This post was meant to be a different one and then yesterday I saw these Tweets by the amazing Mel Choyce :
I without thinking clicked the ❤️ and liked. It hit me deeper though, it moved me to write this post. In a world of insta-opinions and easy critique, it’s pretty hard to see the human behind the software.
I am not holding myself as a beyond just ‘noping’ products. Just ‘noping’ is a fairly common state of mind. Being humans we often have irrational thoughts and make our mind in a split second. After all, being able to make fast decisions was pretty useful when you had giant things coming to eat you in the days of living in a cave.
I often catch myself having an insta-nope and shouting it loudly. When I do though, I fall into a trap that many have before me and a lot are queueing up to also jump into, I add nothing to the conversation.
Communication online is by it’s very nature pretty impersonal. It falsely gives us the impression of safety to get personal. There is this incredibly intoxicating mixture of impersonal and personal. The result of this heady concoction is people often say things they wouldn’t in person.
There is a reason a large portion of any art course is on critique, it is an art form. You know what isn’t an art form? Being rude, insulting and demeaning to those making the product. That doesn’t add anything and I am pretty sure it doesn’t solve the bug that got you all of a rant in the first place.
Robots aren’t making the experience .. yet
Whilst AI has come on pretty far, it’s not making the experiencing you are interacting with. Countless hours, sleepless nights, sprints and human sacrifices have gone into every interface you connect with – yes even the one you claim has had no thought in at all.
When you work creating digital experiences you craft as much of yourself into it as any master craftsperson. There is heart, soul and passion in those pixels. This at times seems a contradiction to say. Because of the nature of digital, it feels ‘less’ more etherial and less ‘real’. This makes it even easier to ignore the craft, to not see the people that made the experience.
Not a day or a week goes by that I don’t make a mistake. It doesn’t go by that you don’t. Why? Because surprise you are human and humans make mistakes every day, all the time. It’s pretty much our genetic right, we make mistakes, we learn, we iterate, we move onto making the next mistake. Probably a sensible binary state of a human would be either, making a mistake or learning from making a mistake.
It is somewhat of a paradox where the mistakes matter least, they seem more dramatic. Those tiny details sure matter when you are in a nope state of mind and focusing on the rant. We get mentally hooked, spiral into thinking the person that created something just can’t care so why should you care about them. This really is a sorry state to get worked up into. It’s important to take time.
This brilliant internet has an amazing functionality a lot don’t use, it’s time. You can step away for a few minutes, collect your thoughts and then give your feedback. Breathe. Now breathe again. I have this feeling if you do, you will realise the people that made the experience weren’t personally out to get you. They care and they care you had a bad experience. Help them make a better one for everyone.
We are all human
A simple rule you learn as a child, is if you are kind and reasonable, you get listened to. Yet, we seem to forget this when we get behind a screen. I’m not going as far as saying you shouldn’t have a negative opinion though, that’s totally fine and actually that’s how we get to a stronger place in products. Just take time, a minute, maybe a few minutes. Realise that the product was made with passion, with heart and caring. The craftspeople want to create the best experience you ever could have. When you can see the people behind the product, then reply. The product, the internet and the world will be better for you taking time to do that.