Using perspective of the future to communicate a simply, accessible present
Living in a space where there’s some freedom towards experimentation and its resulting analysis often leads to incredibly simple insights. However, getting to that point is not so much a matter of iteration, or even research, sometimes, it is a matter of just having a different perspective than others who might be able to utilize those fruits in a more applicable manner.
About a month ago, published a piece talking about the potential implications of using the Tap wireless keyboard and have been steadily living on the changed diet of this keyboard, Siri dictation, and the on-screen keyboard. I might not be until these Monday, long-form pieces that sitting at a conventional keyboard is actually noticed. Something about using a tablet doesn’t feel like a tablet when using a conventional keyboard (the Apple Smart Keyboard or any 3rd party variants). The feeling that a tablet is a different kind of computer is felt best in the perspective of using the glass as the changeable canvas that it is — letting it morph into whatever needs to be next. The behavior of typing, while a normative behavior, sees a different level of thinking when its removed completely from the hardware.
A friend asks some days back about what new tools might be on deck, and there’s the Tap keyboard which comes into the conversation. Having not realized that it was not seen by this person, there meant a demo. The resulting expression, the shift of their facial expression, showed that something beyond the normal was being shown. And yet it was not so detached from reality to be something “only seen in movies.”
Perhaps, this is what is better understood by those who design new technologies which appear in movies, but do not have an analogy to what’s happening right now. Inventing the future — or rather, inventing another reality— is not looking at things as they are, but by taking aspects of the known then stretching them towards more applicable conclusions. The rubber band of taking those far-out perspectives, and making them accessible to an audience who isn’t there, is a type of genius. There’s an art to making it clear. But, probably a better one to just stretching backwards after going forward.
A few prospective projects have Avanceé looking at the future and using that viewpoint to find simpler, clearer, and more appropriate means of addressing today’s problems. Inside of this space, it is sometimes difficult to see that the future isn’t right now. And yet, by simplifying the end point to something which can be grabbed, perhaps the future is really just a means to shifting our perspective towards using more of what we’ve always had.
That word spoke to what kept coming back towards this week. Not simply because resonance is both noun and past-action verb, but because there’s something about the way some pieces of work have rippled across the ether which seems to invite something more to the cannon than what’s been given at the surface.
“…”Resonance—there is no wisdom without it,” Birkerts writes. “Resonance is a natural phenomenon, the shadow of import alongside the body of fact, and it cannot flourish except in deep time.”
Perhaps the measure of doing these readings isn’t so much capturing time as it happened, but looking for the deeper indents to which time has been allowed to cultivate something better than simply knowing what’s happening. Perhaps, this is is what it means for this week’s theme of notable reads to be more than simply read:
And a few from here:
Taking some time today to review a few past concepts. The ideation that led to these (and a few others) could use some refreshing.
And at the same time, looking back at these causes a flurry of questions about the greater role contemplation plays in the space between the idea and the work.
Perspectives of humane factors for defining efficiency
Long before Avanceé was a clear concept, work was a series of support and design efforts looking at problems spaces from a perspective beyond the stated problem. Solutions invented had the effect of snowballing towards more. Some of those efforts kept going long after invention and implementation. Such was the expanse of a past effort that only recently is being retired.
I’ve evolved in these responsibilities towards documenting and creating paperless forms with associated workflows to trim the administrative times allotted towards some member-facing and internal quality behaviors. Over 2 dozen of these forms/workflows have been developed, with a quarter of them in a live or beta state, and two having reached a level of association adaptation and use…
For any innovation to be sustained, it’s got to to also be more than the parts which make it up. As Token spoke about on their recent blog post, a philosophy putting a system over the individual parts creates opportunities where other efforts may not target clearly targeting. With that effort with a regional YMCA, the target was to improve a system of behaviors, not merely to add digitalization into existing experiences. This had the effect of not only reshaping a core process, but also elevating the impact of humane factors which had been hidden by flaccid expectations.
Human factors of efficiency sounds difficult to explain, but not so through many lenses. Within the economic conversation, the concept of a universal basic income is an attempt to answer the factors related to quality of life and its ratio to available work. The concept of multi-modal transportation seeks to define pedestrian transport and access as the purpose of transport infrastructure, not as the consequence of it. These and several other “topics of the day” seem to define and merit out the value of factoring humane input and consequences to what seems to be determinant states. Human factors are found as not a layer here, but the very floor by which understanding is gained and wisdom enables the best of human ability.
Do you understand the human factors at the floor of the operational and transactional practices of your organization? Or rather, have those factors been diminished in view for others? Has working from home turned from environmental sensibilities to extending the project cycle? Has collaboration gone from catalyst to doctrine? Humane factors can fall in importance quickly if not cultivated. And can even be abused, only showing later in unseen conditions. However, any solution that plans on maintaining or improving human ability has two edits very core factor what are the humane possibilities. Referring again to the previously linked piece:
…not only why revisiting the posture of the Branch Service Manager needs to change in the perspective of technology tools — but why such a change is a service-first attitude which positions branches and their members for the best possible results in a world that’s going to be significantly different going forward…
Suffice to say, the words written over 2 ½ years ago here are holding through now. However, we can now say what different is. Technological change means focusing on what it matters to be human. We don’t always utilize a clear definition of productivity. But, we do know that if we remove human factors from the equation, the end results become only of metric of what could have been.
Pattens can provoke actions. The provocation can seem as if it is elongating friction, or pointing to a diminishing influence of another mindset. The provocation can also alert to a shift which shouldn’t happen. Wrapping one’s head around all of this isn’t all that difficult unless you rely on the signals telling you what the patterns are doing. Signals follow the patters, they aren’t the patterns. What are the patterns? Well, this week’s collection of notable reads probably does well to highlight a few:
And a few from Avanceé
Tuning aspects of the CIO position into temporary, effective leadership
Looking back at a recent project, part of the analysis of the work came in the form of looking at what Avanceé has accomplish to date. In some respects, the strategy and organizational work can be boiled down to the activities of an information office. CIO definition via Wikipedia:
“The Chief Information Officer of an organization is responsible for a number of roles. First and most importantly, the CIO must fulfill the role of business leader. As a CIO must make executive decisions regarding things such as the purchase of IT equipment from suppliers or the creation of new systems, they are therefore responsible for leading and directing the workforce of their specific organization. In addition, the CIO is ‘required to have strong organizational skills’. This is particularly relevant for a Chief Information Officer of an organization who must balance roles in order to gain a competitive advantage and keep the best interests of the organization’s employees. CIOs also have the responsibility of recruiting, so it is important that they take on the best employees to complete the jobs the company needs fulfilling. In addition, CIOs are directly required to map out both the ICT strategy and ICT policy of an organization.”
Running away from the personnel aspects for a piece of the discussion, the challenge many organizations have simply boils down to “how does the best behaviors and tools of computer/connected technology enable my business to meet or exceed our current operations?” Notthing about this is a difficult statement, but it is one where those who might be better attached to sales or even product roles might fail to accurately contemplate. Suffice to say, being a sign of a compentience in information architectures has its advantages, it also shows a larger gap before the marketplace.
In the article Classroom Management: Simon Sinek, ClassDojo, and the Nostalgia Industry, there’s an acute understanding being brought forward: we cannot prepare groups for a world in where transactions and reputations are built in a seperate universe than the one in which tradition has called comfortable. If you will, running away from the most dangerous affects of connectivity has the indirect effect of also unaccounting for specifc skills utilized by those who do/will run the companies of the incoming information economy.
In the absence of such skills, Avanceé almost fits perfectly. Tuned to an educational gap —perhaps more a skills gap? Articulating systems seems to be the table stakes for any grappling with informational streams. Yes, there’s indeed something of an overload of information, yet the opportunity isn’t in reverting backwards but handing with a distinct acumen the information which is present. In our case that ends up also being the inevitability of designing better experiences or even re-engineering the structures to interpret experiences and their resulting systems. Which is more or less retuning the CIO into less of an office, and more of an opportunity.
Throughly enjoy those moments where there’s a cross-pollination of experiences and talents. There’s something about getting wind of a perspective outside of your focus which elevates the nuances you might not have considered before. And even more, when those nuances point to life and market opportunities otherwise hidden because of the sustained focus your endeavor might bring. Now, doing something with that cross-pollination — like creating new markets, or improving your own — this is the #futureofwork bit many talk about. However, it might not really be the future as much as it is what some have always done in order to find enjoyment in life and work.
Hoping the notable reads from this week offer you a chance to find a nuance under the snowdrift/haystack.
Special shout out to @matthewcassinelli for (a) helping to address some issues and tweaks to the Avanceé Reads Shortcut (see others at the previous article on Shortcuts)and (b) for releasing his new newsletter Type - already found some neat notables in there. You might also.
A few items from us:
Staring with simplifying as identifying how forward
In the past weeks, Avanceé has had conversations with companies having trouble identifying how to take their next steps. This isn’t an unfamiliar track when prospects of growth are more certain, or market forces push companies to pay attention to disruptive behaviors which ripple into their context. Still, identifying what to do, versus just knowing something has to be done is the challenge. For those who had reached out to Avanceé, the onus was simple: ingest as much as possible about the stressors, and then listen for what isn’t being taken in.
Using the right kinds of listening methods and tools makes this process easier for Avanceé, but might be a challenge for others wishing to employ similar methods. Nevertheless, the best tool on any strategist’s belt is the ability to listen. For many clients, listening is augmented with sketchnotes and diagramming. While listening, allowing the finger and pen to make connections which might trigger a greater memory later leverages both the conscious and subconscious mind. By no means are humans spiders, but we are likely a lot closer than it appears.
During ingestion there is also digestion (processing). In our case, we are ignoring the bigger elements, listening for repeated and sub-textual items. It is in this layer “under the ice” where some gaps are made a bit more apparent. It is also to this layer were questions are lobbied. Those questions aim to pull those subterranean items to the surface, vetting if they are key to stressors, or merely symptoms of another artifact. These questions are also bolstered with search-and-cross references amongst known data and contexts. Perhaps a bit biased to look for an analogy when listening to specifics, but it helps to shape processing. By the end of this process, an number of clear focuses have been noted, with a few have been weighted accordingly. In our methodology, this gets simplified further to three questions. And from those three questions, a core goal is established.
If this sounds like “simplifying the problem” then you are tracking. Much about what it means to take a step forward means to decompose the problem into structures which facilitate faster and more accurate responses. Simplicity doesn’t necessarily mean ease — some of the most simple solutions have complex underpinnings. Simplicity reduces the friction the problem statement identified. When it does so beautifully, positive forward movement can occur. With positive forward moments, companies aren’t only able to address disruptions, but become one to those who aren’t able to take the heat of newly increased friction.
Can Avanceé help you simplify a complex or frictional item? Get in touch and lets explore the ways forward for you.
The are times when it is suitable to be reminded that aspects of connected technologies do or dont’t move so fast. Am reminded of a closing from a smart cities keynote from a few years back where the challenge wasn’t simply to remind people of the capabilities of their companies, policies, or tools. It, was about remembering the onus of all of these vectors to improve the capacity of its performant to not remove themselves from what change should mean.
This feast of meaning brackets the items which stuck out from this week’s reads. The hope is that you also are empowered to internalize what’s most valuable, and then do the appropriate things after.
This hasn’t been the best week in terms of original content, however there are a few items worth pointing toin light of this week’s topic-focus:
Some challenges are harder than others. When in the midst of significant change, the challenge to maintain one’s bearings, alongside adapting to the unknowable opportunities/consequences of the oncoming reality, tends to make a mountain or a mess out of a lot of us. And yet, what it will mean to cross that chasim, and become that thing you were sure was coming — and are surprised all the same — speaks to the beauty of the challenge. Whether personal, organizational, or national, the hardness of the challenge of change isn’t that its happening, but that you’ve built a new something to which the old one is only good enough to stand on.
The challenge of change is the thread for this collection of notable links. And as usual, a few thoughts from us bracket those notable reads:
Just a few from us this week:
The use of Apple Shortcuts and an ability to maintain “flow states” of productivity on iOS
When talking about productivity, much of the discussion around using systems outside of Windows and macOS die on the hill of “flow.” Meaning, there are alternate apps or behaviors which need to be learned in order to do the same things. Instead of using existing methods to maintain/improve the workspace, alternative tools and methods create friction within the experience — they break the perceived and actual flow states people wish to not leave when being productive.
A specific challenge for those who might have moved to primarly using the iPad for a productivity computing device lies in the other design decisions which are contrary to what’s been learned: touch and stylus instead of mouse; keyboards as attachments instead of default, making items such as shortcuts, GUI elements, etc. bend towards a different frame. Even decisions such as type of screen (the ProMotion display in the Pro models versus the regular iPad), ignites tradeoffs in expectations. No challenge is insurmountable and it bears some record that some of these challenges are being answered in diverse ways because of the nature of the iPad — some solutions are about being creative before being logical.
The Apple Shortcuts application can be used to addresss some of these challenges, and in this post, a few items used here will be highlighted. Where possible, the descriptions will also include a link to download (and customize).
This is an expansion of a web clipper. Upon finding a notable link, whether on social media or a website, it is placed into an Evernote library, and an additional action to another application is able to be initiated without using the share sheet. A hopeful evolution for the shortcut would be to create a draft document, or append a draft document, which will be used here for the weekly links share.
Accident is actually designed for use when mobile, specifically with an Apple Watch. This is a shortcut which grabs the current location and then perhaps a text message to specific recipients. There’s a note on the text message that it is an automated message, but that person need to be conscious in order for it to be sent.
Log Time is a multifaceted time tracking shortcut. In this specific implementation, it takes the input of current location, hours worked, and client to create a time log. Based on the client, additional questions are asked in regards to scope of work. Furthermore, some clients have an additional series of actions which makes a copy of the time log to an external resources such as Google Sheets, Trello, and more. For notification purposes, this also has a calculator which shows the earnings during that time block.
The Mentoring Tracker shortcut is used to track progress of volunteer activities. This one was specifically designed for work with Higher Achievement Baltimore. Once initiate it, the shortcut ask for the participants who were engaged, the work which was or was not completed, and then sends an email to the administrators of the program with a summary of the work that have been completed during the mentoring session. An extension of the shortcut saves the resulting summary into Evernote, a continually appended document.
An expanded version of this Shortcut is being developed which would cover additional mentoring activities beyond the original volunteer group.
Now available: Mentor Tracker v2
Significant Other ETA
The shortcut is designed as a response to a significant other when on the way to meeting them. It grabs the current location and then calculates the time it will take to get to the destiination. After the calculation, it preps a text message to the recipient with the ETA and current location. The text messages not sent automatically. A few derivatives have been made according to specific people, as well as calendar entries.
There are also a few unfinished concepts:
As you can see, there are definitely challenges for utilizing an iPad (or iPhone) as a primary computer. Yet, many of the solutions aren’t in the purview of doing what was done previously with Windows/macOS. The “job to be done” begins at “what’s actually needed to be done at the end” and from there, Shortcuts can often get one there. Some items tend to take a bit more imagination and scripting than what you might be used to, but there’s nothing insurmountable.
For a look at some other’s who have published shortcuts, check out the following sites/lists:
2019 is off and running — so to speak. Challenges in the USA with budgets and government shutdowns notwithstanding, there’s at least something to be said about the tone and fervor of items published over the past week. More often than not, there’s a sense of many wanting to dig deeper than the normative narratives in order to best view opportunities. A few of those items which stuck out shared here as usual. How you might discern the trails is left to you.
A few items published via Avanceé worth sharing also:
Could going about sharing digitally using an analog analogy unveil the better AI
There’s something “rough” about the way online systems have asked for us to modify behaviors so that we can script and share content. For the most part, the analogy begins and ends in a list. Feeling like Avanceé could push things differently, there’s an experiment underway to add a bit of “scribbling” to the notion of the shared links. In the midst of such an experiment, there’s a revelation of what might be a better response to some of the noise given to what intelligence does in a computational age.
A popular application for iPads called LiquidText — unveiled more than a year ago — took the analogy of a hyperlinked notebook and pushed it to an interesting interpretation. Still working alongside the idea of a list, the experience was designed around pulling snippets from documents, images, and web pages within that list, and placing them alongside handwritten notes. The user could highlight, or copy excerpts, and then connect those snippets with lines and links. The resulting “document” mimics the mind of the person putting it together, not (necessarly) the whims of those who designed document formats or rights management. While not the only application which pushes forward such an analogy, it has become a key part of other research work and makes sense to push in a wider format for Avanceé.
In his 2019 New Year’s essay, George Dyson sets the plate neatly for such experimentation:
Digital computing, intolerant of error or ambiguity, depends upon precise definitions and error correction at every step. Analog computing not only tolerates errors and ambiguities, but thrives on them. Digital computers, in a technical sense, are analog computers, so hardened against noise that they have lost their immunity to it. Analog computers embrace noise; a real-world neural network needing a certain level of noise to work.
Where it gets interesting is that working in LiquidText requires a different (honorable?) association to the concepts of consumption, time, contemplation, and outcomes. Much like a notebook, there must be time spent collecting content and then arranging it. But, its not final when it gets there. In the early phases of this experiment, am already noticing how often some snippets or notes find their way moved around the canvas, pointing to other pieces, and even in some cases censored (this is done to be shared publicly). This is an intensive, analog process — and yet it is enabled by wrangling mature pieces of digital behaviors. This is the DJ remixing 45s, but creating a sound and genre which couldn’t be made with 45s alone. It needs and thrives on the abilities of the DJ.
What has such a workflow done? Already, there’s a slower processing of information — yet there’s not slower consumption of it. There’s a roughness to getting information into LiquidText — so much so there’s a workflow being developed (using Apple’s Shortcuts app) which will smooth the trip from finding a note to getting it into the appropriate LiquidText (and maybe even Micro.Blog) formats. The Apple Pencil becomes more of the constant friend — and the keyboard gets pushed aside for a smaller one (in this case, the Tap. The shift feels as if there are aspects of analog behaviors being reinvested into the workflow. And in doing so, the connections between disparate pieces of information aren’t simply being pulled together, they are being mixed and remixed in the same ways they are happening neurologically, not programmatically.
Found a quote befitting a few streams of thought like this late in 2018:
Special knowledge can be a terrible disadvantage if it leads you too far along a path you cannot explain anymore” — Brian Herbert
Chances are, an experiment like this refines what augmented intelligence could mean; the kind of field which can be planted when analog behaviors are given place to grow natively alongside digital tools.
Experimenting with taking LiquidText notes of the weekly links has revealed branches of creativity, thought, and process previously hidden to the digital-infused, links collection process. There’s something more happening than simply collecting. However, it might be the case that a former idea should become the better focus of some of these kinds of activities. There’s something being appended to the way Intelligence has been cultivated. A stream befitting a smoother course down this informational river.
Bringing in the new year with a slight rebranding of the week’s links 🔗🔖, now called Notable Reads. And if all works out, most of these will also be accompanied with some better connective tissue through the use of LiquidText and a few others for future shares.
Until that future arrives, here’s what’s been notably read for the past few weeks:
Nothing yet to share from the coffers of Avanceé. But, if you want to catch up with what’s been done over the past 12 months, here’s that summary.
Welcome to 2019 🎉
2018 was the first year for Avanceé. With new initiatives, there is usually a specific product or problem statement springboarding an audience to figure out why they need what’s being offered. That clarity of focus has been the purpose of the first year with Avanceé. This venture takes a complex paradigm (an intersection of experience design, automation/augmented intelligence/artificial intelligence, & the future of work/industries), and packages it so that individuals, teams, and companies can take the best advantage of the technologies, processes, and experiences which will define them going forward.
Focus for Avanceé in 2018 has meant articulating systems, designing experiences, and engineering complexity. These three terms have expressed what Avanceé brings to any engagement. Therefore, it’s best to use these terms to describe the work which has taken place in 2018.
Avanceé spent a good bit of time linking/talking about tools and productivity. Grouping under the topic “Articulating Systems,” this means taking some understood analogies, and peeling the veil from them to explore what’s happening at a simpler level, an automated/AI level, or what might be the perspective of those who are just coming into the understanding that the systems and tools have shifted right under them.
Talking about systems is one phase of understanding product and strategy. Another is going about the process of designing what those experiences do, or designing a means to understand the outcomes of various experiential journeys. Under the topic “Designing Experiences,” Avanceé explored not only what it means to live in a world defined by experiences, but also what goes into creating those worlds and making sense of the perspectives which come from those who experience them.
Lastly, no good initiative is worth anything until the rubber meets the road — that is, what are the products and results. Avanceé shared both current and past projects from its workspace. Leveraging tools such as WeTransfer’s Paper and Paste, Marvel App, Adobe’s Comp CC, MindNode, and others to express how it “Engineers Complexity.”
Truth be told, there’s actually been a lot more produced than what’s represented here. This means that there’s a lot of more to be clarified, experimented upon, and created into a sustainable exploration of what it means to take individuals, teams, and organizations forward. Avanceé has been able to articulate what experience design means to the current shape of work; and for the initial clients, used methods leveraging augmented intelligence and experience design to engineer complexity out of their processes.
One thing which has gracefully come from much of the work done this year has been a chance to share some insights. Two presentations specifically:
Many thanks to @Manton and the Micro.Blog team for such an excellent platform to share these projects and insights. Thanks also to Earn/Coinbase for enabling a means to leverage the blockchain for more than simply tracking transactions (see why Avanceé uses Earn for a contact form). Apple Shortcuts has been a constant companion towards automating much of the workflow from posting to task administration (Zapier, IFTTT, and Microsoft Flow along with these). These and other technologies will continue to be utilized in order to practice what’s being preached, and enhance what’s being done.
One Step Then Another
Creating a focus for Avanceé in 2018 has meant articulating systems, designing experiences, and engineering complexity. This is one stop on a new road forward. Join Avanceé in 2019 in building what happens when we step outside of the box, and into the opportunities the next decade opens for us all.
Just about every week in 2018, Avanceé shared a selection of links which stuck out amongst the noise. Some of these highlighted commentary on news and technology, some pointed to other blossoming spaces, and still others pointed to newer interpretations of older spaces. These will be noted in one post here to close the year — for what sticks out for the curator is not often what also sticks out for their audience.
The way this part of the season has developed, one is supposed to take inventory of the year, admonish themselves for making it this far (in one piece), and reflect forward to the mostly positive outlook for the upcoming year. Rarely do we continue as if the year isn’t ending. It is only a solstice after all — a standing of the sun for just a moment. Perhaps the point of pausing all along wasn’t to reflect, but to give other pieces of our world a chance to find their rest and reset their rhythms. For the last week, these reads have been Avanceé’s solstice:
And a few from us:
In regards to the attached image: There’s the potential of sponsoring a masterclass based around The Field Study Handbook by Studio D in the DC Metro area in the late Spring. If you’d like to be notified about this, drop a line here, on Micro.Blog, or Twitter.
This could be the last shared links of ‘18. Not sure. In any case, if you’ve come along for the ride at any point during Avanceé Year One, thank you 🙏🏾
A blessed and merry Christmas to you, your families, and companies.
Avanceé has elevated many discussions and topics throughout this first year. Much of this is overflow from projects, but, occasionally, there’s some expanding on ideas which are expressed in other channels. The latest of these has been a consideration about a user interface (UI) and overall experience pattern for the type of work described as “deep thought.” We’ll start from the tweet which questioned, the response which proposed one, and how we can perhaps develop on that idea of what a UI looks like from there.
We still haven’t quite figured out the right UI paradigms for deep work… But for close collaboration on a deadline, technology is now great. AirDrop, Slack, WhatsApp, Google Drive, Google Docs, Zoom. Things are so much better than they were a decade ago.
Deep Thought should be put into a different bucket than collaborative or even task-based work as its definition, even if its results end up contributing to those and other types of productivity/computational moments. The issue — well identified by Stripe’s CEO — is that the shift of perspective and intention of deep work is harder to pin down as much of what’s monetized about work is transactional. Deep work is transactional primarly for the individual doing it, not for the entities the individual is supporting.
Deep work UI paradigm (thoughts based around my iOS-as-workstation self): - goals: immersion, flow, focus - analogy: Etch-A-Sketch controls, not Photoshop’s - behaviors: liberty inside frame (create, cut, mix/remix, etc), structured export to outside (validate, handoff, etc.)
The approach proposed here isn’t an answer, but does start to bend the definition of deep work away from the (better understood) characteristics associated with collaborative and transactional software. The interfaces for collaborative software is established probably in looking at what’s being done:
Deep work, our proposal for looking at it, runs counter to these. The goal isn’t to make anything tenable to another audience, for the entirety of the opportunity is found in focus and immersion. This doesn’t mean that it would not eventually be shared, but that sharing or co-working is a “broken” model for this kind of UI paradigm to aspire towards.
The analogy of Etch-A-Sketch controls versus Photoshop (PS) plants into the frame of mind what is and isn’t possible. In PS, one can control the interface using mice, keyboards, and pens; then navigate the interface using points, clicks, double-clicks, mouse-overs, keyboard shortcuts, gestures, programmable scripts (macros), and speech. This endows the creator with a myriad of possibilities; and also forces them to ignore what they will not use in order to be totally immersed within the project. On the other hand, the Etch-A-Sketch proposes two dial controls, and a vigorous, physical control to reset the canvas. It is simple, and at the same time powerful. Mastery of the horizontal and vertical dials isn’t so much the aim, as much as it becomes a goal of focusing on what it can do best. For a deep thought UI, this is more important than being able to do anything.
Lastly, what are the behaviors promoted within an application or service which espouses deep thought principles? It might be framed best by two phrases: “liberty inside the frame” and “structured export outside of it.” Maybe better stated with the question many persons who purchase Field Notes tend to answer: “what am I going to do with these when they are filled? Nothing. Everything.” Inside of a Field Notes notebook, one draws, writes, scribbles, rips, etc. Anything the paper and writing instrument allow, these are executed within the frame, and nothing more is expected of it. At the same time, if it needs to go elsewhere, rip or photograph and go… it doesn’t change the fidelity of thought which went into it, but it does enable another audience to gain a piece of what had been “internal only.”
Understandably, this doesn’t answer the original premise of what a deep thought UI paradigm would look like. And its not the only approach taken towards answering what that would look like (Basecamp’s It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy At Work as another take). However, it does invite the question of what making space for contemplation and deep though could look like if the tools appropriated the lessons from this behavior also. And if it took onto those lessons, would not only software change, but would the industries crafted by that software also become more introspective to their outcomes?
…over the coming year, we plan on clarifying what that would look like from our end; passing the lessons here to what might be better served outside of a thought.
Per the usual cadence of this time of year, certain newsbits slow down, projects find their way into a quieter reverb, and strategies for the upcoming year are given their last views before being confirmed. Depth and death of the of the previous 11 to 12 months of activity are given their place. And yet, insights don’t stop forming. In fact, to the trained eye, this might be the time when those insights are most likely to be found.
Such is the theme of this week’s read links. Enjoy:
And a few from us:
Update: we have a few coupons for the Ourā Ring for those looking to acquire one this holiday season
Purchase The Field Study Handbook at Studio D