Productivity and Ergonomics


It is proposed to discuss the concept of an ergonomic intuitive interface and organization of information, well, or at least just think. Much has been discussed more than once, much has been fixed. All of the following is a purely personal opinion of the author. Although specific examples are used, the emphasis is on the general approach, which is actually proposed to be reviewed. Changes in the aforementioned direction exist, but they are individual and often unsystematic.

Why did we need it

Over time, so much information has accumulated that quickly finding something becomes sometimes difficult, unless you spend more time organizing the information than searching for it. Even by chance meeting something that does not yet represent value, we will go further without paying attention; after a week, we can’t remember where we met, and attempts to find it will prove futile.

It so happened that for a long time computers developed in a direction that had nothing to do with their application directly, and many aspects were designed without any look into the future. The same keyboard layout that came from typewriters, the same processor architecture, optimized at one time for writing code in machine language. The same problem 2000. Of course, the architecture has undergone many changes, Dvorak appeared, which has not found wide application due to habit; and the problem turned out to be not such a problem, but the fact remains.

Browser history is essentially a web surfing log. But most often it doesn’t matter to us in what order we looked at the villages when we were looking for something - but rather, what track was playing at that time or with whom we corresponded that day. You can raise the player’s history or the correspondence archive, but agree, it’s not very convenient. In addition, we could use several browser windows, and all that will be in the log is the date and time.

When we save something of interest, we put it in our file system: most often, the logical connection with the source is lost at the same moment. But if the object does not yet represent great value for us, we will most likely just throw it into another temp.

And then a long search is coming, the “Easter eggs” that we recently so zealously searched for, accidentally showing up. You can spend time organizing, you can use software that allows you to work with tags, but it costs time and distracts from the ultimate goal.

For different tasks, we use different applications, and when moving from the browser to the document viewer, the history thread will break. Having visited the page again, we will see the previously viewed links highlighted in a different color, but we won’t know whether we saved it somewhere, or simply opened it, then we lost temporary files from the folder. By the way, most browsers, when you open the file again, download it again and save a copy next to it.

Erase the boundary between goal and action

I believe that the story should be unified, and stored in chains, including all types of objects. They went from the page to the pdf file, sent a letter to someone, mentioning something from the last one, opened a link from the response to the letter and then saved something to the report - all this had one purpose and is one logical unit. When we copy text, the source must be stored in the metadata. Exaggerating, also what pages were open at that time, what kind of track was playing, and where we copied it (because we can then decide to move it again). There should be a convenient tool that allows convenient navigation through the history and the use of flexible filters.

History chains may also be stored in file properties. History of file renaming, history of discoveries and editing, and where it was taken from. Although it is costly, it will provide an opportunity to trace the beginning without puzzling, what else were we thinking then, it will allow us to view the history even after moving the file to another computer.

It will also be convenient to use complex unique identifiers for each file. And there are usually no problems with storage capacity and bandwidth today.

Discreteness of programs working with different types of files is a barrier, and another factor that distracts from the goal. A universal tool, of course, cannot be, but to tightly integrate your product with all related tools and leave open interface specifications for those who want to integrate their product with ours is a responsibility.

We should also mention the effectiveness of memory cards in structuring information. Perhaps this is the way to display, which will erase the boundaries between the types of information and forget about all the nuances that we are doomed to think about only because it has always been so. IT is a tool and nothing more.

Thanks to those who read, and those who did not read. The author will be grateful for criticism and intrigued by the development of the discussion.

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