Yep, that's it. It's a little bit useful in Minima but essential in Anteform. Anteform is a bit of a detective story, so a big part of the experience is searching things like desks and cabinets to get clues as to what happened and what's going on.
Some things do respond to narrative progress, but I was pretty tightly constrained by available resources. I won't get into to what does / doesn't because of spoilers.
Once you figure it all out it'll be obvious what needs to be done to beat it. Based on past players' experiences it's possible to figure out what happened to the missing Steve (and others) and prevent still more people from suffering the same fate.