Monthly Archives: October 2015

Escaping Notification Hell

How many electronic devices are you carrying? Surveys show that most professionals carry two or three, and with the rise in smart watches, increasingly four devices.

The problem with this plethora of devices apart from the need to keep them charged is that all of them have notification features. And most people are not nearly diligent enough about disabling notifications, landing them in what I call Notification Hell.

Notification Hell

Most users leave notifications at the default settings, giving them way too many notifications on all devices. You need to turn down the notification level and vary your notifications by device. You pay more attention to very personal devices that you always carry, so they should notify you very rarely. You watch should hardly ever notify you, and your phone only rarely.

You can allow your tablet and laptop more notifications because the usage situation is different; you have decided to sit down with your tablet or laptop for a longer session. Additionally, they have more screen area and better input capabilities to handle a larger list of items.

Escape notification hell – it’s totally within your power.


I help people and organizations use appropriate information technology to achieve their goals. For more tips, sign up for the Technology That Fits newsletter at and follow @techthatfits. 

Achieving IT Enlightenment

An enlightened person is someone who sees things as they really are. Unfortunately, most IT departments are a long way from being enlightened. Their perception is different from their reality.

Actual vs Perceived Complexity

Some people actually have rather complex requirements but think their situation is simple. The Danish tax authorities are on the brink of throwing away a multi-million dollar system for collecting debt. They assumed there were 10-15 collection types, but have now identified over 400. These people build on an inappropriate foundation and have to perform expensive re-engineering when the system meets reality.

The majority IT organizations are in the opposite situation. They think that their business is absolutely unique and nobody else in the universe have ever faced a situation quite like theirs. These people implement huge standard systems like incur a high cost in licenses and IT resources needed. At the same time, the systems are too heavy and get in the way of the users.

A few people do have an accurate understanding of their requirements and implement appropriate technology to support their processes. Are you one of the enlightened ones?


I help people and organizations use appropriate information technology to achieve their goals. For more tips, sign up for the Technology That Fits newsletter at and follow @techthatfits.

One Visualization is Worth a Thousand Rows

One of the under-utilized killer features of Oracle ADF is the Data Visualization (DVT) compontents.

It is easy to build bad visualizations as Oracle themselves show in the documentation:

However, the commercial application that Oracle build with ADF (Fusion Applications, Enterprise Manager) obviously have benefited from the skills of professional visualization designers. These products use of visualizations well.

You application could probably benefit from some visualizations, too. Check out Status Meter and LED gauges as well as Spark charts. All of these are very compact and can fit into table rows, making a lot more information available to your users.


I covered ADF Visualizations in the latest issue of the ADF Mastery Newsletter. Sign up here for regular tips on how to learn and make the most of Oracle ADF:

Notifications are Evil

I just received yet another promotional email from Apple, touting a new, improved watchOS2 as well as new colors and wristbands. And I’m not buying.

Wearable devices have two reasons to exist:

  • To gather data more conveniently
  • To present data more conveniently

Interrupting you by beeping, buzzing or tapping you on the wrist with clever haptic alerts are not reasons to buy yet another device.

A large part of all wearable devices are various health activity trackers. If you want or need this data, fine, get a device that gathers those.

Some wearable devices present data more conveniently. For a number of specific jobs and situations, devices like Google Glass will be the right tool for the job. For other use cases, having information available on your wrist might be useful. I don’t mind my watch knowing that I’m in the airport and automatically placing my boarding card on my wrist display.

Most people leave their devices at the default notification settings, which allows way too many notifications and alerts to disturb them. Adding another device will lead to more notifications, and notifications are evil. Turn them off!