Sunday, July 31, 2005

Mini Epiphany*

Watching My Architect, I'm realizing why Richard Saul Wurman's voice has such resonance with me.

It's not about projects, or deliverables, or usability, or information architecture, or any of the designs (visual, information, etc.), the current practice of working on software helps us fit technology to our lives rather than the inverse. We're seeing the end of "more," the idea that more complexity and more tools and more information is better. "More" is how technology currently affects us.

Look for ways to give people tools that help them live their lives, rather than give them a reason to use a particular application. Google Search, Flickr, and Backpack are some of the best examples thus far.

Someday the masses of people will rebel against the flood of information and take a step back. Though it may be initially a rejection of technology, the dust will settle and, maybe, they will recognize that there are simple tools out there that help them find knowledge.

Our practice(s) encourage us to use the various art forms as mediums to create the foundations for that time, even if the current climate fights tooth-and-nail to maintain the short-term focus of the status quo.

*Ok, "epiphany" may be a strong word. Maybe "reminder" or "reset" make more sense. Sometimes it's easy to forget this in the interest of making a project real - you know, "Get it done." Anyway, I am hell bent on reducing information anxiety (glut, etc.) and am happy to remember my mission at the highest level on occasion.

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