Office, messaging and verbs

This is also what productivity concept videos, like this one from Microsoft, tend to look like. Somehow scifi interfaces never have multiple applications from different vendors with patchy cross-compatability. Rather, every different data type flows seamlessly between nodes and screens. Everything is structured data (no more typing numbers from a PDF into Excel) and everything is a message, or can be. This video is really showing Facebook, but for the enterprise and with lots of really thin sans-serifs.


The challenge here is the trade off between breadth and flexibility on one hand and focus and single-purpose efficiency on the other. It’s easy to make everything flow together in a single UI if you have a narrow domain, but much harder if you’re trying to encompass lots of different tasks and types of data. Sometimes the right ‘unified UI’ is a dedicated app and sometimes it’s Windows, or a web browser, aggregating lots of different apps with different UIs. But mostly, it’s the email app itself that’s the universal connector, linking documents, data and ideas. That is, ‘Send’ is the universal verb that ties the others together.

Not one of Evans best bits, but worth reading if only to get to the reason that email is harder to kill than cockroaches:

‘Send’ is the universal verb that ties the others together.

Office, messaging and verbs

Work ecologist. Founder, Work Futures. The ecology of work and the anthropology of the future.

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