When I put my phone on silent, I usually have a pretty good reason for not wanting interruptions. There are parts of the day I don't want my concentration broken: during a call with a client from my desk phone or a brief one-on-one with a colleague. When my phone vibrates, it isn't just distracting visually, it's also distracting mentally and audibly. The prevailing logic is that vibrate is an alternative to an audible ring, but it still makes noise! It takes you 'out of the zone' from whatever you were previously working on and it's horrible for productivity.
One of the things I miss the most about my Blackberry was it's ability to be made completely silent. Android has had this feature out of the box for some time and it's available in iOS, but it's not enabled by default.
Luckily, I've stumbled across a way to make this behavior happen. Access your iPhone's Settings screen and navigate to the Sounds screen. You'll see the following on your phone:
Simply slide the indicator next to Vibrate on Silent to the left to turn off this feature. Then, silent truly will be silent, and you won't have those pesky vibrations to annoy your co-workers who share a desk with you and take you out of the zone.
If you don't want the vibration to activate when your phone rings and not on silent, simply side the indicator left on the Vibrate on Ring setting above.
Until Apple builds a feature into iOS that will look at the busy/away indicator on appointments in your calendar and block unnecessary interruptions, it seems this is the best built-in solution.
Finding setting changes like these appease the minimalist in me.
It's also pretty darn good for my productivity too.