How do experienced Information Lens users use rules?

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (SIGHI), Austin, TX, p.211–216 (1989)


Computer-Mediated Communication


The Information Lens provides electronic mail users with the ability to write rules that automatically sort, select, and filter their messages. This paper describes preliminary results from an eighteen-month investigation of the use of this system at a corporate test site. We report the
experiences of 13 voluntary users who have each had at least three months experience with the most recent version of the system. We found that:
1. People without significant computer experience are able to create and use rules effectively.
2. Useful rules can be created based on the fields present in all messages (e.g., searching for distribution lists or one's own name in the address fields or for character strings in the subject field), even without any special message templates.
3. People use rules both to prioritize messages before reading them and to sort messages into folders for storage after reading them.
4. People use delete rules primarily to filter out messages from low-priority distribution lists, not to delete personal messages to themselves.


Proceedings Reprinted as ACM SIGCHI Bulletin, Volume 20, Issue SI.


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