Design - Paragon Bit Foundry

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Design Philosophy
All Paragon Bit Foundry applications are designed to be ambient icons, namely small, square programs that run in the Windows task bar’s notification area.  They display information both with the icon image that is shown, and also with the tooltip text that appears when the mouse is hovered over the icon.  Like a clock on a wall, our products show helpful information with a single glance, with the added benefit of displaying more detail using the mouse.

In our opinion, the taskbar notification area is rarely used to its full potential, and our software is aiming to change that. Bridging the gap between mobile apps and full desktop software systems, ambient icons are always “on” and demand far less attention than these other mediums, all while providing useful services.  Countless millions of people use Windows every day, both for business and personal pursuits, and adding ambient icons to their desktops is a natural fit to improve their experience.

Our software shares a common user interface, with pop-up menus that appear with clear options and a simple layout. With dozens of available apps that cover a multitude of topics, it is important that users are presented with a consistent “look and feel” that they only need to learn once, and then can be used across all of our products.  The most common options have defaults that are set to the preferred values for most users, so casual users may find that using one of our icons needs little to no configuration at all.  More advanced users, on the other hand, will find a surprisingly large number of configuration options that allows them to “fine tune” both the behavior and the text display of each icon.

From a development perspective, all of our ambient icons are designed to be “environmentally friendly” on your Windows desktop.  They are quite small in size and require a minimum of your computer’s resources in order to run.  Our software also efficiently utilizes processing power by only performing calculations when necessary, so even with dozens of icons running at once, there is virtually no noticeable effect on your PC’s or laptop’s performance.
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