Archive of: society
A fascinating and poignant Twitter thread from Marcin Wichary, about user interfaces that accidentally collect memories, and tell a story about the past.
Fascinated by UIs that accidentally amass memories. One of them is the wi-fi “preferred networks” pane – unexpected reminders of business trips, vacations, accidental detours, once frequented and now closed cafés. pic.twitter.com/r137dZI0r8— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) 14 May 2018
I wonder what I would see if I fired up any of the old social apps I don’t use any more, like Adium, or Textual.
Via this ongoing Metafilter post with more funny and sad stories of accidental memories.
Good Design Is Honest
This is one of Rams’s tenets, but it bears repeating at a time when dark patterns abound and corporations treat UX like a weapon. Uber is the most flagrant example. The company built its business on a seamless front-end user experience (hail a ride, without ever pulling out your wallet!) while playing puppet master with both users and drivers. The company’s fall from grace–culminating in CEO Travis Kalanick’s ousting last year–underscores the shortsightedness of this approach.
Good design “does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is,” Rams writes. “It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.”
Lots to think about and absorb going into 2018.
The web is like the ship of Theseus—so much of it has been changed and added to over time. That doesn’t mean its initial design was flawed—just the opposite. It means that its initial design wasn’t unnecessarily rigid. The simplicity of the early web wasn’t a bug, it was a feature.
Jeremy Keith on the origins of the web and the false idea that it was designed solely for sharing documents.
I also know that any man who is uncomfortable with the empowerment of women is simply afraid that the only thing he has going for him is that he is a man.
I’m simultaneously horrified by the amount of shit women have to deal with, and in awe of their fortitude in the face of all that shit.
my take: you want opinions, but you also want committed opinions. Your poll/survey/vote will erect (or fail to erect) barriers to participation, and those barriers represent a measure of commitment. No barriers = lots of votes, but high risk of Boaty McBoatface. High barriers = few votes, but from those who care.
If the process insists that humans act more like machines/robots/spreadsheets than real human beings, challenge that process.
Progressive enhancement follows the Golden Rule because it is concerned with the “other”. That’s why accessibility is such a key part of building websites following the progressive enhancement philosophy. It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes—someone whose abilities and situation probably differ from yours. We are a diverse lot after all.
One hell of a read from Aaron Gustafson on the Golden rule, egalitarianism and the philosophy of progressive enhancement in web design.
Text lasts. It’s not platform-dependant, you don’t just get it from one source, read it in one place, understand it in one way. It is not dependent on technology: it is what we make technology out of. Code is text, it is the fundamental nature of technology. We’ve been trying for decades, since the advent of hypertext fiction, of media-rich CD-ROMs, to enhance the experience of literature with multimedia. And it has failed, every time.
James Bridle – The New Value of Text.
[Moore’s Law means] that anything that is dismissed on the grounds of the technology-not-being-good-enough-yet is going to happen.
It’s a fantastic speech on pre and post Cold War generations, networks vs hierarchies, and the failure of governments to come to terms to what is happening in society. Highly recommended.
The librarian isn’t a clerk who happens to work at a library. A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher. The librarian is the interface between reams of data and the untrained but motivated user.
We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don’t need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime.
Seth Godin on the future of the library.