The Value of Diminishing

I’ve been reading recently about diminished reality, where hardware devices and/or software remove items or stimuli from your environment. What drew me in was the diminished aspect, which I originally assumed was a joke about a device that would make things worse, but that isn’t the case. While we hear a lot about augmented reality, where your experience is improved by additional information about the objects in view, diminished reality is all about improving your experience by hiding things. Not the things you are interested in, but the things that are a distraction, or simply not relevant.

A lot of us already have diminished reality devices and use them a lot — we call them noise cancelling headphones, which remove the external sounds that would distract us to improve our listening experience, although I’ve never thought of them in that way.

There are plenty of practical applications for diminished reality, for example seeing what rooms look like without the furniture and clutter when viewing real estate. Handle with care though — even though diminished reality removed the coffee table from your view, you’ll still bark your shin when you walk into it. I could even use it to remove my lockdown locks when I’m on video calls, as these appear to be a major distraction for anyone I’m talking to!

This got me thinking about improving the user experience by removing rather than adding when working with Salesforce data. The customer 360 view without the clutter from the individual’s entire history with your company, just showing the important engagements and key information. In my experience, most of us focus on pushing more information onto a page rather than less, but that isn’t always a good thing as eventually it can end up overwhelming. Dividing information up into sections helps a little, but it’s still up to the user to sort wheat from chaff.

What constitutes clutter would be quite subjective though, so ideally everyone would be able to define their own version of what matters. Imagine the ability on a per-object basis to provide different lenses on a record — click a button to change the view of the record based on metadata configuration that you define to effortlessly breeze through the Sales, Marketing, Service view, or combinations.

We can do this to some degree already, with page layouts by switching applications, but it’s not real time and all users don’t necessarily have access to all layouts. If less is more, then many versions of less is much more!

Originally published at http://bobbuzzard.blogspot.com.

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