Track: User Interfaces and Accessibility
The ScratchPad: Sensemaking Support for the Web
The World Wide Web is a powerful platform for a wide range of information tasks. Dramatic advances in technology, such as improved search capabilities and the AJAX application model, have enabled entirely new web-based applications and usage patterns, making many tasks easier to perform than ever before. However, few tools have been developed to assist with sensemaking tasks: complex research behaviors in which users gather and comprehend information from many sources to answer potentially vague, non-procedural questions. Sensemaking tasks are common and include, for example, researching vacation destinations or deciding how to invest. This paper presents the ScratchPad, an extension to the standard browser interface that is designed to capture, organize, and exploit the information discovered while performing a sensemaking task.