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Good UX Needs More Than Data, It Needs Some Taste

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Chris Welch: Instagram Showed People Too Many Videos Last Year, Admits Adam Mosseri

Even Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, now believes that the platform put a lopsided emphasis on videos and Reels last year — and traditional photo posts were worse off because of it. In one of the answers from his weekly Q&A with users today, he acknowledged, “I think we were overfocused on video in 2022 and pushed ranking too far and basically showed too many videos and not enough photos.” Mosseri said that Instagram has since worked behind the scenes to restore a more even balance, and internal metrics show that it’s working.

A lot of UX work is based on data. You can gather data on how people are using your products, and you can adjust them to better line up with what your customers want.

That said, I think you can get too focused on the metrics and you can take your product in bad directions.

The thing you need to have to keep this metrics-based approach to UX in check is taste, and frankly it doesn't seem that those at Instagram who have taste are having enough influence over product decisions. When so many of your users are saying "I hate this" and you just point to the data and say "no you don't, you love it," I think you need to consider whether you've let the data drive you too much.

I would reading about the paperclip problem for a nice theoretical example of how unchecked data-following can lead to…pretty bad situations.

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mxm23
9 days ago
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Here’s a game based on the Paperclip Problem: https://www.decisionproblem.com/paperclips/
West Coast
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Microsoft to Lay Off 10,000 Employees (5 Percent of Workforce)

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Satya Nadella in a company-wide memo, after 167 words of throat-clearing:

Today, we are making changes that will result in the reduction of our overall workforce by 10,000 jobs through the end of FY23 Q3. This represents less than 5 percent of our total employee base, with some notifications happening today. It’s important to note that while we are eliminating roles in some areas, we will continue to hire in key strategic areas. We know this is a challenging time for each person impacted. The senior leadership team and I are committed that as we go through this process, we will do so in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible.

Second, we will continue to invest in strategic areas for our future, meaning we are allocating both our capital and talent to areas of secular growth and long-term competitiveness for the company, while divesting in other areas. These are the kinds of hard choices we have made throughout our 47-year history to remain a consequential company in this industry that is unforgiving to anyone who doesn’t adapt to platform shifts. As such, we are taking a $1.2 billion charge in Q2 related to severance costs, changes to our hardware portfolio, and the cost of lease consolidation as we create higher density across our workspaces.

Curious what “changes to our hardware portfolio” means.

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mxm23
19 days ago
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What does 'areas of secular growth' mean in this context?
West Coast
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Donald Trump Teased a ‘Major Announcement’ That Turned Out to Be Just an NFT Scam

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Molly White:

Trump supporters got all excited when Trump posted on social media to tease a “major announcement”. Was he going to run for speaker of the House? Return to Twitter? Unveil a presidential running mate?

His supporters were surprised — and not exactly thrilled — when the announcement turned out to be a collection of 45,000 NFTs (sorry, “digital trading cards”) featuring artwork of himself in heroic outfits and poses. The NFTs are “just” $99 apiece, and money goes to Trump, not his campaign.

Even some of his strongest supporters were nonplussed. Steve Bannon said, “I can’t do this anymore,” and opined that he should fire whoever advised him to make the collection.

The speaker of the House theory is based on the little-known fact that the Constitution does not require the speaker to be a sitting member of the House of Representatives. But, to date, every speaker has been. But Trump supporters got excited by his hyped “major announcement”, jumped the conclusion that he’d announce a bid to serve as speaker, and once speaker, would like shut down the whole federal government and lead impeachment hearings against, presumably, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and then, as speaker, he’d become president again. Or something like.

But instead, it was just an NFT scam for a collection of comic-book-style illustrations of Trump himself in various roles like superhero, astronaut, firefighter, cowboy, quarterback, etc. Imagine the Village People where everyone in the band is a slim, young, steroidally muscular Donald Trump. $99 a pop, and of course his idiot supporters bought them up.

Presidential!

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mxm23
51 days ago
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No Purchase Mail-In Alternate Method of Entry: Beginning November 28, 2022 and continuing throughout the Sweepstakes Entry Period, to receive one (1) entry in the Sweepstakes without making a purchase, complete the following steps: (i) mail one (1) envelope to Official Donald Trump NFT Collection Sweepstakes, 1143 East Union St, Newark, NY 14513, with such envelope containing (1) one (1) self-addressed postage paid No. 10 envelope (except Vermont residents are not required to affix return postage), and (2) an index card with Entrant’s first name, last name, postal address e-mail address in non-black pen. Limit one entry Sweepstakes Code request per outer envelope. The information provided in Entrant’s index card may be used to verify Entrant’s submission. The submission must be handwritten; (ii) upon receipt of such entry request, one (1) Sweepstakes Code will be returned to Entrant in the self-addressed postage paid (except Vermont residents) envelope provided to each mail-in request that complies with the stated requirements; and (iii) upon receipt of the Sweepstakes Code, Entrant must go to the Sweepstakes Site and follow the prompts to complete the required fields, including your email address, crypto wallet address, and unique Sweepstakes Code. If you do not already have a crypto wallet, you can create one for free on the NFT Site by providing your email address. Entrants must check the box to confirm that you accept and agree to the terms of these Official Rules and Sponsor’s Affidavit of Eligibility, Release of Liability and Publicity Release, and follow the prompts to submit your entry. All requests for Sweepstakes Codes must be postmarked no later than 11:59 PM EST on January 18, 2023. All requests for Sweepstakes Codes must be received no later than 7 days following the end of the Sweepstakes Entry Period in order to be considered for entry. All Sweepstakes Codes must be entered on the Sweepstakes Site on or before 14 days following the end of the Sweepstakes Entry Period (i.e., February 2, 2023). No service charge or fee will apply to this method of entry. Mail for this Mail-In Alternate Method of Entry sent to any other address will be disqualified and destroyed
West Coast
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B.C. doctor's licence permanently cancelled after decades of misconduct and fraudulent billing

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nurse stock

A Metro Vancouver family doctor with a long history of discipline for fraudulent billing and misconduct will soon have his medical licence permanently cancelled by his professional college.

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mxm23
81 days ago
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He started improper billing in 1991 according to the article. Why did it take 31 years to ban this doctor?
West Coast
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What’s in my NOW? — Mekkel Richards

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Sign up here to get What’s in my NOW? a week early in your inbox.

My name is Mekkel Richards. I am 30 and own a home in Detroit, MI. I work in the field of IT services. Really interested in New Deal politics, music, history, and the outdoors.

Physical

Dell Latitude laptop

Since 2014, when I started in the IT field, I have only purchased Dell Latitude laptops for both work & personal use. They are extremely durable, repairable, and cost-effective. Right now, I am using a model 7390 that was purchased new in early 2018. It’s been dropped on concrete a few times (and does have some chips), sandwiched in very tight bags, and overall not well taken care of, and yet, it continues to serve me daily without a single hardware issue. The Latitude line is a business-class line of laptop, and since businesses often upgrade their fleets of computers pretty often (between 2-5 years), there are tons available used on eBay at a very high discount. I never recommend a friend/family member that they purchase a new consumer-grade laptop when these are an option.

Harbor Freight 3/8 in., ¼ in. Drive SAE & Metric Socket Set, 40 Piece ($7)

For only $7, you can’t beat this ratchet/socket 40 piece set. I have bought 4 of these. One to leave in my car, one for my shed, one for my basement, and one spare. Many times I have been somewhere and needed to work on my car (replace air filter, tighten battery terminals, etc.) or was helping out a friend with yard equipment and just having this set in my car was a massive help. The quality is not the greatest, but for the price and convenience, there is no match.

CraftKitchen Stainless Steel Sporks ($15)

Having one tool that can accomplish the tasks of many is often beneficial. I am a guy who prefers to use a spoon over any other utensil. You can eat soup or cereal with it, cut tender meat, or scoop up vegetables with one. BUT, there comes a time when having a fork is almost necessary. The spork tackles both duties pretty well. I used a few different brands of spork until I settled on this brand because they are a good size, not too big, not too small, and they are also magnetic steel.

Digital

InoReader RSS Reader

There are two important eras of humanity. The time when Google Reader was around and the time after. InoReader is an RSS Reader that allows you to add a website’s feed (or subreddit, twitter feed, Facebook page, Google News page, newsletter, Telegram channel, etc) to your feed list. As the website publishes new posts, they appear in your list. This makes for very efficient news consumption. It’s a lifesaver during my breaks at work. You can add up to 150 feeds with the free ad-supported version and up to 500 feeds if you cough up $1.67 per month. The ads are mostly non-intrusive and the paid option is very fair if needed. I have tested out every RSS reader out there, and InoReader seems to be the closest to what Google Reader was.

Greenshot

Not a day goes by where I don’t use Greenshot for taking screenshots on my PC. The app makes it very easy and satisfying to select a portion of your screen using a keyboard shortcut, and a menu instantly appears once selected that allows you to: copy the image to clipboard, open with an image editor, or instantly upload to Imgur (and auto-copy the Imgur URL!). These features are invaluable for someone like me in the IT field. I can see this being useful for most office jobs.

Invisible

Do the easy stuff now, and do 80% the rest as soon as you can.

Let’s say you have a to-do list of 10 things. Knock out the 5 easy tasks that will take you less than 1hour immediately, immediately. Now you have 5 hard tasks, which is still a daunting number. I have found that if I work on a few of the tasks now and take them to 80% completion pretty quickly. The last 20% takes a long time, but have the first 80% done will make the tasks seem like much less work. This has helped me a lot as a homeowner.

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mxm23
82 days ago
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+1 to Greenshot. Great utility.
West Coast
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Facebook’s VR Platform ‘Horizon’ Sucks

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Alex Heath, for The Verge:

Meta’s VR social network Horizon Worlds — the company’s flagship “metaverse” app — is suffering from too many quality issues and even the team building it isn’t using it very much, according to internal memos obtained by The Verge. [...]

A key issue with Horizon’s development to date, according to Shah’s internal memos, is that the people building it inside Meta appear to not be using it that much. “For many of us, we don’t spend that much time in Horizon and our dogfooding dashboards show this pretty clearly,” he wrote to employees on September 15th. “Why is that? Why don’t we love the product we’ve built so much that we use it all the time? The simple truth is, if we don’t love it, how can we expect our users to love it?”

In a follow-up memo dated September 30th, Shah said that employees still weren’t using Horizon enough, writing that a plan was being made to “hold managers accountable” for having their teams use Horizon at least once a week. “Everyone in this organization should make it their mission to fall in love with Horizon Worlds. You can’t do that without using it. Get in there. Organize times to do it with your colleagues or friends, in both internal builds but also the public build so you can interact with our community.”

The answer is right in front of Shah’s face: Horizon obviously sucks. Early-development bugginess wouldn’t keep employees from wanting to use it if it were exciting and fun. If Horizon were promising, they wouldn’t have to mandate using it — they’d have to fight to keep employees from trying to get in on the beta.

Using a turd of a product more isn’t going to make employees fall in love with it. You either love something — or someone — or you don’t. You can’t be forced to fall in love.

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mxm23
121 days ago
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Truth
West Coast
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