The Best Software to Keep you from Distraction at Work

In the UX field, a growing number of product designers take an interest in solutions that, instead of wasting the attention of the user, give it back to them.

Seeking anti and distraction-free product designs that respect and respond precisely to their needs, they try to empower users’ source of attention rather than impoverishes it.

According to Nir Eyal in Indistractable, to be effective, these tools would not only have to reduce distraction but also gives real traction to users’ essential tasks.

They would give the user control over the flow of information, allow them to filter their searches, give them an environment where they can be focused and inspired, and use quiet and non-invasive technologies.

Here are 4 types of products that use these techniques to have more focused and therefore more engaged and passionate customers.

Tools to Monitor the Flow of Information

“liberate your team from constant interruptions” Twist’s copy

Overwhelmed by emails and chat group messages, it is sometimes not easy for an employee to focus on his work.

UX that confronts this problem the smart way gives the user the power to actively select his information flow, organize it, and consume it later.

Several productivity tools that manage email consumption such as Boomerang or Sanebox allow you to reappropriate your experience with your email box.

Boomerang, an application for Gmail, enables you to process your email lists in a deferred manner by scheduling when you receive and send them, reorganizing them according to their order of importance and setting read and send dates.

Sending later feature on Boomerang
Sending later feature

Sanebox allows you to clean up your messages by listing them according to whether they are useful or distracting. The former will land directly on your main list, while you can enjoy the latter when you have the time. You won’t even need to sort them or make an effort because the AI does it for you.

Training the AI to sort your mails on Sanebox
Training the AI to sort your mails

Group messaging software such as Twist or Tipi also seeks to optimize the flow of information in your reading experience by ensuring asynchronous communication.

Twist clarifies your team communications by structuring them according to the subject matter and making them easily retrievable. It allows you to work at your own pace without fear of being interrupted by a notification or missing a conversation since essential information is grouped.

Discussions are clearly structured by subjects on Twist
Discussions are clearly structured by subjects

Tipi is the asynchronous messaging tool par excellence, organized in the form of folders and topics for discussion and debate. As if it were a discussion forum, it highlights information and knowledge more than conversations.

Using these examples for your product design leads you to maximize the value you offer. It gives your users the choice of when, how, and where they will consume.

You will provide an experience where the consumer is in control of their information and can truly enjoy the value of your services at a predictable time.

Block Lists & Content Filter Solutions

“Focus on what matters most” Freedom’s marketing copy

Users also encounter the issue of limiting sources of distraction when searching. The danger is especially to be carried away by a succession of distracting contents that do not help us in our research.

One of the solutions is to provide a way to filter and select the content visible to the user to improve the searching process.

Applications or software such as Pocket saves the content you are interested in to consume it later. By deferring consumption, you don’t feel obligated to view the content and miss something, since you keep it somewhere.

Web tools like Freedom or LeechBlock block and filter in advance in your searches the contents you will have access to. By preventing you from accessing sources such as social networks and blogs, they get you more productive in the work that matters.

Blocklist feature on Freedom
Blocklist feature
Planing your web sessions on Freedom
Planning your web sessions

Well-optimized search engines on sites or applications like Mendeley for searchers help them find the information they are looking for quickly, without the risk of being distracted by worthless sources.

The value from these applications is that they give the user control over what they consume, freeing them from mechanisms that frustrate and distract them from their work.

A product with which they are not losing their time shows them that you respect them and that you want to quickly optimize their search for value.

Zen and Focus Productivity Solutions

Zen mode of Focus’ editor

Even more than limiting distraction, some tasks such as writing or focused work require a high degree of concentration. They require a streamlined and optimized workspace, where the user feels motivated.

Several different UX have tried to provide a sober, uncluttered, and optimal experience to help users dive into their flow.

Particularly aimed at writers and creative people, applications such as Focused, Hemingway, Medium, are markdown text editors offering a “zen mode” workspace where no distractions are possible.

The Focused application is the most distraction-free text editor available, providing both a clean and inspiring Html interface and typography, with no other superfluous tools. Its zen mode gives a visual and auditory experience that puts you in the middle of the game.

Hemingway Editor is a text corrector that offers a simple colorful interface without bothering with unnecessary options.

Simple and colorful editor
Simple and colorful editor

We all know also the UX of Medium, which plays on the same mechanisms, managing to make both readings and writing a communicative, motivating, and meaningful experience.

These tools for writers, who particularly need specific working conditions to concentrate, show how to make the flow felt in product design: by offering an interface that only shows the essential, to the design, and that takes into account

It is up to you to apply these principles to make your product capable of investing the creativity and imagination of your users!

Calm Technologies & Platforms

Interactive interface projected on a table

A growing number of UX designers seek to put technology back at the service of people, by avoiding an experience with constant interruptions and demands for attention.

What Mark Weiser has called “Calm technology” are products that are no longer invasive but are useful and effective without the user’s help. They give only the information that is necessary for the actions of the individual, do not solicit the user with noise or distractions, and let him do his while remaining on the periphery.

Examples such as a Tea Kettle that does not make unnecessary noise before it is ready, interfaces that signal with a status if a person is available or needs help, give information without indirectly disturbing the user.

In this way, they create a calm, efficient, and positive experience that allows individuals to enjoy their service without being bothered by it.

Some designers have already tried to embrace these principles, such as the interactive light system built by Mark Rolston you can check in this video.

It replaces all superfluous buttons and interfaces with an intuitive interface directly on the work table that adapts to all its uses without making any noise.

Video conference call software like Zoom have been inspired by these technologies, making long-distance communication less about notifications and more about interactions.

It is up to you to use these examples to provide a calm and serene experience and thus seduce your consumers with your respect for their mental health!

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