department of informatics


WotanEye : Visual Facets to Support Personal Information Management


PhD thesis, Florian Evéquoz


Summary : Personal information (PI) overload is an issue everyone has to cope with. While existing approaches for organizing and re-finding personal information mainly rely on searching mechanisms or semantic tagging, we believe that much insight into our PI can be gained by providing facet navigation of the personal information space. We conducted both an ethnographic interviews process and an online questionnaire, which tend to confirm this tendency. In particular, it points out that the social and temporal facets of personal information are perceived as good memory cues. The system developed in the context of this thesis works in two separate stages. First, it extracts the metadata pertaining to the social and temporal facets of personal information, in order to be able to organize data along those facets. Then, a personal information browser, leveraging the index produced during the first stage, enables facet navigation of the personal information space along a selected subset of facets. Information visualization techniques are used to display the temporal and social facets of personal information. User evaluations have been conducted to assess the perceived usefulness of this approach for two main tasks : (1) re-finding information and (2) analysing one’s personal information management strategies.

Period : The project has started in January 2006 and is supposed to last 5 years.

Fundings : The project is funded by both Memodules and IM2 projects.

Participants :

Partners : EIA-FR (Memodules)


  • Florian Evequoz,  Denis Lalanne,   "I Thought You Would Show Me How To Do It" -- Studying and Supporting PIM Strategy Changes."  In proc. of ASIS&T PIM Workshop  (ASIS&T 2009),  Vancouver, BC  (Canada),  November  5 - 7  2009.
  • Florian Evequoz,  "An Ethnographically-Inspired Survey of PIM Strategies. Technical Report." Internal Publication, 2009.
  • Elena Mugellini,  Denis Lalanne,  Bruno Dumas,  Florian Evequoz,  Sandro Gerardi,  Anne Le Calve,  Alexandre Boder,  Rolf Ingold,  Omar Abou Khaled,   "Memodules as tangible shortcuts to multimedia information."  In D. Lalanne and J. Kohlas (eds.),  "Human Machine Interaction, LNCS 5440 State-of-the-Art Survey, Springer-Verlag",  ISBN:978-3-642-00436-0,  March  2009 , pp. 103-132.
  • Florian Evequoz,  Denis Lalanne,   "Personal information management through interactive visualizations."  In proc. of Doctoral Colloquium of IEEE Information Visualization Conference  (Infovis-DC 2007),  Sacramento (CA)  (USA),  October  28 - November  1  2007 , pp. 158-160.
  • Florian Evequoz,  Denis Lalanne,   "Indexing and visualizing digital memories through personal email archive."  In proc. of Supporting Human Memory with Interactive Systems, Workshop at HCI 2007  (HCI 2007),  Lancaster  (UK),  September  4 - September  4  2007 , pp. 21-24
  • Denis Lalanne,  Florian Evequoz,  Maurizio Rigamonti,  Bruno Dumas,  Rolf Ingold,  "An ego-centric and tangible approach to meeting indexing and browsing." In proc. of 4th Joint Workshop on Multimodal Interaction and Related Machine Learning Algorithms  (MLMI'07),  Brno  (Czech Republic),  June  28 - 30  2007 , pp. 84-95.