Another Reason We Don’t Have Time To Think

Last time I wrote about how our machines still don’t give us the time to think because those same machines inundate us with casual mind-fillers that at best distract us from the time we set aside to think, and at worst provide us an excuse to just not think because thinking requires effort we don’t want to exert.

However, there’s another answer, too…one that happens to me all the time.

For me, these machines are not designed nor built well enough and force me to trouble-shoot…destroying both my “muse” and the time I’ve set aside to think.

How familiar are these examples to you?

  1. I prepare to sketch a design idea, but spend 20 minutes fighting a printer in order to print out my basic grid
  2. I sit to record a guitar solo for 30 minutes, and end up fighting the Firewire connection to get my guitar into Logic
  3. I start writing some thoughts down and 15 minutes into a great essay I get the ‘beach ball of death’ and lose everything

In all these examples, the intended design is awesome and my time to think is there to start with, but something about the tool, usually the connectivity, completely fails. My think-time is snatched away and I end up frustrated and fruitless. To me it just reinforces yet again that a user experience mostly has nothing to do with the shiny UI nor the promised capabilities of the tool, but is completely about the product’s connectivity and reliability, which provides the underlying foundation for a great user experience.

So while we can dream of our machines being our personal trainer to help us think more, we could all be more pragmatic and just test the crap out of our software so that the intended design shines through and isn’t crippled by frustrating connectivity issues essential for an awesome user experience.


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1 thought on “Another Reason We Don’t Have Time To Think

  1. You are spot-on Greg! I can’t think of a single computer peripheral that I have used over the last 25 years that has given me more trouble than a printer. I have networked cash registers with serial cables to PCs, I have produced live webcasts from the middle of parking lots and streets and old hotel ball rooms in the middle of the desert. I have connected people into videoconferences using all sorts of freeware, AOL accounts, and questionable network connections. Yet no single piece of technology has given me more frustration than the various printers that I have connected to my computers at home.

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