Beef 🥩 or Bust 💥 Learning from other platforms
This week JP and John dig into platforms we love and hate and what we can learn from them.
A weekly podcast about programming, development, and design.
I'm John, I run a design and development firm that builds apps and websites.
I'm joined by JP:
Hi, I'm a software engineer at a real estate tech start up
Catch up / What's today's episode about?
This week Best and Worst Apps
- Design and development patterns we love and hate.
JP: Gripe 1: 👎 Page Reloads
Web app: Iterable - every "save" reloads the page
Mobile app: Notion - every change to a kanban board reloads the page; every time you swipe back, the page reloads
Takeaway: Optimistic rendering
John: Password resets taking a thousand years
- Takeaway: Prioritize the background job, please.
JP: Gripe 2: Resetting my filter settings
Mobile app: apartments.com; I would need to register to save my settings. Maybe this is intended?
- Takeaway: Don't be user-hostile, don't use negative incentives.
- Takeaway: Use local storage (Cookies) or local device when a user is not authenticated, redirect on account creation and save that data.
John: Not thinking about the size of the device
- Putting things I care about at the tippy top of the app. Put it under my thumb!
- Takeaway: Test your apps in different contexts, huuuuge and tiny.
- I've made this mistake - shipped apps that don't render properly on an iPhone 5s
JP: Gripe 3: Login button on marketing page opens new tab and authenticates me
- Bad Web apps: Iterable, Lever
- Good web apps: Amplitude
- Weird in the middle apps: Coderpad
- Takeaway: Take the time to get auth right. Be careful how you handle oAuth
John: Facebook Logout Bullshit
If you log out of the facebook app it doesn't actually log you out.
It goes to this screen with your profile photo and a password field, it's still collecting data on accounts associated with that phone.
- Takeaway: Don't prioritize business needs over product simplicity and privacy.
- JP: Slack turns apostrophes into curly apostrophes
- John: Drafts jump up to the top of the screen and go missing from your threads
- John: Global notification "Mute" switch outside of your system settings.
- John: The account management strategy is bonkers — Why can't I have one login that gets me to all my workspaces?
John: Deranged Email Collection Pop Ups
"Would you like to be rich and beautiful?"
- Yes! I'm awesome.
- No thanks, I'll stay poor and ugly"
- Takeaway: "Push back on stakeholders, suggest more thoughtful design solutions, if well executed "interstitial" email collection can be just as effective and way less user hostile.
- Keep in mind: Google knocks down SEO significantly on email pop ups websites
JP: Cool feature 1: Power user shortcuts
Desktop app: Slack has a cmd + k to search, cmd + r to refresh, etc
Desktop app: Youtube scroll on a full screen video
Chrome: youtube + tab to search | ebay + tab to search
- Takeaway: Provide more than one way to access common functionality, this can be a keyboard shortcut, a gesture. Reward power users.
John: In app pop up ads
- Spotify new album announcements
- Netflix new shows
- Youtube Premium ads
- WORST: Apple "Have you tried the new maps?"
- Fuuuuuuuuuuck that.
- Takeaway: Feature new features or content passively in context. Highlight new content etc. Don't interrupt users. We are better than that.
John: Multiple Accounts + Team Management
- Stripe does this so so well. One login can get to multiple accounts, secure, simple.
- Bank of America — basically just need to delete the app every time to switch between my company and personal accounts.
- Pastel — You can't belong to more than one "Team"
- Slack — Multiple "Workspaces" new phone sign into 4 different workspaces.
- Be really thoughtful about user account management, understand that more than one person need to use your app and access your data. Think about from day one tying data to an "Account", "company" or "Household" that includes the single user.
- Example: App for dog trainers, every trainer belongs to a "School" even if it's just themselves, every dog and client belongs to a "Household" that way you can easily add and remove user's access to a "School" or "Hosuehold"
- If you tie all the data to the individual user, it's really tough to share access.
John: Hitlist of Beautiful platforms that get most things mostly right
- Reddit Mobile
John: iOS "Smartlinks"
- Drive me bananans
- If you tap a phone number there is no way to "Copy" it. the only option is to "Call"
- If you tap an address "Open in Maps" 🙄 🤮
- If you tap an email "Apple Mail" 🙄 🤮
- Lock-in BS
- John: Blinkist - Book summaries
- JP: Away