Calm Technology In The Era of Experience Design

From Adobe Creative Cloud blog story by  Sheena Lyonnais

Technology is intrusive. It beeps, buzzes and flashes, constantly trying to get our attention. It interrupts us when we’re eating dinner with our loved ones and pushes notifications at us until it succeeds in completely stealing our conversation away. We’re in relationships with our devices and they don’t want us to forget about it. They nag and they nip, shouting about their newest innovations while others flash their latest features at us, tempting us with their flirtation. Our eyes wander to what’s next whether we want them to or not, and before we know it we can barely breathe over the clatter.

The Industrial Revolution of the Modern Age Will Be Mundane If this all sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before, first through the industrial revolution and then through the electrical revolution. There are undeniable parallels. “Electricity was a thing that was very exciting,” Case said. “Everyone was making new applications for electricity from the iron to the stove. Think of all those new appliances and the buttons and the beeps on those and how everybody had to have them in their homes. After a while it became normal. Those pieces became mundane pieces of your kitchen, or your house. Electricity became this calm technology. It was invisible. It ran through your house and was just expected to be there. “Now we’re on a frontier of the same thing where we have all these devices being connected on this web and it’s really exciting. We have all these tradeshows for it, but the stuff that people end up using and relying on, it’s not going to be exciting. It’s going to be mundane. It’s going to be part of our lives,” She said. Just like Weiser predicted when he said:

“The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.”