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Finding email in a multi-account, multi-device world

Cecchinato, M; Sellen, A; Shokouhi, M; Smyth, G; (2016) Finding email in a multi-account, multi-device world. In: CHI '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. (pp. pp. 1200-1210). ACM publishing: New York, NY, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

Email is far from dead; in fact the volume of messages exchanged daily, the number of accounts per user, and the number of devices on which email is accessed have been constantly growing. Most previous studies on email have focused on management and retrieval behaviour within a single account and on a single device. In this paper, we examine how people retrieve email in today’s ecosystem through an in-depth qualitative diary study with 16 participants. We found that personal and work accounts are managed differently, resulting in diverse retrieval strategies: while work accounts are more structured and thus email is retrieved through folders, personal accounts have fewer folders and users rely primarily on the built-in search option. Moreover, retrieval occurs primarily on laptops and PCs compared to smartphones. We explore the reasons, and uncover barriers and workarounds related to managing multiple accounts and devices. Finally, we consider new design possibilities for email clients to better support how email is used today.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Finding email in a multi-account, multi-device world
Event: CHI 2016 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Location: San Jose, CA
Dates: 07 May 2016 - 12 May 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1-4503-3362-7
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1145/2858036.2858473
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858473
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 ACM.This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Email; multi-device; cross-device interaction; information retrieval; searching; archiving
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474718
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