How do experienced information lens users use rules?

Wendy E. Mackay, Thomas W. Malone, Kevin Crowston, Ramana Rao, David Rosenblitt, Stuart K. Card

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

28 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 1989
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)0897913019, 9780897913010
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes
Event1989 SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 1989 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Apr 30 1989Jun 4 1989

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Other1989 SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 1989
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX


  • Electronic mail
  • Filtering
  • Information lens
  • Rules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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