Calm Technology, human-centered design, social design, and anthropology

Principles to Design Technology that Becomes Part of User’s Life and not a Distraction From It

Calm Technology, a method of smoothly capturing a user’s attention only when necessary, while calmly remaining in the background most of the time.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. — ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPERY

You might think you’re saving money by getting to market as quickly as possible, without spending a ton of effort calming down your user experience, but think of the longer-term outcome. A less calm, fussier interface means more confused users, more calls to tech support, and more need for patches and updates down the line . Design for calmness now and you’ll save money later, when it really counts .

Some Examples:

Tea Kettle

Tea Kettle
Tea Kettle
Tea Kettle

Inner Office Window

Inner Office Window
Inner Office Window
Inner Office Window

Lavatory Sign

Lavatory Sign
Lavatory Sign
Lavatory Sign

Smart Badge

Smart Badge
Smart Badge
Smart Badge

Calm Communication

Haptic Alert

Haptic Alert
Haptic Alert
Haptic Alert

Trend Graph

Trend Graph
Trend Graph
Trend Graph

Status Light

Status Light
Status Light
Status Light

Status Tone

Status Tone
Status Tone
Status Tone

Status Shout

Status Shout
Status Shout
Status Shout

Popup

Popup
Popup
Popup

Timed Trigger

Timed Trigger
Timed Trigger
Timed Trigger

Delay

Delay
Delay
Delay

Final Thoughts

It’s never too late.

Further Reading

“In Calm Technology, Amber gives us ready to use patterns for designing calm interactions, as well as the underlying principles behind them. Anyone who builds things with a computer in it (which is everything) should read this book.” — JOSH MARINACCI, TECHNICAL MARKETING MANAGER, PUBNUB

Explore to understand. “One should use information and logic as a drunkard would use a lamp post – only for support, not for illumination.-Sadhguru”

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