bookmark_borderLess is not more

I posted the following in response to this thread, it’s primarily “desktop design” focussed but I wanted to post it here. This decision may or may not have something to do with the fact I’m still “stuck” and too busy to come up with anything original. Sorry.

Minimalism doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to everyone. My interpretation of minimalism requires that functionality is not lost and that my desktop works the way I work. To others that may mean a few icons or none, a dock or accessbar, and so on.

Is Firefox popular because – “out of the box”- it’s minimal already, not bloated with lots of features you might not need? How many features of Word do you use everyday, and how many are there you don’t even know about? As Moore’s law pushes us onwards, (some) software companies take advantage of improved performance by offering us more.

Then you look at Web 2.0 apps (37signals stuff for example). Simple, small, function-lite apps that do one thing well. This approach is becoming increasingly popular.

Minimalism shouldn’t compromise functionality, it should enhance it. Instead of 23 icons on my desktop, causing me to pause when looking for one, I have 4, much easier to find. The choice of which 4 icons is part of “design of minimalism” as well, if I choose the wrong 4 icons then my functionality is impacted.

Another way to look at it is this: how often do you “workaround” an issue with your computer. A minor annoyance that you “put up with”. You may spend 2 secs having to open a folder to access a program, rather than getting straight to the program… add that up and you spend a lot of time going around something. Minimalism would suggest you just move the program out of the folder. Not necessarily LESS icons, but certainly faster.

Each to their own of course, what is minimal to me, may be overkill for you.

Additional reading:

bookmark_borderBoy, Interrupted

Finally we have internet access back. It’s odd, I hadn’t really noticed just how much I relied on the internet to fuel my working day. I would venture that I’m slightly LESS productive without it to be honest for, despite it’s propensity to distract, it was an good way to help me refocus on a task when stuck. Given that the projects I’m working on are all on products new to me (at the depth I require at least) I find that I’ve become reliant on the internet to give me a two minute break every now and then to free up my thoughts and help me look at things from a different angle. My job requires a fair amount of analysis and filtering of technical information, distilling it down to meet the correct user audience, and I often have moments when I find myself blocked.

When they occur I usually check my email, do some minor tasks or anything else but think about the immediate problem. I often find that I can then rethink my ideas quite quickly – I guess I work better on the move than by brute force… if that make senses.

Admittedly sometimes I get ‘in the zone’ and I can hammer away for hours without interruption but those moments usually occur towards the end of projects when my understanding is a lot better than it is now. That time will come but for now I need the interruptions to keep me productive.

Hence the reason I’m typing up a post at 11:17am when I know fine well that it probably won’t be posted until, at the very least, late this afternoon.

bookmark_borderViewpoint Required

US apoplexy over Jackson flash.

Yes, THAT Superbowl story which seems to have kicked off an almighty fuss in the US of A.

Or has it?

I’d appreciate any American viewpoints on this but it does seem that the majority of people (the general public) aren’t too outraged, where the minority of people (those in the public eye, politicians, etc) are “apoplectic”.

Let’s be honest, are we surprised that some politicians, high-ranking members of the church, and other “representative groups” are kicking off big time? No of course we’re not. These groups need any excuse they can get to keep the spotlight away from what they stand for and ensure they are seen to be doing the ‘right thing’. Now I’m all for doing the ‘right thing’ but, and this isn’t really a request so ignore the phrasing, can you let me make up my own mind please?

The spiralling standards of society are an easy (and somewhat valid) target, but these things cannot be viewed solely. This ‘incident’ came in the middle of an entire routine featuring scantily clad dancers, moving in a way that can only be assumed to suggest a sexual act is taking place. I’m no prude, but that section of the show would’ve been know during rehearsal – what if we hadn’t seen a breast, would there have been complaints about the dress code of the dancers? – they felt happy enough with that part of the show, and inch for inch Janet was still exposing LESS flesh than most of the dancers (yes, yes, AFTER she got her tit out)

To be honest I find the whole ‘hoo-haa’ over this a bit puzzling. For years, American TV has happily shown low-grade dross, screened ever more titillating music videos and been quite happy to contribute to the ever-lowering of standards in general. Can’t blame them though, it’s all about choice, you don’t HAVE to watch (and anyway, they are getting a nice wad of cash each time they show that “Dirrty” video).

So, let’s get one thing straight. I like sex, I like titillation, I like erotica, I’m not adverse to seeing a woman partially, semi- or even completely naked. I don’t even have to look very hard to find any of this. I am aware that a woman’s body has different bits to a man’s. My lord and master TV/magazine has made it so.

So.. eh.. remind me.. what are we all getting so worked up about?