AM08 2008 START Conference Manager    

Sense Making and Sense Keeping for Multi-session Web Tasks

Bonnie MacKay and Carolyn Watters

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


We explore sense making in relation to multi-session web tasks (tasks that require more than a single web session to complete). When users are performing multi-session web tasks they must ‘make sense’ of information that they gather during Web sessions and they must also ‘keep sense’ of the information between the sessions.

We present the results from a diary study and a field study in the context of sense making and sense keeping. We examine task switching within sessions containing multi-session tasks, the reasons that tasks are stopped and continued in a later session, and whether participants tend to keep information collected during a multi-session task for future use. We also outline three prototype tools developed from the results of these studies that we are currently evaluating to help users perform multi-session tasks.

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