Rant


Opinion

Why Can't People Make Things Clear?

19th November 2020 PERMALINK • 2 min read

Sorry for the rant, but I just had to get something off my chest.

One of my strongly held opinions is that if you are trying to share information, then it is your duty to make it as easy to understand as possible. Especially in a professional sense.

It still baffles me that all through school and in every job I've worked, there's always been a problem with communication and sharing clear information. I'm talking about emails, documents, and even simple chat messages.

Here are the main problems I've encountered, and I bet quite a lot of other people have:

  • More than one font in a simple document.
  • Random line breaks throughout the document.
  • Assortment of bold, underlined, and italicised text. Sometimes used in combinations.
  • Text colour seemingly decided per sentence based on the current mood of the author.
  • No structure.
  • Worse than no structure. Bad structure. Sections in the wrong order, the visual hierarchy doesn't match the content, etc.
  • Different headings used to style text based on a whim not based on the content structure.
  • Many more that I'm forgetting.

I used to put it down to people just not being able to use computers properly. Because maybe it was my interest in computers that lead me to learn how to use them better? But while that may have passed 15-20 years ago, I don't think it does anymore. Especially in the technology-dominated roles that I've worked.

At one of my old jobs, emails would regularly come with more than three text colours, multiple fonts, sometimes font sizes, no clear headers, and probably only two or three paragraphs of text. What's worse, is that it was usually important information that people needed to understand in order to do their job.

When I read badly written/formatted documents or emails I always think to myself, why has this person not just put a bit more effort into making sure people can understand it? Or sometimes it feels like less effort would make it easier to understand.

If you want people to value the information you are sharing, make it easy for them to understand.

Sure, even if something is a real mess, most people will probably be able to understand it. But it may lead to misunderstandings, or questions later on when people want to clarify something. So by keeping things simple and to the point, you save yourself a lot of time.

There's also the fact that you could look unprofessional if you are incapable of making things clear. Because to be honest, if I read something that has no structure, no clear message, and the formatting is all over the place, my opinion would be that the author didn't understand the topic they're writing about.

Maybe when I try to explain things at work, I spend too much time making everything easy to understand, but I definitely think some people don't find it important at all. And maybe this is unimportant to most, but it really irritates me.

Rant

Better Support for Tweetstorms, Exactly What Twitter Needed!

12th December 2017 PERMALINK • 1 min read

From the Twitter Blog:

We’ve made it easy to create a thread by adding a plus button in the composer, so you can connect your thoughts and publish your threaded Tweets all at the same time. You can continue adding more Tweets to your published thread at any time with the new “Add another Tweet” button. Additionally, it’s now simpler to spot a thread – we’ve added an obvious “Show this thread” label. – Full announcement.

As much as I think this is a good addition to the Twitter app, even though my thoughts on tweetstorms are mixed, I can’t help but thinking that they’re still not working on the important things.

It sounds stupid, and I understand there’s different departments for different things. But the native Mac app doesnt even support 280 characters yet.

And what about all the god damn abuse!

I was a bit weary of blaming Twitter directly for these types of issues, where maybe things such as blocking, or other reactionary actions could help. But it’s a real mess.

I’m a massive fan of Twitter. But if certain people can’t use it because of things like abuse, safeguarding issues, the special treatment some people get even when they break such basic rules (especially that prat with the blonde combover), then you’re doing something fundamentally wrong.

In no way is this me trying to create a comprehensive list of the problems with Twitter. I don’t have enough patience to write about them all. But it pisses me off when I see constant “improvements” to the things that don’t really matter.

Apple Watch

Emergency SOS on Apple Watch

6th July 2017 PERMALINK • 1 min read

I had my third experience triggering Emergency SOS on my Apple Watch this morning, but this one was the most annoying.

If you haven’t heard of it, then iMore has a good guide on what it is and how to set it up. But basically, it’s something that when triggered, will start beeping loudly while it counts down from 10, and when finished it will call your local emergency services, and share your location with a rather urgent message to your emergency contacts.

To be honest, it sounds really useful. Not something that would get used 99.9% of the time, but it’s nice to know it’s there if you need it. However the action to trigger it, is by holding down the buttons on your watch. Which I believe, is a terrible idea.

As I mentioned before, I’ve accidentally triggered this a few times. I was pretty sure that I saw somewhere that the latest betas had an issue with cancelling it, I’m not sure if this is still true, but nothing I did stopped everything from happening. So my watch beeped loudly on the train for 10 seconds, the (not so equal to 911) emergency services were dialled, and my location was shared with a few people. All because I was leaning on my wrist in a weird way when trying to get off the train.

It’s a nice feature, and is vital to someone in an emergency. But it should be harder to trigger.

Rant

One Questionable Feature in Tweetbot

24th February 2017 PERMALINK • 1 min read

<rant>

Tweetbot for Mac has been my number one choice of Twitter client for a while now (apart from a few weeks with the official Twitter app), but there’s always been one "feature" that’s really confused me.

I personally think that Tapbots have high level of precision, and I can see that 99.9% of Tweetbot does something a certain way for a reason. It’s that 0.1% I’m confused about.

It’s about what happens when you double click on the Profile icon… It makes your Favstar.fm profile appear in your web browser? Why would I ever want to go to Favstar? What is Favstar?

On all the other icons, double clicking would move the relevant list to the top, such as Mentions, Activity, etc. So instead of just switching to the different tab, you can quickly scroll up.

But why isn’t this the same with the Profile? Why can’t I just quickly see my most recent tweets?

</rant>

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