When you suddenly remember you need to send that email, or feel inspired to tweet a message or share that photo on Facebook what is the first thing you see when you open that application or website? Chances are it is a list of other photos, updates, messages or posts.
How often do you fire up your mail application with the intention of writing a message but find yourself distracted by a list of new messages? It happens to me daily, to the point were I often forget to write the message I intended to write in the first place.
This is a design flaw.
Our marketing folks spend a lot of time determining our websites visitors intent in order to present the visitor with the most appropriate parts of our service, and I think other applications could benefit from this technique as well. This might not seem like an easy task, especially when we are used to combining multiple functions (the reading and writing of messages, for example) into a single application, but perhaps the solution is to decouple these activities; after all you don’t open your notebook to read the (snail) mail, and you don’t sit down at a piano to listen to your favorite recordings…