Re-finding My Documents Was Never So Easy!

Type of Thesis: 
Master Thesis

On a daily basis users struggle to organise and re-find their digital as well as physical information such as documents, photos or emails. Personal Cross-Media Information Management investigates the opportunities for providing users an alternative to the mainly used Desktop Metaphor by moving away from the file hierarchies that we use to store our information. On the other hand, users have constructed their own personal organisation during their life, including physical file systems in bookcases or piles of papers on a desk. Our current research aims to develop new interaction techniques for emerging PIM systems and at the same time to offer mechanisms for digitally augmenting a user's existing organisational structures (e.g. piles of papers) in order to guide and help users in managing and re-finding their physical and digital information items.

Previous research indicates that users re-find information differently in the three defined organisational structures such as files, piles and mixtures. The most common re-finding cues are context, spatial and temporal metadata. In this thesis, we will explore the opportunity to integrate these re-finding cues in the PIM Visualisation tool as well as integrating faceted browsing between the visualisation and third-party tools such as Outlook or the file system.

In order to accomplish these goals, you will start with an analysis of current work practices in re-finding activities. Based on this analysis, we will define design requirements and finally come to a visualisation and interaction design. We will then implement the design on a multi-touch table and evaluate the design requirements.


Background Knowledge: 
  • Java and JavaFX
  • HTML and CSS
Technical challenges: 
  • You will learn about re-finding issues 
  • You will learn about user-centric design
  • You will learn about design for tabletops
Sandra Trullemans
Academic Year: