I'm Drew Breunig and I obsess about technology, media, language, and culture. I live in New York, studied anthropology, and work at PlaceIQ.


Posts tagged ui

The new version of Tweetings uses a lifts Tweetbots’ switch control to toggle between mobilizer and full web. Interesting.

Update: Chartier informs me that not only is Tweetings a rip off of the unfortunately named but wonderfully designed Helvititweet, but this particular feature is ripped off note for note from Tweetbot. Go buy Tweetbot if you haven’t already. While unaware of its mobilizer, I already thought it was the top iOS Twitter app.

Ah, App Store politics.


I gotta tell you, I’m a little intimidated by The Atlantic’s share tools. 

Can someone A/B test this against a FB/email/Twitter option? There’s no way this is better.

I know I’m late to this one, but: if they redesigned their page to encourage sign-ups, why did they hide the username/password fields in the upper-right-hand button?

A Call for Widget Jargon Standards

Everyone who has developed a social network widget has struggled with the ambiguities that plague the space. Unlike desktop apps, widgets have several user POVs that cause more than a bit of confusion:

"Wait, what if I’m not friends with Kelly but she has the application and sends me the invite? What does Jim then see on the news feed if he does have the application?”

If the widget in question is a marketing one, well…you’re in a for a treat. Stakeholders come from every department trying to grasp an idea that everyone is talking about differently. Interface designers talk recursively, hackers talk in code, account people approach as users, and there are always a few people who can’t figure out why we need to talk about the widget so much in the first place. (“Can’t these guys just go off and program it?”)

Conversations always break down to drawn-out what-if scenarios involving the people in the room, hypothetically using the application among each other.

These problems won’t be solved anytime soon. No, we need to fully naturalize social networks and Web 2.0 interactions for that to happen. But in the mean time, I’m making a modest proposal. Instead of resorting to what-if situations involving interactions between the people in the room, let’s agree on the following (or at least start to think about standards).

From now on, potential users of a social networking widget shall be referred to as: 

  • Tom: A user who has the widget installed.
  • Dick: Tom’s friend who also has the widget installed.
  • Harry: Tom’s friend who does not have the widget installed.

I think these cases should cover nearly all of the potential users. They’re already allowing us to inject some consistence during our wireframe, user-flow, and whiteboard discussions.