Examining Motivations behind Paper Usage in Academia :

« We carried out a qualitative study to identify the “missing pieces” in current computing devices and technologies that are preventing people from eliminating paper from their lives. Most of the existing literature has looked into the work practices of businesses, while a few have researched how high school and college students and teaching assistants at universities work with paper. We were specifically interested in analyzing paper use for people in the research side of academia, and seeing how our results compare to existing work. We recruited and interviewed participants from academia to understand what kind of tasks they use paper for, what kind of tasks they use computing devices for and what motivates them to use these two media. We found that, despite having access to at least one personal computing device, the participants preferred to work with paper in many situations. This appears to be attributed to certain intrinsic qualities that paper has, such as open format, easy navigation, readability, and the affordances these qualities provide. In order to eventually replace paper with devices, designers of new technology will have to successfully emulate these qualities. »

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1206.0302

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