Can’t find what you are looking for on a clean desk?

A desk in the so called “Vlad Dracula’s castle of Bran”, turned into a monstrous disorder. Photo: Richard Holmgren

I’m sure you can recall the feeling of a newly cleaned desk. Papers that were previously stacked in special hoards or in certain localities, are now mixed into a few clean stacks. Any valuable and specific material is now gone forever. 

I felt that I wanted to touch upon this shortly, because it is bothering me. The desktop on my computer screen is hopelessly cluttered with various files and documents - well, for me it’s not a disorder but rather convenient. I know exactly in which corner or area on the desktop to retrieve an ongoing document. Finalized works are on the other hand stored in organized files elsewhere. I never understood the idea of a wallpaper on the welcoming screen. It’s not very welcoming for me or for anyone passing by - glancing on my screen. A long time have passed since I had a clear visual of that beautiful wallpaper image. So, why isn´t there a simple button to make a clean interface shift to the clutter when you need it? 

I know that Apple in their last update brought something called “Stacks”. Well, I don’t need stacks and I don’t want it due to the reasons above. So why isn’t there an option in-between where you can have a clean interface and at the same time have a convenient separate working space? This is how the human mind works and obviously a problem – otherwise Apple wouldn’t have invented “Stacks”, right? And no – I don’t want to have any third parties apps to solve this. It slows down the machine and it doesn’t activate automatically. 

Most of us remember a certain locality by its geography and localization in reference to the visible area surrounding it. We don’t refer to imaginary stacks when retrieving an address or recognizing a face. In a flash we instead compare a mouth or a tree in relation to surrounding features. This is also relevant for the times when you try to retrieve a certain text in a book. What do you do? First you estimate where you read it according to depth – that is, how far inside the book. Then you remember the specific text section by its location relative to any nearby illustration or the placement on the page. High, low, in the middle, left or right? After a while you usually find what you are looking for. This is how a cluttered desktop works and this is also why its hopeless to regain something you read on a tablet where no three dimensional option is available. Just saying.

Richard Holmgren

Etiketter: apple stacks mac

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