A tag-like, linked navigation approach for retrieval and discovery of desktop documents
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Computer systems provide users with abilities to create, organize, store and access information. Most of this information is in the form of documents in files organized in the hierarchical folder structures provided by operating systems. Operating system-provided access is mainly through structure- guided navigation, and through keyword search. An investigation with regard to access and utilization of these documents revealed a need to reconsider these navigation methods. An improved method of access to these documents is proposed based on previous effective metadata use in search system-retrieval and annotation systems. The underlying organization is based on a model for navigation whereby documents are represented using index terms and associations between them exposed to create a linked, similarity-based navigation structure. Evaluation of an interface instantiating this approach suggests it can reduce the user’s cognitive load and enable efficient and effective retrieval while also providing cues for discovery and recognition of associations between documents.