Notes on interaction design & development. Get the Feed.
By Christoph Ono, builder at GBKS, and tweetable at @GBKS.

The Tedium of Success Theater


It's a post from 2012, when Snapchat started blowing up in the mainstream. The main point is that public social networks make people show off, instead of bonding on a deeper level. So we need more personal, less permanent social networks so we can better connect.

I see another side to this. Social networks have only been around for a few years, so we're still figuring out how to use them. Twitter didn't make sense to anybody initially either, now it does. Our use of those sites becomes more nuanced, and maybe now we're at a point where we actually want to have those deeper connections online, while before we didn't see a need for it. So the question is whether the tech drives behavior, or vice versa.

Exploitation of in-app-purchases in mobile games


Two great posts showing how some free-to-play mobile games have turned into money-extraction mechanisms. Most of the top games lists are filled with these games, which seems to be having a negative impact on the morale of game developers since the crowd seems to demand the equivalent of Las Vegas style slot machines.

There's also a well-reasoned counter-argument here. I think everybody understands that the economies of mobile games market are tricky. The real issue though is that developers become greedy and focus on extracting money. This reduces games to slot machines instead of fun, challenging, social, story-driven interactive entertainment.

I'm curious if Apple will do something about this. They had to pay over $30 million recently to refund kids IAPs. If games become too greedy and therefore create distrust between parents and apps, then the Apple brand will take a hit. They might now allow this to happen, but we'll see.

How to Get the Work You Want


Great post on how to get where you want to be. My own experience has been similar the last few years. I wanted to do more mobile work, so I learned iOS on my own and put two apps out. Now I get clients requests for mobile work.

Jason Fried Rants about Modern Web Design


Clutter is a human thing – it feels cozy, it feels like there’s people who made this and not these artists who people can’t relate to. So I’m really personally very interested in folksy-style design these days, and I’d love to see that make more of a comeback. Every website today is this huge photo with parallax scrolling; everything is artisanal and craftsman-like and beautiful – even the writing is getting too perfectionismist (that’s not even a word). The writing is getting too ridiculous and precious. Just write like you speak. Also, some of the best buildings in the world are made by people who aren’t architects. They’re just people who made something really cozy and you go into a room and they threw it together and it’s kind of a mess. But you feel comfortable in those spaces, more so than you feel comfortable in a museum. I think there’s something to that that needs to come back to technology, and I’d love to see that happen.

There is no one left; none but all of us.


two new forms of provocative content: kiss-and-tell memoirs and saucy investigations

Very interesting article about the role and history of journalism. Personally, I hate most TV news reporting. There is so much focus on showcasing people's emotional states, or exposing some "dark secrets". Local news here are 95% police reports. It's emotional porn pretending to be journalism, and it's lacking any integrity and respect for its audience.

News should be about informing people about things that matter, about making the world a smaller place that makes more sense, and about bringing people together.