Time as a design axis

A sketch to illustrate what a time based data pattern could be.

I wanted to share my digital calendar with my partner today. I rely on my online diary to stay organised. It's the most reliable source of truth about what I'm doing. But as I went to share my calendar I realised the setting, or data pattern, I wanted doesn't exist (yet).

Google Calendar lets me make my calendar public, or share with specific people in different levels of detail. Those permission settings are useful, especially for work. But they miss a trick.

I want to set the date from when my partner can see events in my calendar. Today, the only way I could do this is to work backwards through every single event in the past it make them individually private. Like anyone's got the time or patience to do that. I wish there was a setting that was temporal, don't you?

I simply want to share my calendar from today and into the future. I don't want to share my past events. I don't want my partner stumbling on private past events, perhaps even intimate ones like a date. I don't want them to see email addresses of people I met 2 years ago.

It would be so helpful and intuitive to set permission for who can see my calendar using time as a design axis. A permission that supported my decisions about what I want others to know.

"See events happening today and in the future."

Let's design for relationships. Because actually, every service we use is about us in relationship to others. And I want my data permissions to reflect that.

Nb. The irony of a calendar data pattern that doesn't let me set the date I want to share from is not lost on me.

Sarah Gold
I'm a values driven leader working on redesigning trust in technology.