CAAD: An Automatic Task Support System

Tye Rattenbury, John Canny
ACM Human Factors in Computing Systems (2007)


Recent HCI research shows a strong interest in task management systems that support the multi-tasked nature of information work. These systems either require manual creation and maintenance of task representations, or they depend on explicit user cues to guide the creation and maintenance process. Furthermore, to access and use the task representations in these systems users must specify their current task. This interaction overhead inhibits the adoption of these systems. In this paper, we present a novel approach to task management that automates the creation and maintenance of task representations. Our system supports the user by making commonly used information more “ready-at-hand” through an intuitive visualization of their task representations. Users can correct and organize their task representations by directly manipulating the visualization; however, this interaction is not required. We describe a feasibility study that demonstrates the actual utility (in terms of overhead reduction) and perceived utility of our system.