Of all the personal computers to be unwrapped during the holiday season, more than 80 percent will be used to go online and search the Web’s more than 92 million gigabytes of data (comparable to a 2 billion-volume encyclopedia). Getting online is the easy part, finding a useful Web page is a bit harder-keeping track of a useful Web page is another issue altogether.
People have devised many tricks-such as sending e- mails to themselves or jotting on sticky notes-for keeping track of Web pages, but William Jones and Harry Bruce at the University of Washington’s Information School and Susan Dumais of Microsoft Research have found that often people don’t use any of them when it comes time to revisit a Web page. Instead, they rely on their ability to find the Web page all over again.
"People are terribly challenged by this, and the problem is becoming worse," Bruce said. "People should have fast, easy access to the right information, at the right time, in the right place, in the right quantity to complete the task at hand."
David Hart | National Science Foundation
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