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Time2Hide: Spatial Searches and Clutter Alleviation for the Desktop

By George Lepouras, Aggelos Papatriantafyllou, Akrivi Katifori and Alan Dix


The desktop metaphor aimed to create a working environment, which would resemble that of the user’s desk. With information abundance this desktop is often cluttered with files and folders. Existing tools partially address the clutter problem and do not support all personal file management requirements. Time2Hide extends the original desktop metaphor by allowing icons that are not used for a long time to gradually fade and merge with the background. This aims to alleviate the problem of icon clutter. Users can also perform spatial searches, defining areas of the desktop they wish to search for icons; can reveal one or more hidden files or can go back in time animating the desktop and its changes. With Time2Hide a user can still use the desktop as a place for storing files and folders, without worrying about the possible clutter and without being afraid that the files might be moved to an unknown location. The new desktop has been implemented and evaluated. To this end, a group of eight users participated in a four-week experimental evaluation. The results of this evaluation reveal that such an enhanced desktop can significantly support users and propose suggestions for further improvements

Topics: Design, Experimentation, Human Factors. Keywords Desktop tool, icon clutter, spatial search, personal information management
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
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