Attention management refers to models and tools for supporting the management of attention at the individual or at the collective level (cf. attention economy), and at the short-term (quasi real time) or at a longer term (over periods of weeks or months).
The researcher Herbert A. Simon pointed out that when there is a vast availability of information, attention becomes the more scarce resource as human beings cannot digest all the information.
According to Maura Thomas, attention management is the most important skill for the 21st century. With digital revolution and the advent of internet and communication devices, time management is no longer enough to guarantee a good quality of work. Allocating time to perform one activity does not mean that it will receive attention if constant interruptions and distractions come across. Therefore, people should stop worrying about time management and focus on attention management.
The ability to control distractions and stay focused is essential to produce higher quality results. A research conducted by Stanford shows that single-tasking is more effective and productive than multi-tasking. Different studies have been conducted in using Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for supporting attention, and in particular, models have been elaborated for supporting attention (Davenport & Beck 2001) (Roda & Nabeth 2008).
Supporting the management of attention the objective is to bring a certain number of solutions to:
Tools can be designed for supporting attention
These tools are often adaptive hypermedia, and often rely on profiling the user (Nabeth 2008) in order determine how to better support people's attention.
A certain number of projects have been conducted to investigate how to use ICT to support attention such as:
- AtGentive - Attentive Agents for Collaborative Learners.
- SAKE - Semantic-enabled Agile Knowledge-based eGovernment (IST 027128)
- SUITOR (Maglio et al. 2000)
- Apostolou, D.; Karapiperis, S.; Stojanovic, N. (2008). "On Managing Users' Attention in Knowledge-Intensive Organizations". In G.A. Tsihrintzis; et al. New Directions in Intelligent Interactive Multimedia, SCI 142. Springer. pp. 239-248. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-68127-4_25.
- Cowan, Nelson (Feb 2001). "The magical number 4 in short-term memory: a reconsideration of mental storage capacity". The Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 1. 24: 87-114. doi:10.1017/S0140525X01003922. PMID 11515286.
- Davenport, T.H.; Beck, J.C. (2001). The Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of Business. Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 1-57851-441-X.
- Davenport, T.; Voelpel, S. (2001). "The rise of knowledge towards attention management". Journal of knowledge management. 5 (3): 212-222. doi:10.1108/13673270110400816.
- Huberman, Bernardo A.; Wu, Fang (2008). "The Economics of Attention: Maximizing User Value in Information Rich Environments" (PDF). Advances in Complex Systems. 11 (4): 487-496. doi:10.1142/S0219525908001830.
- Kebinger, J. (2005). "Current research in workplace interruption management" (PDF). Paper COMP171. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-20.
- Maglio, P.P.; Barrett, R.; Campbell, C.S.; Selker, T. (2000). "SUITOR: An attentive information system". In G.A. Tsihrintzis; et al. Proceedings of the International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2000 (PDF). ACM Press. pp. 169-176. doi:10.1145/325737.325821.
- Nabeth, Thierry (2008). "User Profiling for Attention Support for School and Work". In Mireille Hildebrandt and Serge Gutwirth. Profiling the European Citizen. Springer. pp. 185-200. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-6914-7_10.
- Roda, Claudia; Nabeth, Thierry (2008). "Attention management in organizations: Four levels of support in information systems". In A. Bounfour. 978-0-415-43771-4 Organizational Capital: Modelling, Measuring and Contextualising. Routledge (advanced research series in management) . Routledge. pp. 214-233.
- Rosen, Christine (2008). "The Myth of Multitasking". The New Atlantis, Spring 2008. 20: 105-110. Archived from the original on 2009-02-18.
- Vertegaal, Roel (2003). "Attentive User Interfaces" (PDF). Communications of the ACM. 46 (3): 30. doi:10.1145/636772.636794. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-09-29.
- Vertegaal, Roel; Shell, J.S.; Chen, D.; Mamuji, A. (2006). "Designing for augmented attention: Towards a framework for attentive user interfaces". Computers in Human Behavior. 22 (4): 771-789. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2005.12.012.
- Wolpers, Martin; Najjar, Jehad; Verbert, Katrien; Duval, Erik (2007). "Tracking Actual Usage: the Attention Metadata Approach". International Journal Educational Technology and Society. 10 (3 Special Issue on "Advanced Technologies for Life-Long Learning). ISSN 1176-3647.