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The stupid “Compose New Message” Mail.app menu item

Let’s say you’ve right-clicked the Mail.app’s dock icon and want to write a new mail:

Why, why is the menu item called “Compose New Message”? Why does it say “Compose”? No sane person would ever say: “Honey, I need to compose a message”.

In every other app on Earth there is no verb before “New”. Just “New Window” in Safari. Just “New Event” in Calendar. Heck, in iMessage it is just “New Message”. Who does Apple make me spend several seconds trying to find the line I need in Mail.app? This is one of those things you cannot get used to.

 63   2014   Mac   rants   text   user interface

What is Brick?

So this thing, Brick. What is it? It says:

Webfonts that actually look good.

So it is a list of good fonts for the web? A collection of them? A book on them?

There is no explanation .There is no About link. There are just two buttons: “Get stated” and “Browse fonts”. So presumably I get started with the fonts by doing something else than browsing them.

Below, I see a heading: “Why Brick?” Wait, first of all what is Brick? The question “Why Brick” makes no sense to me. It says: “Beautiful”. What is beautiful? The fonts? The website?

We don’t modify or subset the font in any way, so they are rendered the way they were meant to be seen.

That is amazing now that I know what you don’t do. But what do you do? Why do you even say that you don’t modify or subset the font? I mean, me too, I don’t modify or subset fonts either. Heck, I should put it on my frontpage! (Is it what everybody else does?)

It then says: “Fast”.

Brick is served to your users through Fastly’s industry-leading CDN network throughout.

OK, so Brick is served to my users. Why?

It then says: “Open source”. Ok, this probably explains why I can’t figure it out. Anyway, having no other option, clueless and confused I click “Get started”.

And I end up on Github. And the project description starts with — wait for it —

Brick was built to be easy-to-use.

I bet. But I have no fucking clue what Brick is.

Web design 101: Use nouns to describe things.

 38   2014   design   rants   text

This is how you write a great title for a blog post

Several years ago, if you were to write an article on article titles and you wanted its own title to work best, you would name it something like “Coming up with a great title for an article” or even “10 qualities of a great title”. That was how you attracted clicks.

But recently something has changed. The articles now have titles like “Here is what you should know before updating iOS” or “Look at this amazing picture of Mars made by Curiosity”. As if the first sentence of the text was used in place of a title. The more and more we see these titles that try to shift your attention from themselves to what goes after them. It is the content of an article, right?

Wrong. What really goes after them is a link. That is how twitter sharing works. Now that the title itself is no longer clickable, there no need to attract clicks to it. Instead, a title should look like a direct speech of someone who shares the link, adding to the credibility of the link that follows.

I find it fascinating how technology changes language.

 22   2013   English   text