click operation that triggers the collection of an interaction history to be associated with that task. The
leftmost pane in figure 2, shows the documents and
web pages that have a positive DOI.
A task-focused user interface makes use of several
mechanisms to facilitate the display and manage-
ment of task contexts. Mechanisms can be defined at
the level of an individual view or window that pro-
vides access to information in a task context and
between views or windows as described in table 2.
These mechanisms faciliate multitasking and help a
knowledge worker combat information overload.
The filtering that has been applied to the Project
Explorer pane on the leftmost side of figure 2 enables
the relevant documents and web pages to all appear
on the screen with other documents and web pages
unrelated to the task (that is, with DOI values less
than zero) hidden from view. If the knowledge work-
er is interrupted and switches to work on the “Pre-
pare for Honours Seminar” task, a click of the “Pre-
pare for Honours Seminar” task will close all editors
related to the “Submit a CHI Notes on Mylar” task,
open editors that had been open the last time the
“Prepare for Honours Seminar” task was worked on,
and will refilter and focus the leftmost Project
Explorer pane on those documents and web pages
with positive DOI values for the “Prepare for Hon-
ours Seminar” task. This one-click multitasking
reduces the friction knowledge workers currently
face when trying to switch between tasks.
Other task-focused user interface mechanisms,
such as ranking, have more utility in domains with
highly structured information, such as program-
ming. In the Eclipse Mylyn open source project,
which provides a task-focused user interface for pro-
gramming, ranking is used to ensure that recom-
mendations of code to use in completion are based
on the current task context. Expansion of trees is also
Figure 2. Task-Focused UI for Knowledge Workers.