Although it’s not complex technically to adjust presentation or content based on time of day, I don’t see it that often, and it’s still a wonderful little surprise.
There’s something very humanizing about technology that adapts to the time of day in an ambient way.
Because machines by default don’t care! But we do, as people. Real world environments change throughout the day. If they don’t, there’s an uncomfortable artifice to the place, like a Las Vegas casino.
Most software has this uncomfortable artifice, devoid of the natural cycles of the sun that help contextualize our lives.
Adam discusses the use of time of day as a factor in your application and content design. In addition to doing clever things like changing the background color to match the sky, what kind of interesting things might we do with this information?
- Could your site have an evening edition? How about the late night edition?
- Do readers use your site during work hours the same way they use it before and after work?
The natural cycle of the sun is a real part of how and what we do throughout the day. Using this information to assist your readers and users may help to make your site more intuitive and pleasant to use.
Inspired by this post, we will be adding a time-of-day component to Aware.js soon!