Leading developers and researchers report on what the next generation of digital work environments may look like, analyzing the theory and practice of designing "out of the box" to facilitate multitasking, collaboration, and multiple technologies.
The computer's metaphorical desktop, with its onscreen windows and hierarchy of folders, is the only digital work environment most users and designers have ever known. Yet empirical studies show that the traditional desktop design does not provide sufficient support for today's real-life tasks involving collaboration, multitasking, multiple roles, and diverse technologies. In Beyond the Desktop Metaphor , leading researchers and developers consider design approaches for a post-desktop future. The contributors analyze the limitations of the desktop environmentincluding the built-in conflict between access and display, the difficulties in managing several tasks simultaneously, and the need to coordinate the multiple technologies and information objects (laptops, PDAs, files, URLs, email) that most people use dailyand propose novel design solutions that work toward a more integrated digital work environment. They describe systems that facilitate access to information, including Lifestreams, Haystack, Task Factory, GroupBar, and Scalable Fabric, and they argue that the organization of work environments should reflect the social context of work. They consider the notion of activity as a conceptual tool for designing integrated systems, and point to the Kimura and Activity-Based Computing systems as examples. Beyond the Desktop Metaphor is the first systematic overview of state-of-the-art research on integrated digital work environments. It provides a glimpse of what the next generation of information technologies for everyday use may look likeand it should inspire design solutions for users' real-world needs.
About the Author
Victor Kaptelinin is Professor in the Department of Informatics at Umeå University, Sweden, and Professor in the Department of Information Science and Media Studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. He is coeditor of Beyond the Desktop Metaphor: Designing Integrated Digital Work Environments ( MIT Press, 2007).
Mary Czerwinski is a Principal Researcher and Manager in the Visualization and Interaction Research Group at Microsoft Research and adjunct faculty member in Psychology at the University of Washington.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Desktop Metaphor and New Uses of Technology Victor Kaptelinin Mary Czerwinski 1
Designing Out of the Box 13
Introduction to Part I 15
Beyond Lifestreams: The Inevitable Demise of the Desktop Metaphor Eric Freeman David Gelernter 19
Haystack: Per-User Information Environments Based on Semistructured Data David R. Karger 49
Explorations in Task Management on the Desktop George Robertson Greg Smith Brian Meyers Patrick Baudisch Mary Czerwinski Eric Horvitz Daniel Robbins Desney Tan 101
The Social Dimension of Personal Environments 139
Introduction to Part II 141
Personal Role Management: Overview and a Design Study of Email for University Students Catherine Plaisant Ben Shneiderman H. Ross Baker Nicolas B. Duarte Aydin Haririnia Dawn E. Klinesmith Hannah Lee Leonid A. Velikovich Alfred O. Wanga Matthew J. Westhoff 143
Soylent and ContactMap: Tools for Constructing the Social Workscape Danyel Fisher Bonnie Nardi 171
From Tasks to Activities 191
Introduction to Part III 193
Supporting Activity in Desktop and Ubiquitous Computing Stephen Voida Elizabeth D. Mynatt Blair MacIntyre 195
From Desktop Task Management to Ubiquitous Activity-Based Computing Jakob E. Bardram 223
Reflections on the Desktop Metaphor and Integration 261
Introduction to Part IV 263
Users' Theories of the Desktop Metaphor, or Why We Should Seek Metaphor-Free Interfaces Pamela Ravasio Vincent Tscherter 265
Toward Integrated Work Environments: Application-Centric versus Workspace-Level Design Victor Kaptelinin Richard Boardman 295
Beyond the Desktop Metaphor in Seven Dimensions Thomas P. Moran Shumin Zhai 335