A designers usual job is creating digital products that serve a purpose. Products that make life easier, open up new possibilities, enhance living or entertain customers. Most of the time, the goal is to get something done more efficiently or in some other way better than was previously possible. Unfortunately this has already led to an avalanche of status updates, notifications and other interruptions calling for constant interaction.
But there is more to life than doing something as efficiently as possible. People daydream, meet with friends and talk about nothing in particular for hours, take long walks… the list is endless. The value in these actions lie somewhere else than in the actions themselves.
We wanted to explore this non-purposefulness and design a digital prototype that does nothing. No clicking, no interaction, no efficiency. It just is and you can stare at it.
We are expecting to see more digital products that have purposefully limited functionality so that people can be more atentive and focus on the task at hand. One great example is the Kindle Paperwhite, which only allows sharing of notes and highlights. No other social features are available, thus forcing the reader to stay engaged with the book.
An interesting trend to follow, that will surely bring advantage to companies that have a clear vision of their core product and positioning. Slow digital?