Adapting the Multi-Desktop Paradigm Towards a Multi-Context Interface

, , and . 63 WS MRC- HCP-2008- Third International Conference on Human Centered Processes, (2008)Abstract. Knowledge workers are typically processing multiple tasks in parallel. As humans can concentrate and work on but one task at a time, users have to switch between them. The required task switching causes a high cognitive load and decreases efficiency. To reduce the costs of these task switches, we have to find ways to cope with a multitude of dormant tasks the user might switch to again. The challenges here are supporting the user to resume work on a (former) task. In this work, we employ the known multi-desktop paradigm and extend it to a task-switching interface. Each of the multiple desktops is identified with one individual context of the user. Each virtual desktop consists of a different set of applications with open documents and their positioning on screen. This helps the user to separate individual tasks and allows easy recovering when switching back. As we explicitly want to allow switching back to finished tasks in order to reuse the knowledge captured there, the multi-desktop paradigm has.

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