Archive for October 30, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Kindness of Major Corporations

Paul Kafasis:

American Express, meanwhile, has offered a brief note of concern for my well-being, and a vague promise of assistance as needed. If that help is needed, I should just call, visit their website, or tweet at them. I should definitely not, however, email them, as that would obviously be a ridiculous way to communicate.

Is it ever reasonable to send a customer an e-mail that specifically says not to reply? I’ve always been told, but not really believed, that financial companies don’t like to communicate via e-mail out of security/privacy concerns. But what could be more private than a tweet?

Check the Weather 1.1

Check the Weather is my new favorite iPhone weather app. It has a very clean design—just a few screens that you can swipe through—but includes the hourly temperature and precipitation information that I care about. It also has extended forecasts for 9 days ahead and supports Dark Sky. The Idlewild font in the initial version really put me off, but with version 1.1 you can choose Helvetica or Futura. Previously, I had used My-Cast for years. I still like it, but Check the Weather requires fewer taps.

Update (2013-01-07): Now that it’s winter, I’ve stopped using Check the Weather. It does not provide any information about the kind or amount of snow to expect.

E-book Pagination

Rian van der Merwe:

Scrolling is exhausting — it never ends. There is no sense of accomplishment. I once heard someone refer to infinite scrolling on websites as “a game you can never win.”

I prefer pagination for a different reason. With scrolling, I feel like I have too much control. I constantly have to “measure” how far to scroll and make the proper precise movement. My eyes have to track the content as it moves. It’s exhausting because of the concentration it requires compared with just pressing a button and having the right thing happen.

Update (2012-11-01): Lukas Mathis:

If I’m reading a novel, the experience I’m having should be the book’s story unfolding in my head, not my fingers scrolling the page every few seconds. In this case, good UX design means not interfering with the actual experience the user is having: the book’s story.

Update (2012-11-05): Lukas Mathis responds to Dr. Drang:

Look at iOS’s home screen. There are pages of apps. You jump between pages, you don’t scroll. Is the home screen’s pagination an artifact of paper book technology, or is it simply a better idea than having a home screen that can be scrolled? I’d argue that it’s a better idea.

Facebook, Contacts, iCloud, and Mountain Lion

Erik Barzeski:

Perhaps there was another way, but researching via the Internet didn’t turn any up. I’d be happy if someone was able to post something in the comments to help anyone in the future, but I believe this highlights one of the big problems with iCloud: there’s no way to really get at your data in the cloud. I would have loved being able to go to, log in, and click a button to restore my contacts to where they were at 10:38am, before I accidentally deleted them all and gave myself three hours of unnecessary work.

This is the sort of situation where the cloud should be an advantage. iCloud should have a Restore Contacts feature like Gmail’s. In fact, perhaps it would make more sense to sync one’s Mac and iPhone with Google rather than iCloud.