Following thoughts on McMansions and the bucking of officious old opinions, I’m reminded of two similar but smaller examples from recent years, where new behaviour is mocked and laughed at before becoming either accepted or seriously proven to be a new way of doing things (this is like my own little edition of claim chowder).
Firstly, from 5 or so years ago, is how people mocked others for using their iPad as a camera. At the time I disliked the tone of the really angry folk and the collective bullying of the masses, believing more in the mantra that the best camera is the one you have with you. Of late though with articles like ‘Resolved: There’s Nothing Stupid About Using the iPad as a Camera’ and ‘Using your iPad Air 2 as a camera is fine, and here’s why’, and lovely stories like ‘Grandpa’s iPad ‘, it has felt more settled that the haters are the ‘padholes’. Further more, note that last post on lookstupidtakingphotoswithanipad is from early 2013.
Secondly, is the mocking of videos recorded in portrait mode on smartphones, which came to a head with this 2012 viral video:
While searching for the video I discovered that to date, it’s the most popular video published by the creators, with nearly 8 million views. Far more than their second most popular with 2 million views, which itself is the mocking of another group of people.
Clearly, that’s their shtick, and it’s harmless enough I suppose, but just as they laugh at others, it’s hard not to laugh at their premature dismissal of vertical video given the astronomical growth of Snapchat, a fledgling in 2012, but now boasting 158 million daily active (vertical video using) users. While good for a giggle back in 2012 then, I wish I had been monitoring the activities of Evan Spiegal more closely than the videos of Glove and Boots.
I think Harry McCracken in his above linked ‘Resolved’ Time piece puts it well:
With all due respect to such people, they seem to have some form of cognitive disorder that leaves them believing that what’s right for them is right for everybody.
I think we all suffer from this disorder from time to time. I did for sure when I curiously joined Twitter in 2006, and while I never dismissed Snapchat, I sure as hell didn’t / don’t personally get it. But understanding groups of people and changing trends and moods is where I’m trying to put more focus these days. A broader version of user research and understanding perhaps. Or again, back to the idea of compassionate user experience.