Summary: Uncertainty-tolerant design: Evaluating task
performance and drag-and-link information
gathering for a news writing task
Simon Attfield (firstname.lastname@example.org*), Ann Blandford (email@example.com), John
Dowell (firstname.lastname@example.org), Paul Cairns (email@example.com)
UCL Interaction Centre, University College London, Remax House 31/32, Alfred
Place, London, WC1E 7DP, UK.
*Corresponding author (Telephone: +44 (0) 207 679 5242, Fax: +44 (0) 207 679 5295)
Keywords: Information Behaviour, Writing, PIM, Journalism, System Evaluation.
Part of the challenge of designing systems to support knowledge work is to do so in a
way which is sympathetic to users' uncertainty. NewsHarvester is a test-bed system
designed to support news research and writing in a way that accommodates
uncertainty in relation to information gathering. It does this using `drag-and-link'; a
simple feature by which text extracts copied from source locations are appended with
hyperlinks to force the re-display of the source. We describe the rationale for using
drag-and-link within NewHarvester based on a previous ethnographic study of
journalists, describe its implementation within NewsHarvester, and report a user-
evaluation which compared drag-and-link with printing and standard drag-and-drop
as information gathering mechanisms.