HW #5: 10.06.2012

Today I finished reading another excerpt from John Maeda’s book; this chapter focused on Time and how we view it. He wrote about how people have this constant worry of time and trying their best to reduce the time spent in activities. This is tied to time management, and the anxiety of having to wait for something. Since no one likes to waiting for anything, there have been methods created for specifically to shorten the time spent waiting. For example, the “status bar” on a computer gives the user the illusion that time is moving faster or at a normal pace when in reality, it isn’t. Another example is when you are on hold and an automated voice tells you how much longer until you can speak to a another person on the phone.

What we can take from this is that people feel more comfortable waiting when they know how long they have to wait; this is also stated in the reading. A few ideas we could implement to shrink time when a user interacts with an interface would be: having a short mini-game the user could play while an interface is loading for the user or a short tiny movie that could draw the users attention and distract them from any frustration that had dealt with previously.

During the reading, Maeda also spoke of another way of reducing time spent waiting, an autonomous object that made decisions for you. The example he used was the Ipod Shuffle, a device that has no screen and only some buttons for moving back and forth between songs and a play/pause button. This version of the ipod doesn’t let you choose a song, rather instead it chooses for you so the short couple of minutes you spending choosing a song are cut out. So this raises the question: should be allow machines to make choices for us? Personally, I wouldn’t mind as long as I had the choice of allowing the machine to do so. As long as it isn’t making choices without my consent, it would be entirely fine with me.

We all have ways of saving time, as for myself, I tend to multi-task alot when I feel like I’m not getting what I want done fast enough or if I’m late. For example: I’ll make myself breakfast in the morning but I won’t sit down to eat it right away. Instead, I wrap it up and eat it on the train thus eliminating at least 10 minutes spent eating.

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