Analogue glances.

There’s a decent amount of talk going on about “glance-able information” in the form of dashboards and second-screens. The central idea is to use digital to be ambiently aware of information, or add commentary to your experience. They augment what you are currently doing. Not in an AR kind of way, just casually.

It’s about designing for the digital behaviours of split-attention, multiple feeds of content and the desire to keep track of everything. Rattle’s Job Box seeks to use a physical interaction to record time spent on individual projects. The result being real behaviour change: they have adopted a Pavlovian impulse to turn the knob when changing their projects.

Ultimately, with so many different types of screen and content to be scanned, not much of it actually sticks. Digital is too distracting; analogue glancing is vastly under-rated.

The watch has always been the model for glancing, a simple twist of the wrist and you have exactly the information you need.

I first came across Mr Jones when he spoke at We Love Technology last year. He designs things for human behaviour, and has been making these watches for a while. Some of them are a bit flippant — watches that say ‘you will die‘ or ‘yes/no‘ — but the Average Day watch has stuck with me.

Average Day Watch (Mr Jones)

Average Day Watch (Mr Jones)

This is both an analogue record and behavioural training device.

You know this is by and large what you have done, but also what you should be doing. Rather than knowing it is 10am, you know you are working. This then develops into knowing it is 10am and knowing you should be working.

It’s a complex display with lots to take in, but easily indicates elements of your existence at a glance.

N.B. If anyone wants to donate watch funds to me, you can.
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