Thoughts on Gone and Ephemeralness in Applications

April 22 2018, 1:44am

ephemeral applications like Gone

I recently stumbled upon Gone, an application that uses ephemeralness to get users to complete their tasks. Tasks added to a to-do list disappear within 24 hours of adding them, making this productivity app not one for those who heavily procrastinate.

Although I haven't had too much time using it, I appreciate how it nearly mimics my method of writing to-do's on small pieces of paper than can easily be recycled. It's amazing how much you can accomplish when you're looking at both a small task list and tasks that are more easily digestible. Perhaps the part that's still missing from my analog solution is that my notes don't instantly disappear after 24 hours—that would be interesting to see though.

Gone is one of many apps that I've recently seen using ephemeralness. Snapchat is arguably one of the biggest players out there in this space, but there are dozens , if not hundreds of other apps using limited timeframes to incentivize users. From time sensitive deals to limited-view posts, time has a way of getting people to act that—in its absence—a simple messaging app, product, or to-do list item might not be able to accomplish. Much of this behavior may stem from people's aversion to loss.

People have an inherent tendency to want to avoid loss. If you are about to soon lose something, not only will you likely pay more attention to it, but do what you can to make sure that thing doesn't go away.

Until we're able to tease apart more internal behaviors with external requests, we will continue to be affected by the ephemeral nature of so many marketing campaigns and applications. In the meantime, we can use the ephemeral nature of productivity apps like Gone to our advantage—to purposefully accomplish our to-do's.

What are your thoughts on ephemeral apps?