A Quick Rant -- The New Twitter and Real People
Twitter… what are we going to do with you? You have the simplest of concepts -- let people send short messages to friends and make it easy for programmers to write little apps to get those messages. And programmers have built lots of great interfaces like Tweetdeck… so why can't you make a decent interface?
Oooooohhhh… Lookie… everything slides around…. it's so cool! And so absolutely unnecessary….
I know, you're all probably getting really tired of me complaining about these kids these days with their fancy-assed style sheets and code for codes sake. But it pisses me off because it's lazy. It's myopic. It's arrogant. And it breaks. Constantly.
Do I really have to remind people that the web is critical to everything we do? Yet, it's getting needlessly complex. There are more non-technical people using technical tools online, and I don't mean Twitter, I mean tools that are replacing customer service, tracking, and all the little bits of information we need to get our jobs done every day.
At the same time, those of us who have been playing with the Internet since the days of 'gopher' are so far beyond the average person that, apparently, we've forgotten that people have to use this stuff and programmers are doing things like The New Twitter because it's cool. Even if it breaks.
There was a simple rule I learned in advertising -- everything in the design should have a purpose. You should be able to defend the position of a hair on a model's head. The basic rule of interface design is that it should be effortless -- the person using your technology should forget there is even any technology in front of them.
Simply saying, 'because it looks cool' isn't good enough.