We all know whats going on with Twitter. They are pulling the plugs on all the companies that helped make them the success they currently are, giving all the developers of the great clients the middle finger, whilst their own client is as useful as chocolate teapot. To put it simply, the bosses at Twitter have realised they need to make money. They want to do it from advertising, meaning they need to get control over the platform which they can not do whilst there are third party clients and systems using the Twitter API, so they have changed it all to allow them greater control. Can you blame them for wanting to make money? No, it is a business. If it didn’t make money it would go out of business.
They have realised that the business model they had originally was great for attracting users, but not for making money and they have decided to change that model. Its how they have made the changes that is the issue. They are acting like a bull in a china shop. They don’t seem to care at all about how their changes are affecting the very people and businesses that made them so popular.
Twitter is putting all it’s eggs in one basket hoping that it’s giant user base will attract advertisers and make them loads of money, however in the process of doing so they are destroying everything which made Twitter what it has become. Does no one at Twitter realise this?
Two things will happen in the future:
1. Twitters users will get annoyed that their favourite client no longer works and they will hate the adverts filling their streams. They will leave and the company will die.
2. Twitter users won’t care that they are just being used to make money and have advertising thrust in their face. Twitter will carry on as normal, with more control over itself and more rubbish in it’s stream.
Either way I think Twitter has had its peak. Its either going to insult all its users who are dumb enough to not realise, or piss them off and they will all leave. I’m not sure which is better.
I had a client that was focusing too much on the look of the website. We have all had clients like this. They were more bothered about how the website looked & were not at all bothered about the content. It was an afterthought to them and it led to quite a few arguments between us.
I don’t need to preach about designing based on content. It is common sense really. How can you design a website without knowing at least some of the content?
I had all the usual discussions with the client. Content strategies were developed & even attempts to write the content with them/for them. They would not budge. They wanted the website to be built and then they would make the content fit into it – not how it should be done & not how I was going to do it. I was stuck & seriously contemplating firing the client.
How did I make the client see sense? I asked them what website they go to the most. The one they visit every week, or every day. They visited one specific website every day. I won’t say which one but I can say it was a forum. It was the perfect answer that I was hoping for as this forum which they visited & participated with every day, design wise, was awful & they new it. The first thing they said after telling me the website was that it ‘looked awful’. Based on this information I asked them why they visited the website every day? Almost instantly the penny dropped. There was one thing which they went back for every day. The content.
From that moment on the whole relationship between myself & the client changed. They got to work on the content. It was not perfect but it was their first attempt. It was a kick start the project needed and after some tweaking and adjustments, the content led to a design for the site which really helped the content & made it work.
People often focus on the look of a website more than they do on the content. The looks are important – are you going to even bother reading a website if it looks shocking? It’s the looks that attract initially, but its the content that makes the site stand out & the visiters coming back.
So today I saw an advert for a car warranty company. I was curious about how much it would cost for my car so I went onto the website and filed in the short form to get the quote. Thankfully they gave the quote instantly and didn’t do the annoying thing where they e-mail it to you. Companies need to learn that a user goes to a website for a quote, so give them a quote there. Don’t send it somewhere else. Anyway, back to the point. Within 5 minuts of reading the quote on the website my phone rang. It was the warranty company asking if everything was ok. I informed them everything was fine & that I was just comparing quotes & would make a decision soon, which is entirely true.
This got me thinking about the speed of their response to me. The time between me filling in the form online & them calling me. Was it too short? Would there be a benefit to them & to me if they had waited maybe a day or so? Now I will go about my day & probably totally forget about their quote. Bad for me as it may have been the best quote & bad for them as they won’t get the business. If they had left it a few days it would have been a nice reminder for me & also maybe shown that they care about potential customers. It may have also been the reminder that led to them gaining my business. Now it just seems like they are trying to pressure sell. Instantly calling the user as soon as they fill in the form online is like a salesman in a shop walking straight up to you when you first walk through the door. Maybe it also shows that they are not busy, meaning they can call instantly.
In this modern world speed is important. Fast payments, fast websites. Time is money and all that but I do feel certain things are better done a little slower. Adjusting speed for the situation & action may lead to better outcomes.
This industry moves so fast. What is relevant one day is outdated the next. Version 1.0 soon becomes version 6.0 & it’s totally different to the version before it. Design trends change, programming language functions become deprecated & development methodologies evolve.
Whilst taking some time off I got talking to someone who said he could not wait to graduate and get on with his web industry career. He could not wait until he could “stop learning”. My response was “this is not the industry for you”. In this industry you are constantly learning. Things are constantly changing, updating & evolving. To stay current you have to keep learning otherwise you get left behind.
In life do we ever stop learning?
We no longer have teachers, white boards or exercise books which we had in school & university. They have been replaced by wallets, handbags and smartphones. We drink coffe instead of milk at break time. We use words like innovation but is that not just a grown up word for learning? As human beings we strive to better ourselves all the time. Was the point of school & university actually to learn the art of learning?
When do you stop learning?
Firstly let me just say I use Apple products. I like them, but I would not say I’m a fan boy. I don’t think they are perfect at all.
As with all new Apple products releases, the new Macbook Pro with Retina display has caused the usual tear-downs to figure out how it was built and which components were used. Almost all of the reports have stated that custom components were used meaning the machines are virtually impossible to upgrade due to the RAM being soldered onto the board and the SSD drives proprietary connector. I question these claims. Here is why:
Yes the RAM is soldered onto the board & not user upgradable. I can not question that claim really but I can claim that it does not actually matter. The minimum the machine comes with is 8 gigabytes of RAM. Thats a lot. I’m a power user and would struggle to max out 8 gigabytes. You can order an upgrade to 16 gigabytes at purchase time if you want, which is a massive amount. My point is, why would you want anything other than 8 or 16 gigabytes. Would you upgrade from 8 to 10? Doubtful. I have only ever once upgraded the RAM in on of my laptops form 4 gigabytes to 8 as the 4 was a little small for what I do. Everyone is making a big fuss about the RAM but the amounts available are ample & based on the current market prices, not overpriced at all. Out of intrest, how many of you have actually ever upgraded the RAM in your laptop? Did you ever consider the upgradability of the machine when you purchased it?
The SSD has a proprietary connector. Apple first used this setup in the Macbook Air. You can buy replacement, bigger faster SSD’s for these machines. All Apple have done is change the connector. You can change these drive, your just can’t buy a replacement with the same connector yet. Soon a third-party manufacturer will make them, 100%.
Will I be purchasing one? Not right now. It’s thin and powerful. The screen is stunning. Mesmerising infant. I am going to wait for the second generation as this one, power wise, is not that much of an improvement over my current Macbook Pro. The only selling point is the screen & while it is stunning, I just can’t justify it.
Someone asked me recently why my blog does not have all the social media buttons that they see on all other blogs.
It’s a good question. I used to have them all but I recently read the article, Sweep the Sleaze, which influenced the latest re-design of my blog. The guys over at iA argue why these buttons are pretty pointless to most users. There is an interesting fact from the guys over at Smashing Magazine & how when they removed their Facebook Like button, traffic from Facebook actually increased. The cause of this is that users started sharing links on their timeline, rather than the usual Like Buttons message appearing. The user sharing a link meant more of their friends/subscribers clicked the link. Its an interesting read which challenges a lot of what people class as “social media strategy”.
It got me thinking about the buttons which I use myself when I visit other websites. I’m not on all the social networks & even if I were, I would not share the articles I read on most of them. I use the networks differently. I do not share the same information across them all. I like to keep my personal & professional lives as separate as possible. Facebook is the network I use for my private social life, where as I user Twitter for my professional/business life which is a lot more public. Most of the articles I read & want to share are professional/business/industry relates so I would only share them on Twitter. I think this is the same of most people in my industry. This is why I only included the Twitter Share button in this latest re-design.
I know people will disagree with this logic & I’m sure there will be users out there who won’t be willing to copy the link, open Facebook of Google+, paste it in & share it. I don’t think its going to effect me that much.