This week, start with Jason Fried on the distinction between the way in which a platform feels, and the ways it makes you feel (3 min):

Every scroll through Twitter puts at least one person’s bad day, shitty experience, or moment of snark in front of me. These are good happy people – I know many of them in real life – but for whatever reason, Twitter is the place they let their shit loose. And while it’s easy to do, it’s not comfortable to be around. I don’t enjoy it. Every scroll through Instagram puts someone’s good day in front of me. A vacation picture, something new they got that they love, pictures of nature, pictures of people they love, places they’ve been, and stuff they want to cheer about. It’s just flat out harder to be negative when sharing a picture. This isn’t a small thing – it’s a very big deal. I feel good when I browse Instagram. That’s the feel that matters.

This has enormous implications for us as individuals, for platform owners, and for the brands who make investments in these channels. Critically, how are we perpetuating (or standing out from) these trends? How does the nature of early adopters shape emerging platforms? How does this inform who we want playing in our sandbox from the start?


The popularity of Snapchat may be ushering in an aesthetically disturbing trend (1 min) worth paying attention to:

Snapchat has [reported] that vertical video ads have up to 9x more completed views than horizontal video ads. Our findings have convinced us that we need to move even more aggressively to develop vertical content, especially on our Snapchat Discover channel, and that our industry must develop creative content for this mobile format.

speaking of the young-ish: Forrester’s Sucharita Mulpuru suggests that perhaps it’s time to get past our millennial fixation (2 min):

There’s this obsession with millennials. The truth is millennials aren’t spending any money with anybody because they don’t have any.

speaking of the old-ish: Mary Griskewicz, MS has written a worthwhile piece outlining the distinction between creating portals for patients and engaging them (2 min).

Make clear, concise agendas a habit, not an ordeal.

Erika Hall’s piece for Medium on factors that shape long distance client relationships (6 min) is really, really good.

For research to work in a quickly moving team, everyone needs to smell users.

Sajid Reshamwala’s piece on putting user research to work in the product delivery process (4 min) is absolutely worth bookmarking — the video presentation (23 min) is quite good, too.

A roadmap tells you both “why” and “what;” a list of features tells you only “what.”

Take a few minutes and read Tyler Blain on the key distinctions between the two (5 min).

A tumblr of unnecessarily-connected devices? Yep.

Alina Senderzon has a great piece on the Zurb blog challenging the reasoning for our collective obsession with the redesign (6 min). At the heart of it, this:

Button consistency, or more accurately the lack of it, is really a symptom of a bigger organizational problem. It’s usually an outcome of designers working on isolated projects, making isolated design decisions without truly considering how their choices affect the whole user experience, and most importantly not being held accountable for these siloed choices.

From the First Round blog: things you wish you knew before you started building data products (11 min). Chief among them:

You have to start with a very basic idea: Data is super messy, and data cleanup will always be literally 80% of the work. In other words, data is the problem.


Only people of a certain disposition, like us, are drawn to CERN porn (SFW).

How’s this for a bio?

Sanna Charles has been photographing Slayer fans for over a decade…

It only gets better from there. (5 min)

In unrelated news, you haven’t really seen the making of an Eames chair (4 min) until you’ve seen it told through the magic of animated GIFs.

Until next week.