Monday, November 8, 2010

The Cognitive Overload of RockMelt

Maybe I am just getting old.

But I simply don’t get the concept of RockMelt, the newest flockesque browser/social-thingy on the horizon. It crams IM, social networks, and a web browser into one glorified application.

I quietly ask myself how I would ever be able to get work done in an environment with that amount of cognitive overload? When accessing a web page I would be bombarded with information from the social sphere. Reading a longer article in that browser would be a feat worthy of the deepest reverence.

On the surface, it seems nice and innocent enough to save a couple of Alt-Tabs to access my social networks. But the Alt-Tabs are there for a reason: to separate different contexts. 95% of the time when I am on a web page, I am there for a reason, and I don’t want to be distracted by other stuff.

I believe the way forward is to simplify the user experience and use separate applications for web browsing and IM/social, so that the IM/social interactions can be turned off when you need to get things done. The web browser is probably the most used application on your Desktop. That’s exactly why it needs to be a workspace that allows you to work without interruptions.