So boycotts are fashionable again. I’ve been boycotting Starbucks since the early Noughties because of their aggressive business tactics; now I’m joined in that boycott by hordes of people who are unhappy because of the company’s attitude to tax. Now I know how Michaela Strachan felt when statement earrings came back into fashion: pleased, slightly righteous, and tempted to shout “I was doing it first!” a lot.
Designing a train ticket website? If the usability is poor, I might buy the wrong ticket. Designing an online booking system? Bad usability could lead to a lot of confusion and unnecessary phone calls. Designing a medical device? Bad usability could kill someone.
When I see that I’ve got a voicemail, my heart sinks. I will put off listening to a voicemail in a way I would never, ever do with a text message or an email. Because listening to it is a chore in a way that reading a text never is. And that’s because most voicemails fall into a few specific categories:
OMG isn’t it crazy that a machine is really recording my voice?! Can you hear me? Oh wow. I don’t know what to say, but um, this is great. Maybe I should sing you a song?
Google’s decision to scrap Google Reader drove people to seek alternative RSS feed readers. Lots of us migrated to The Old Reader, which described the heavy influx of traffic from March onwards as “a nightmare” and took the decision to close user registration and shut the public site down. (At the time of writing, they are discussing “new proposals” which may reverse this decision.)