Designing for Solitude

There is growing concern over our society's need to be constantly "plugged in" and connected through technology. But what if tech gadgets actually helped us achieve solitude? Designer Ben Fullerton explores the possibilities.

Spark, a blog, radio show and podcast about technology and culture, offered by Canada's public broadcaster, the CBC, presents an interview with Ben Fullerton, a director of user experience at Method Design in San Francisco, where they are thinking about how technology can enable users to find a sense of presence from a design point of view.

Fullterton explains how new technology can be used to reduce distractions and increase focus. Fullterton gives the example of Macfreedom, a new application that has been created to help thwart our impulse to use the internet every other second of the day. Macfreedom restricts access to the internet for a period of time set by the user, a restriction that can only be over-ridden by a system reboot.

Fullterton calls for a new attitude in software design that is just as much about respecting your user as it is about trying to get him or her to use your product. 

Listen to the full interview here on


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