Single Mindedness and UX

I’ve spent much of the last 3 or 4 weeks, for various reasons , without my usual (if I want it) 24/7 ,  instant access to the web.

And I’ve found that I’ve managed to complete on a LOT of stuff because of that.

Not that I don’t complete most tasks eventually (I am an OCD list maker and it-all-must-get-ticked-off-at-some-point).

But having at-hand (via  my phone) access to friends’ status updates , tweets, flickr uploads to check out, emails to read, articles and links to chase down etc .. can stop me getting things done maybe as quickly as I could.

Perhaps I’m too easily distracted but I think it’s a common fallacy that multi-tasking works (inset the  ‘no, it’s because you are a man’ joke here)..

So, that’s been on my mind and I’d resolved to focus more on one single thing at a time, having realised it’s actually productive.

So it was nice to read a great article in this weekend’s Guardian by AJ Jacobs, on this theme.
I read it one go, without iphone in hand, without tweeting about it at same time, result.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/may/22/multitaking-unitasking-aj-jacobs

This theme of single mindedness also surfaced this week on a project / proposal I’m involved in.

The client has a range of audiences (all of course with different needs / motivations to engage with the client) and a lot (a heck of a lot) of information available to provide to them.

And if they / we were not mindful it could be a Jackson Pollock approach to IA and homepage design.

Keeping web design simple isn’t a new approach of course (useit.com anyone?!), it’s just that I’m reminded of it again, with the current task at hand.

Here’s a short but nice article from last year in the Drum. These kind of articles are good to read when you have a myriad of proposal / plans / design choices in front of you :

http://www.thedrum.co.uk/indepth/1775-keep-it-simple-learning-from-yesteryear

And bang up to date with a great, in-depth article in Smashing Mag, who say

“The Web today is increasingly complex, while usage of the Web is becoming increasingly simple.”

and they go on to explain in detail how that simplicity is achieved with some excellent examples.

http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/05/20/web-design-trends-2010-real-life-metaphors-and-css3-adaptation/

I stopped uni-tasking at that point though and realised I had about a dozen tabs open and was flying between links and posts and not really taking it all in.

#SingleMindedFocusFail 😉

 

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