New Tools For New Realities

We're launching a writing series about building Softspace.

New Tools For New Realities

Softspace is a new kind of tool for productivity, creativity, collaboration, and knowledge management. It's a beautiful virtual workspace where people develop complex creative projects together.

People have been using Softspace to make mood boards, create mind maps, build memory palaces, brainstorm, lay out research papers, run product strategy workshops, teach architecture classes, analyze user research, hold design reviews, give presentations, collage images, update investors, host pechakuchas, and (surely) many other amazing things.

Within a framework where creative knowledge work consists (simplistically!) of Collection → Synthesis → Production, most of these tasks fall under the all-important Synthesis step. For individuals and teams working in the creative knowledge economy, this is the most critical step to get right. After all, it’s where the magic happens.

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While Collection and Production have had mature software tools for a long time, it's only recently that lots of great tools for Synthesis have started coming out. We're big fans of Miro, Muse, Milanote, Roam,, and LiquidText. But in many cases, the usefulness of these tools is limited by the hardware they run on.

Synthesis demands working with complex information, in context, collectively. We need to be able to see and interact with 1) the information, 2) the various ways it relates to itself, 3) relevant background information, and 4) the people we're working with—simultaneously and spatially.

In larger projects, or with many collaborators, it becomes painful to do this on the small, flat displays of laptops and phones. In these cases, the best methods still require physical space and analog tools. That makes them expensive, difficult for remote teams, and cumbersome compared to digital methods. We don't use them often or well enough.

Spatial computing suggests a new and better way. VR and AR can present information without the constraints of a flat display. They can bring the benefits of the best physical workspaces to a digital productivity tool.

However, this technology is only the foundation for a product. There's no ready playbook for how to build up from there. That’s why we developed some core principles to guide us in making the countless decisions we face when designing and coding Softspace:

  • For interface design, our principles are Simplicity and Flexibility.

  • For social design, our principles are Trust and Synchrony.

  • For environment design, our principles are Comfort and Focus.

We're building Softspace because we believe lots of people need something like this, and nobody is building it the way that we think it should be built. We're crafting the tool we would have wanted to use, back when we were studying and working as designers and creative coders.

If this project resonates with you, we'd love to have your support and input!

  • You can start using Softspace for free 👉

  • Please share Softspace with people you think would benefit from what we're building. You can find us on the socials at @SoftspaceHQ.

Thank you! ❤️

Wishing you well, and looking forward to our next encounter,