Calm Tech Is The New Black Calm And Here Is Why
You've heard it, healthy is hip. But did you know that’s including healthy UX design as well? The same way we’re being mindful with the stuff we put into our bodies, we should be mindful with the way we design the digital experience for our users to be.
In a time where we're constantly asked for attention by What's App group chats and social media, it's easy to get caught up in a digital overwhelm. Making us forget how to relax without a screen.
Amber Case, UX designer and author of the book Designing Calm Technology, puts it very clearly: "Social media becomes our cigarette break, a quick drag of distilled, pre-filtered humanity with potentially cancerous side effects.”
OK, but how does it work?
Calm technology is actively addressing these issues. It's advocating a healthier relationship between humans and their device by following a couple of main principles:
Technology shouldn't always ask to be the center of our attention but should ideally exist at the edge of our vision. Not bombarding the user with info but create calm. The technology should respect social norms and be adjustable to the user's context.
Sound, how could this be implemented?
Major social media platforms like Instagram have already acknowledged this matter by notifying users when they “are all caught up” to avoid endless feed scrolling. Or, the ‘your activity’ tab where you can see how much time you’re spending on the platform.
Also, Google is doing their part as well with the launch of Digital Wellbeing; a program dedicated to helping people get more insight into their tech usage. With Digital Wellbeing you can schedule custom breathers to keep you from binge-watching Youtube videos. You can choose to only get notifications from high priority emails, manage the time you spend on apps and set limits, etc…
Understanding the way in which you use your phone is key when you want to become aware of how it’s affecting your day to day life. Plus, it will lead you to change unhealthy habits and help you move towards a clam tech future.
And then there's the latest feature from iOS12, reducing interruptions and managing Screen Time.
But how will we know our product is successful if people spent less time using it?
The way we measure success will shift as well. K.P.I.s will be changing towards more affinity-centered approaches, instead of the traditional metrics revolving around engagement.
Long story short, less is more and UX design shouldn't ignore the user's wellbeing. The products we'll eventually deliver will be of greater relevance and will answer more of the customers' needs. A comfortable user is a happy one.
Come in for a chat and a damn good cup of coffee. We’d be delighted to hear what you’ve got planned and how we can help you with your project.