One of the most difficult aspects of user interface design is figuring out how much content to put on the screen. There’s a balance between showing enough useful at-a-glance information versus white space to make it more aesthetically pleasing and easier to comprehend.
For some people, it is important to cram every single pixel with useful information. However the vast majority of people need space to put the information in context and make it easier to comprehend.
An example that comes to mind is a living room or kitchen: you can cram tons of seating in the living room and lots of spaces for people to put coffees and drinks, but the room starts to look cluttered, busy, almost unusable. Or take a kitchen; you can put all your favorite tools at arms length and end up falling over every single one of them as you try to navigate around the kitchen.
User interface design can be very similar. You can make every tool available via a single click or tap and yet finding that tool becomes difficult in a sea of tools. Yes you can train and memorize the location of each tool and if the application is being used eight hours a day nonstop that might work. But let’s face it, most calendar apps are not used nonstop for eight hours. Instead you want to put the most used tools upfront which presents a new problem of which tools are most used. The logical step is to add customization to let you pick the tools and organization that matters most to you.
And that is where Informant really tries to shine. We try to give you an elegant and simple interface that can be customized to your needs and to add functionality in ways that only shows up when you need it or if you want it.
Some of our future direction for interface both on Desktop and on mobile involved trying to increase content space and decrease “chrome” – such as the tab bar, navbar, and so on. As mentioned above – I know that the other side of the coin some of you want the interface to be as full as possible and we are keeping that in consideration as well.
Hope that gives you a bit of insight into some bit of our interface design thinking.