Contextinator: Addressing information fragmentation with a web-based project manager

Benjamin V. Hanrahan, Ankit Ahuja, Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The web browser has become a central workspace for knowledge workers, where they make use of cloud-based applications to access and store their information. While this solution helps reduce the difficulty of syncing information between our numerous devices, it reintroduces and proliferates faults of the desktop, particularly information fragmentation. Information fragmentation is an increasingly important issue, as cloud-based applications typically silo their data, resulting in a replication of storage and organization in the absence of a unifying structure. To probe whether knowledge workers encounter information fragmentation and in what manner, we created Contextinator, a tool that assists in coordinating data for web-based projects. Contextinator provides a method for providing the centralized, unifying structure that cloud based storage makes difficult. Our findings contribute insight into the need for, and appropriateness of, projects as a unifying structure for the web. Our results point to two types of projects that we term ‘preparatory’ and ‘opportunistic’ based on when and for what reason users create them. We discuss the design of our system, the results of our mixed-method evaluation, and our observations about information fragmentation on the web.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWeb Information Systems and Technologies - 10th International Conference, WEBIST 2014, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsValérie Monfort, Karl-Heinz Krempels
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9783319270296
StatePublished - 2015
Event10th International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies, WEBIST 2014 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: Apr 3 2015Apr 5 2015

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Business Information Processing
ISSN (Print)1865-1348


Other10th International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies, WEBIST 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Business and International Management
  • Information Systems
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Information Systems and Management


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