The Myth of the Paperless Office

The Myth of the Paperless Office

by Abigail J. Sellen, Richard H. R. Harper, Richard H. Harper
     
 

ISBN-10: 026269283X

ISBN-13: 9780262692830

Pub. Date: 04/01/2003

Publisher: MIT Press

Over the past thirty years, many people have proclaimed the imminent arrival of the paperless office. Yet even the World Wide Web, which allows almost any computer to read and display another computer's documents, has increased the amount of printing done. The use of e-mail in an organization causes an average 40
percent increase in paper consumption. In The

…  See more details below

Overview

Over the past thirty years, many people have proclaimed the imminent arrival of the paperless office. Yet even the World Wide Web, which allows almost any computer to read and display another computer's documents, has increased the amount of printing done. The use of e-mail in an organization causes an average 40
percent increase in paper consumption. In The Myth of the Paperless
Office
, Abigail Sellen and Richard Harper use the study of paper as a way to understand the work that people do and the reasons they do it the way they do.
Using the tools of ethnography and cognitive psychology, they look at paper use from the level of the individual up to that of organizational culture.

Central to Sellen and Harper's investigation is the concept of "affordances" -- the activities that an object allows, or affords. The physical properties of paper (its being thin, light, porous, opaque, and flexible)
afford the human actions of grasping, carrying, folding, writing, and so on. The concept of affordance allows them to compare the affordances of paper with those of existing digital devices. They can then ask what kinds of devices or systems would make new kinds of activities possible or better support current activities. The authors argue that paper will continue to play an important role in office life.
Rather than pursue the ideal of the paperless office, we should work toward a future in which paper and electronic document tools work in concert and organizational processes make optimal use of both.

The MIT Press

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262692830
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
04/01/2003
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
245
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1Introduction1
2What's Wrong with Paper?23
3Paper in Knowledge Work51
4Reading from Paper75
5Paper in Support of Working Together107
6Designing New Technologies139
7The Future of Paper185
Notes213
References219
Index223

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >