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Author Topic: On the Aesthetics of Outliners, Pims, and Personal Knowledge Applications  (Read 2006 times)

Paul Keith

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Source: http://www.outliners...m/topics/viewt/1284/

Posted by Manfred
Oct 20, 2009 at 05:37 PM

Peter made an offhand comment in another thread: “Meanwhile, ConnectedText?s Win98-like interface, like so much of the PC stuff, doesn?t really cut it aesthetically.” This made me think about the relevance of aesthetic considerations in personal knowledge applications. Are they really relevant?

My first thought was that they are not. To say that such an application doesn’t cut it aesthetically seems to me equivalent to saying that a blank canvas or a blank sheet of paper doesn’t cut it aesthetically.

Neither is really meant to do so. The finished painting or the finished text is meant to do so, and the canvas or the application is supposed to allow you you to accomplish something that is aesthetically (or otherwise) pleasing. the application should not get into the way and serve as an affordance for your own achievement.

I still think that this is right. This is why I also think that a minimalist approach to aesthetic feature is preferable and that form should follow function.

But perhaps someone can show me that this is wrong.

P.S.: Since I have repeatedly extolled the virtues of ConnectedText I should perhaps use this post to point out that I have commercial interest in ConnectedText. I am just a very satisfied user of the product from the very beginning. In other words, I must be one of the first people who bought it.


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I'm not so sure that "aesthetics" has anything to do with information management.
In any event, I have yet to find anything that currently comes close to the information management capability and flexibility nor the ergonomics of Lotus Agenda (never mind the aesthetics) - and I have been looking quite hard.