Finding and reminding: file organization from the desktop
This paper summarizes and synthesizes two independent studies of the ways users organize and find files on their computers. The first study (Barreau 1995) investigated information organization practices among users of DOS, Windows and OS/2. The second study (Nardi, Anderson and Erickson 1995), examined the finding and filing practices of Macintosh users. There were more similarities in the two studies than differences. Users in both studies (1) preferred location-based finding because of its crucial reminding function; (2) avoided elaborate filing schemes; (3) archived relatively little information; and (4) worked with three types of information: ephemeral, working and archived. A main difference between the study populations was that the Macintosh users used subdirectories to organize information and the DOS users did not.