NurseGrid Blog

The Modern Aesthetic: A Prevailing Disconnect of Form & Function

The year is 2014, and to the individual, the modern aesthetic has never been more important. So why do we still suffer from products with no consideration for our newest standards?

The year is 2014, and last night I was reflecting on the Apollo 11 moon landing. How are we already approaching the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong first stepping foot on the moon? As I thought, I realized how far we have come as a society in the world of expectation and our demands. Every day, we are becoming more detached from the world of dial-up (although some companies are still profiting) and expecting more from the products we use and the information we consume.

Think about your interaction with an iPhone app in 2008. Sure, they would crash every once in a while, had extensive loading times, and were not exactly the best-looking applications out there, but smartphones were fresh out of the oven, so we gave them the benefit of the doubt.

Seven years later, however, the United States has reached a new height of product adoption with smartphones now making up 70% of the market. Such a rate easily beats out both the boom box and CD player in respect to adoption! With this adoption, however, our expectations have never been higher. We have an entire market of free applications to use in our everyday lives, and with such availability, we are quick to delete anything that does not meet our lofty expectations. A study in 2010 showed that nearly one-quarter of apps downloaded are only used once. Think about the difference four years has made in increasing that number, and understand that our modern expectations have never been higher.

Enter what I call the modern aesthetic. We live in a new age of technology where companies such as Apple have taught us that we don't need to compromise functionality for a beautiful and elegant design. The chasm that has previously existed between these two realms has never been narrower. Website development is no longer for coders, as programs like SquareSpace enable anyone to create a beautiful, yet functional website. Gone are the old HTML web pages that individuals would use as their E-Commerce site, with little to show for it; Etsy has given everyone their merchant stall in the online marketplace, and it's beautiful.

The modern aesthetic has arrived, and it's here to stay.

Despite this notion, the concept that an event as extraordinary as the moon landing is nearly half a century in the past and the modern aesthetic has risen our expectation like never before, I still find myself accessing websites and using products that make me feel as if it is still 1996. There exist companies, products, and individuals who believe function can exist without form, and proceed to launch the most technologically sophisticated products the market can find – and yet, are surprised why users hate it.

For example, I worked at a restaurant in 2011, and our schedule manager looked like a rainbow threw up; it blew my mind that we are able to put a man on the moon, access the internet from our pockets from gorgeously designed devices, yet still have to use a functional software that has no regard for how that function looks. The modern aesthetic has not been met, and I'm an unsatisfied product user.

Enter NurseGrid. Both the mobile and web app are designed with the modern aesthetic in mind: a functional app for nurses that can still look sleek, elegant, and meet every expectation we now have in 2014.

Of course, I'm not saying that the modern aesthetic is exclusive to those who have access to it; not every nurse who struggles with managing their schedule has a smartphone, and that's why we are not only providing a product that combines form and function like never before but also across multiple platforms so everyone can have their expectations met.

NurseGrid for Web will ensure that nurses without smartphones aren't left in the dust - and provide another way for nurses with the NurseGrid Mobile App to access their account at the comfort of their own home.

If I could narrow the modern aesthetic for any and every person out there looking to change the world and meet the expectations we now possess, it's this:

Make it accessible. Make it work. Make it beautiful.