Exploring new metaphors for a networked world through the file biography

Siân E. Lindley, Gavin Smyth, Robert Corish, Anastasia Loukianov, Michael Golembewski, Ewa A. Luger, Abigail Sellen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

We present a body of work undertaken in response to the challenge outlined by Harper et al. in their paper, 'What is a File?' [9]. Through a conceptual and design-led exploration of new file metaphors, we developed the 'file biography', a digital entity that encompasses the provenance of a file and allows the user to keep track of how it propagates. We explored this through prototyping and utilised it in two user studies. In the studies, we (i) asked people to sketch out file biographies for their own content, and (ii) deployed a tool enabling users to build their own simple file biographies across multiple versions of Word documents. We conclude that new file metaphors may need to play different roles for different types of digital content, with a distinction being drawn between content that is 'in production' and virtual possessions that are, in a sense, a 'finished' artefact.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2018 - Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationEngage with CHI
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1-12
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450356206, 9781450356213
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2018
Event2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 21 Apr 201826 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings
Volume2018-April

Conference

Conference2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2018
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period21/04/1826/04/18

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Control
  • Fork
  • Grammar of action
  • Ownership
  • Patina
  • Propagation
  • Provenance
  • Version control
  • Virtual possession

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