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How fast things change. I wanted to write about a workflow in LinkedIn, which had annoyed me for months, but they have fixed it in the meantime, before I could publish the article.
So anyhow, here is the article:
One of the most used functions in Linkedin is to add a new user to your own network. If you don't know the e-mail address of the person or other personal information you can choose "I don't know xy".
Then the user can enter a personal message and click the "Send Invitation" button. Which opens the following message:
The only way to proceed is to click "Go back to xy's profile". The personal message is lost! You stepped into the Linkedin user trap.
Of course, according to the Linkedin policy you're supposed to add only contacts you personally know, but since you can bypass this rule anyhow by selecting "Friend", it's illusory to educate the user by punishing him to re-enter a personal message.
There are two solutions to avoid this unpleasant interaction:
- A "Close"-Button instead of a "Go back to xy's profile"-button
- Pop up the message immediately, when the user selects "I don't know xy", instead of giving him the feeling, that he now can enter a personal message for that person.
As we can see, they solved it with a "close" link.
Some interesting differences between English and Swiss culture.
Maybe other terminals of Heathrow look different, but for the average traveller a sign that shows the direction to the nearest tube station would be helpful. On the other hand, the Swiss Airport has almost too many signs.
Coca Cola bottle
Why do English Coca Cola bottles have an indication how to open the bottle? Is this not obvious enough?
The pictures of the Coca Cola bottle and the crosswalk could give the impression that English people like instructions. Or did they think of the tourists, when they introduced such detailed instructions?
Beeping is a known phenomenon in Africa. A beep is done by calling and hanging up after one ring. This is a cheap alternative to sending a text message or calling someone.
Daniel Peltz built a simple live feed installation, that allowed Cameroonians to "beep god". A spontaneous public debate occurred around the site of the projection, which lead to several interviews. Watch the video of the installation and the interviews.
The first interviewee made some examples, how different beeps can have different meanings, depending on the context:
The beeping function was created as a means of getting someone to call you back. When I beep someone in Europe, it means "call me back," usually urgently.
But here in Cameroon, what does the beep mean? If I beep you once, it might be to say hello. If I haven't seen you in a while, it could be to say I haven't forgotten about you, I'm thinking of you. It could be to remind you that you should bring me the book you promised. If you take me to the bus in Yaounde and I beep you later, it would mean I've arrived safely. Or, if we're separated and I beep, it could be to say that I've gone back to my house. We've developed a whole system of coded, culturally specific communication.
This corresponds to the statements of Jonathan Donner in his paper "The Rules of Beeping", that the meaning of a beep depends on the context.
The second interviewee states the hypothesis, that Cameroonians (could apply also to other African countries) developed this kind of communication because of their tradition to use drums for communication:
If Cameroonians have expanded the meaning of a beep it is due primarily to their cultural heritage. They have a tradition of communicating through sonic resonance when they used tam-tams for example.