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IQ Decline, Brain Damage: Application Hopping Comes Costly

We all love working with services like Salesforce that bring together many functionalities, like account management, customer document storing and content sharing using chatter. They help us achieve high efficiency and smooth daily working practices.

And isn’t it that we like to work with a number of similar, complementary online services at once? After all, there are also many other tasks we do during a single workday: handling documents, sharing insights using social networks and following the company intranet, taking and making video calls…

h2 Researchers at the University of Sussex in the UK compared the amount of time people spend on multiple devices (such as texting while watching TV) to MRI scans of their brains. They found that high multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control.”

Document viewing: a complex affair

Okay, let’s not take it all too seriously. However, it is likely that there is more than just a grain of truth in those studies. Having to continuously switch context by jumping between applications, services and browser tabs is not just irritating. It really does distract from efficiency, focus and sharpness of thought. We are talking about a substantial productivity loss!

One example, seemingly the simplest of the simple, is document viewing. Let’s say you encounter a link to a shared document or are looking at a file in a repository. You click on it – and the document opens in a separate viewer application, or perhaps in a separate 3rd party branded service. Then, you may want to look at some other document and the same procedure is repeated. In an instant, you have lost your focus – and in case an online services, the service provider is even in danger of losing you…

So where is the consistency of user experience? Freedom from the disturbance from switching between applications and services? Why can’t you just focus on your current task, like you would naturally do, without any fuss from the switching between applications? Why can’t those documents be opened within the SAME service and window where you first encountered the links pointing to them? We, as power users, certainly need the embedded document viewing experience!

And, from the perspective of the service provider, is it not a problem of that you have to jump out of their service to view something that is basically a part of it?

Lightening up the load on the brain

Let us all hope that the consequences of application hopping are not so fatal as to be permanent. But be that as may, we do know that you can improve your productivity by being able to concentrate on one thing at a time, like when working within a single service.

That is why we at Documill keep on developing services that help you to get more done and avoid costly switching when working simultaneously with many platforms and online services.

Our focus is on helping you focus.

Image courtesy of Ryan Ritchie under Creative Commons.

By | December 15th, 2015|