Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reduce the "sticky" effect of the web

I have figured out how to make reading webpages less... sticky.  Infact it works fine for other things, like email and all the info-crap that flows across my workspace.

Put it on a monitor that is at an uncomfortable height to read.

I have four monitors on my desktop, one large 24" in the center with two rotated 19" on each wing.  Below at desktop level is another 19" wide.  This monitor is useful for all sorts of things... but mostly I use it for browsing help and MSDN etc.  I suddenly realised that its uncomfortable to read web pages on that monitor and its much easier to ... loose focus when reading... this means I am spending less time "stuck" on pages that are irrelevant but interesting because it places a physical cost on reading that monitor.

The result... an emergent side effect is that I am spending a lot less time lost in the web through unintended consumption.

I tested this theory simply by moving the browser window to the main monitor and started dealing with some of my normal webbing... check the clock later and more time had passed than I would have wanted.  Simply put... there was too much "sticky".  I had not done any crap like visit facebook (shudder)... just followed my nose around the sites I was trying to deal with and ended up lost for a while.

Moving the browser back to the physically uncomfortable monitor resulted in me "coming up for air" alot more and thus being able to conciously re-focus on the task objectives.

Reduce the incidental "Affordance" and utility of the browser allows you to stay in control and get stuff done.... whoot.  Same idea as a "stand-up" meeting.  Add the physical fatigue effect and it reduces the time people will spend on bullshit.

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