[Design] Out of sight, out of mind

Mimi Yin mimi at osafoundation.org
Wed Nov 30 16:25:24 PST 2005


More interesting tidbits from the article Brendan posted to the list  
a long time ago entitled: Meet the Life Hackers. Pages 3 and 4 talk  
about research from Microsoft show how lots of screen real estate (as  
in 3 screens-worth) increases productivity because it allows you to  
switch between tasks mid-stream (which we all do) without losing  
context and without "forgetting" about what we were doing...out of  
sight out of mind.

Of course, the root of the problem is that our data is all over the  
place in 3-12 different apps, all of which require multiple document  
windows and various summary windows.

[[Many people solve this problem by keeping everything in a single  
text file or in email, even calendar events. Of course, if you don't  
have a PDA or don't like to use one, the only real solution is to  
keep it all in your head, extremely portable and rarely loses all of  
your data, except in the case of extreme concussions.]]

So the distinction between "What I AM working on right now" versus  
"What I'm NOT working on right now" is more important than "What  
application am I using" or "What file format is this in?".

Does the "NOW" area in the Dashboard view? Does a way of collecting  
and maintaining all the things you don't want to lose track of in the  
next 15 minutes, hour or day (depending on how overloaded you are)  
provide a cheap(er) solution than having 3 screens?

Or is a graphical representation (a la OS X expose) of all of your  
"open" items really necessary to take advantage of the benefits  
described in the research? What would a graphical Dashboard view look  

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