Americans devote more than 3 hours a day to screen time, we touch our phones more than 2,000 times, the typical office worker is interrupted or switches tasks, on average, every three minutes and five seconds, and when we are interrupted it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task.
And just to bring these statistics down to reality, when searching for the information presented above, after glancing at my phone 3 times, I couldn’t resist skimming the news alerts I received in the last hour from HuffPost, Pinterest, Facebook, The Washington Post, and New York Times. And my distraction, sadly, didn’t end there. I checked and responded to two messages I received on Flowdock - and I did this all while trying to write a compelling and creative post on the benefits of calm technology.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that I have the ability to connect, communicate, and become informed with the simple swipe of a finger. The very technology that distracts me on a daily basis is what allows me to work remotely for Phase2 and can, when used correctly, fuel high levels of productivity. But with so many options and so many inputs on so many screens, I wrap up most days simply feeling fried.
“Our brains have not caught up to how our society has evolved, and are trying to catch up with us all the time...So that is where the Calm Tech comes into play. We need to focus more on designing these environments that don’t cause that reaction.”
Linzi Lloyd, Phase2 Designer
The good, and I suppose the bad, news is - I am not alone. And the even better news is that there are remedies to this. There are principles outlined in the field of Calm Technology that can be adapted and applied to both the creation of digital tools and the use of them to help remedy these issues and leave us all more focused less frazzled.
Phase2 Designer, Linzi Lloyd has a passion for this subject area and explores these concepts in this Phase2 Podcast. She explains how research by scientist Mark Weiser and researcher John Seely Brown from 1996 was well ahead of it’s time and spot on in predicting the predicament we find ourselves in, and how the advancements anthropologist, user experience designer and public speaker, Amber Case, is making in the field and beyond have really taken the concepts and made them relevant to today.
In this podcast you will learn more about:
The 8 Core Principles of Calm Technology:
- Technology should require the smallest possible amount of attention
- Technology should inform and create calm
- Technology should make use of the periphery
- Technology should amplify the best of technology and the best of humanity
- Technology can communicate, but doesn’t need to speak
- Technology should work even when it fails
- The right amount of technology is the minimum needed to solve the problem
- Technology should respect social norms
How our brains’ biological evolution has not caught up with our technological evolution
The impact Calm Tech can have on the Internet of Things
What you can do to avoid becoming part of the noise if you are creating digital content
Calm Technology: Principles and Patterns for Non-Intrusive Design
O’Reilly Media, Author: Amber Case
- The Coming Age of Calm Technology,
Mark Weiser and John Seely Brown, Xerox PARC, October 5, 1996.