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Category Archives: Techie

 

The communication between machine and human is a difficult thing.

 

But still, every machine was initially programmed by a human, which justifies a ‘What were they thinking?’ non-usabilityfriendly induced irritation.

 

So here is one of those double blink excusez-moi is this happening for real moment:

 

I’m glad this is ‘The exception’ then.

I’m glad this is ‘The exception’ then.

 

When doing some Google research and the page froze, Chrome popped up with an explanation: “The exception”.

 

Great, I’m glad we cleared that one up. I’m sure all of the possible browser errors are exceptions, but it’s good to be told, just in case.

 

And I wonder if one late night the dude who’s still working for free couldn’t be arsed to explain why on earth Chrome messed up this time and simply called the application error “The exception”.

 

‘Nuff said: OK

 

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Being prompted to check out 'New Groups' for nothing: Why am I alerted to 'Suggested Groups' when then there aren't any?

Being prompted to check out ‘New Groups’ for nothing: Why am I alerted to ‘Suggested Groups’ when then there aren’t any?

Lately I’m being prompted all sorts of things on Facebook: To link Instagram, to link groups, to create a new post, to keep up the likes… It keeps me busy.

Especially as half of these alerts are outdated or simply fake:

Facebook keeps on alerting me about the same thing, for example I’m constantly alerted about my inbox, as if it sits on a timer set to bug me at regular intervals. I’ve actioned on that message long time ago, but I’m still being bugged about it.

But the worst is to be alerted about something that turns out to be nothing:

Facebook offers me to check ‘Suggested Groups’. Yet, when I do it tells me: “We don’t have any suggestions at the moment.” The red ’20+’ alert is however still hovering next to my ‘New Groups’, urging me to click on it.

Dark patterns at work. 😮

 

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I’m not very often on Instagram. But I was surprised when all of a sudden a follow request popped up.

 

My profile is public, so I really couldn’t see a reason why I’m alerted if someone is following me.

 

Until I checked out the actual request:

The answer to why I have to approve a follow request.

The answer to why I have to approve a follow request.

 

Ah. Oh. Ok.

 

So Instagram alerts me as I might not want to be followed by vulgar people. I guess thanks are in order.

 

In this case however the profile seems to belong to an artist. And if it’s in the name of art, anything goes, doesn’t it.

 

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Because searching ‘rat’ is too unlikely according to Facebook, I'm being presented search results for 'ray'.

Because searching ‘rat’ is too unlikely according to Facebook, I’m being presented search results for ‘ray’.

 

When Facebook autocorrects your search from ‘rat’ to ‘ray’ it can feel very lonely, having pet rats.

Of course, this is just one of their predictable algorithmically calculated assumptions – and it’s working badly at that because I have ‘rats‘, ‘pet rats‘ and ‘wild rats‘ as my interests.
But it shows how the majority of Facebook users tick: They misspell ‘Ray’ with ‘rat’.

Pity they never get to find out that rats make great pets. 😮

 

Follow Rats Make Great Pets on Facebook and on Google+. 🙂

 

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When I open up Facebook I have gazillions of notifications, and it’s pretty clear that these are in Facebook’s – and not in my – interest:

 

Facebook tells me my friends are interested in going to events. While this information comes to no surprise, it's the fact that I get alerted about it, which turns this into a FOMO trigger.

Facebook tells me my friends are interested in going to events.
While this information comes to no surprise, it’s the fact that I get alerted about it, which turns this into a FOMO trigger.

 

Today I was informed that a couple of my contacts “are interested in going to an event in Cape Town tomorrow”. What a surprise.

Clicking on this ‘notification’ I land on the events page of a club night. Really not something I’m interested in.

Facebook will regard my click as a success, whereas I find this incredibly annoying. Facebook is not my AI diary. In fact, it offers me such predictable content – like the update to being married leads to ads about babies – that I’m simply frustrated.

 

But now I’m not just bombarded with consumerism, I’m also pressured to be hip and cool and constantly know what everyone else is doing and on top of it best participate in it.

Facebook fuels FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Just another reason to switch off and appreciate JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out)!

 

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#LocalisationFail: When the Translation Add-on needs to be translated...

#LocalisationFail: When the Translation Add-on needs to be translated…

 

I’d like my mom to read my blog, so I’m researching Translation Add-ons for Firefox.

Unlike Chrome, Firefox doesn’t automatically detect and translate languages. An Add-on is required. This alone makes things highly complicated for my mom, who is technophobic.

To make matters worse, most resources for Firefox are in English, even the ‘About’ section (= ‘Über dieses Add-on’) of this translation tool!

While this Add-on has a good rating, it is completely useless for non-English speakers if the instructions are not provided in their language.

So ideally my mom would have this Add-on installed in order to read how to install this Add-on…

#LocalisationFail

 

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While waiting for the page to load, Flickr reassures you:

While waiting for the page to load, Flickr reassures you: “This is the web page you are looking for.”

In South Africa internet is a joke and most fancy designed websites take ages to load.

Waiting for a web page to load is not only irritating, it’s also confusing if you don’t know what’s going on: Should you reload? Should you start over? How long do you have to wait?

Good Practice is to inform your users where they are and what to expect, so there are no unwanted surprises.

Flickr is doing an excellent job keeping you reassured you are doing the right thing, and they go a step further and make it entertaining.

From “Firing up the engines” to “Questioning the Magic Donkey” to “Herding pandas”, you’ll get all sorts of fun announcements while the page is loading, making it just a little more bearable having to wait. 🙂

Furthermore, Flickr keeps you entertained while waiting for their page to load:

Flickr keeps you entertained while their page is loading: “Questioning the Magic Donkey”. – Certainly something to do when waiting. 😉

 

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Michael Ventura

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