People talk about "the interruption culture" in today’s workplace. Research shows that people switch activities on average every three minutes and five seconds. All these distractions not only hurt productivity, they also have negative emotional effects, including higher stress and bad mood. As designers, we can help reduce some of the negative impacts of constant interruption by designing applications that support how a user may need to multitask.
In this session, we will focus on several aspects of how to design for the reality of multitasking and interruption, including: how to reduce the time it takes to move between tasks, when and how to disturb the user smartly, and how to support a user’s focus on a given task. In addition to sharing examples, we will discuss cognitive theories supporting the principles presented.