Management Using Associative Navigation
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LanguageEnglish
File Size17.2 MB
Total Pages259
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Page 1

Karl Voit

TagTrees: Improving Personal
Information Management Using

Associative Navigation

Dissertation

Graz University of Technology

Institute for Softwaretechnology
Head: Univ.-Prof. Dipl-Ing. Dr. techn. Wolfgang Slany

Supervisor: Univ.-Prof. Dipl-Ing. Dr. techn. Wolfgang Slany
Co-Supervisor: Ao. Univ.-Prof. Dipl-Ing. Dr. techn. Keith Andrews

Graz, November 1, 2012

Page 2

This document was written with gnu Emacs, is set in Palatino, compiled
with pdfLATEX2e and Biber.

All figures, which do not refer to an external source, are made by the author
using Ipe, the extensible drawing editor.

The LATEX template, which was made by the author, is based on KOMA
script and can be found online: https://github.com/novoid/LaTeX-KOMA-
template.

Paper: Bio Top 3 extra (80 g) (Mondi Neusiedler).

Page 129

5.4 tagstore Manager

Figure 5.6: tagstore Manager – Re-Tagging.

or delete them manually. Using expiry dates on items keeps the TagTrees
leaner.

Almost no user regularly walks through her folder hierarchy to look for
items that are of no use anymore. The big advantage of this feature is
that the user has a very good feeling for any “expiration” (only) during
the process of storing. If the user is planning a trip to Paris, she can tag the
portable document format (pdf) file of the Paris Métro 17 with an expiration
date that ends after her trip. This way, this item is removed from her direct
view (TagTrees) automatically. She does not have to remember to delete
unnecessary items any more. If the user knows that an item will expire,
but is unsure what expiry date to choose, she can choose an expiry date in
the far future. This is still better than collecting items that are of no value
any more.

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5 tagstore Implementation

5.4.4 Re-Tagging

If the user wants to modify the tags associated with an item, she can go
to this tab of the tagstore Manager (Figure 5.6). For each store, there is an
alphabetically ordered list of all items. After selecting an item and clicking
on “Re-Tag”, the tagstore dialog window opens with the corresponding
item and its tags. As usual, the user is able to modify tags in the tag line
and confirms with “Tag!”.

From the usability perspective, it would be much better if the user were
able to invoke the re-tag process while seeing the item in her file browser.
Unfortunately, such a feature is platform-dependent and file-browser de-
pendent. Nevertheless, it can be implemented any time: tagstore comes
with the script tagstore retag.py which can be used to invoke such a re-
tag process from external tools. If a file browser is able to start external
tools, such integration is easily configured.

5.4.5 Rename Tags

Once in a while a user wants to re-organize her tags. This process is called
tag gardening (Peters and Weller, 2008), and involves deleting, splitting,
combining, and renaming tags. For renaming tags, the tagstore Manager
offers a separate tab (Figure 5.7). When a user selects a tag and “Rename”,
she can change the name to a different one. This way, tags can be both
combined (renaming to an existing one) or renamed. All items associated
with this tag are re-assigned automatically.

For example, tag gardening is recommended in the following cases:

• Reclining interest in a topic: combine several old tags into one:
– oldtimers, vans, convertibles→ automotive

• Growing interest: split tags:
– IT→ hardware, software, internet

• Improving usability for typing frequently used tags:

17. http://www.parismetro.com/ – retrieved on 2012-08-16.

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List of Tables

2.1 Cross-tool profiles in PIM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

3.1 Statistics of my personal file system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

4.1 Growth of the number of paths in TagTrees . . . . . . . . . . . 96

5.1 Performance measurements TagTrees creation . . . . . . . . . 136

6.1 FE1: Task performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
6.2 FE1: Feature usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
6.3 FE1: Results of the feedback questionnaire . . . . . . . . . . . 170
6.4 FE2: User groups and test users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
6.5 FE2: Total task times for all tps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
6.6 FE2: Statistical significance for filing in folders . . . . . . . . . 190
6.7 FE2: Statistical significance for filing in tagstore . . . . . . . . 190
6.8 FE2: Statistical significance for re-finding in folders . . . . . . 191
6.9 FE2: Statistical significance for re-finding in tagstore . . . . . 192

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