State-of-the-art cloud applications are problematic for collaborative document management; their current design does not encourage active personal folder categorization. Cloud applications such as Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive store documents automatically, so at no point are users directed to categorize them by placing them in folders. To encourage active categorization and promote effective retrieval of cloud documents, the authors designed an add-on “nudge” called Personal Organizer which prompts Google Drive users to categorize by storing cloud documents in personal folders. The add-on prompt is triggered when users attempt to close uncategorized or unnamed documents. The purpose of this paper is to test whether using the Personal Organizer add-on leads participants to actively store their documents in folders that they personally created, and whether this promotes more successful and efficient retrieval.
To test the add-on, the authors conducted a pretest-manipulation-post-test intervention study with 34 participants lasting over three months. In both tests, participants were asked to retrieve personal documents taken from their own “Recents” list to improve ecological validity.
Using our add-on doubled the percentage of documents that were actively stored in folders. Additionally, using personally created folders substantially improved retrieval success while decreasing retrieval time.
Implementing our findings can improve document storage and retrieval for millions of users of collaborative cloud storage. The authors discuss broader theoretical implications concerning the role of active organization for retrieval in collaborative repositories, as well as design implications.
The authors thank our participants. This study was supported by the Google Faculty Research Award 2014_R2_79.1.
Bergman, O., Whittaker, S. and Frishman, Y. (2019), "Let’s get personal: the little nudge that improves document retrieval in the Cloud", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 75 No. 2, pp. 379-396. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-06-2018-0098Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited