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Response to [Mobile digital calendars: …] by Sell and Walden


This paper discuss the motivation and complaints of knowledge workers using mobile digital calendars. Through interviews, they learnt that there are basically three types of users with different motivations: heavy users, net workers and individual enthusiast. Further limited handling of information, input methods and poor view of information are the most frequently fired complaints.


Three types of users and motivations:

  • M1: Heavy users: place extremely high demands on their time management and feel that they could not manage without an electronic calendar and a mobile component linking to it.
  • M2: Net workers: have originally started using a mobile digital calendar after their organizations have introduced a groupware calendar system.
  • M3: Individual enthusiasts: with demanding but not overwhelming calendar needs, with a strong personal interest in technology and/or a feeling that they “should” use a digital calendar, …


  • C1: Users might want to put in more details about events (other than time, place, type, etc.) but the calendar does not quite support doing so.
  • C2: Week view is said to be the more important but as pointed out by one of the interviewees, “I have no use of seeing only a block [for a reserved time], since you do not know if the appointment is in Finland or abroad.”
  • C3: Input methods made calendar handling slower than with paper calendar.


For M2, we can reinforce the organizational aspect – “the users do not feel they are doing it for the organization rather than themselves; they have a strong personal motivation to keep their gorupware calendars updated, as they clearly see the benefits stemming from a situation where all members of the organization are actively maintaining their group calendar data”

For C2 we can argue for the uselessness of merely displaying a narrow view of the event with textual information – we need more.


About Xiang 'Anthony' Chen

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