Random links #12

Written on 12 March 2019, 09:27am

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I believe that the Airpods success can be explained by the bandwagon effect: “the rate of uptake of […] trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others“. They slowly made their way from mockery to status symbol.

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At first sight, a bank card with a built-in fingerprint reader seems to be an excellent idea, right? You trade the PIN code (something that you know) for your fingerprint (something that you are). From an usability point of view, it’s a major step forward (PIN codes can be forgotten, misplaced, shoulder-surfed, reused, social engineered, etc). But from a privacy point of view things don’t look so good anymore. The initial plans indicate that the users still have to walk in a branch to enroll their fingerprints – which
(probably) means that the bank will get to know your biometric data. Which cannot be reset, as we all know.
A possible alternative is to ditch the bank card altogether and use something that you have with you all the time: your smartphone (see Apple Pay, Google Pay) – in addition to your biometric data which never leaves your device. But this solution is not inclusive: not everybody owns a smartphone.

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The results of this study are really sad and shows that in reality, we are far, far away from secure-by-design principles. “Researchers asked 43 freelance developers to code the user registration for a web app and assessed how they implemented password storage. 26 devs initially chose to leave passwords as plaintext ” (via)

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Read this thread in full. Brilliant

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Tesla and customer service

Written on 11 March 2019, 09:58pm

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A propos my past rants about the Tesla customer service here in Belgium, I just read this (highlights mine):

Tesla TSLA owners still love their vehicles, and the electric automaker still beats out competitors, according to a new survey by research firm Bernstein. But the company’s Achilles’ heel is its customer service.

Only 42% of customers described their service center experience as “excellent,” vs. 57% last time. Wait times for appointments have grown longer. Similar to our last survey, the service experience was especially weak outside the U.S. Perhaps most concerningly, recent service center users (those that had visited a center in the last 3 months) were less satisfied with their experience, experienced longer wait times for appointments, and had poorer rates of problem resolution — pointing to ongoing strain (and potential underinvestment?) in Tesla’s service network.

Tesla’s biggest problem is its customer service, according to a new Bernstein survey

This is spot on and it certainly applies in my case. Just a reminder, this is the breakdown of my current problems with Tesla:

  • long waiting times to get in touch with the customer service
  • asking me to pay for the replacement of the insecure key fobs or alternatively to disable the Passive Entry
  • only recording the real-time location of the car while driving (but not when someone moves it away)
  • setting up an arbitrary, unchangeable and absurd dashcam recording limit of 1 hour

Form design patterns – my notes

Written on 7 March 2019, 11:31pm

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Here are some notes relevant to me after reading the Form Design Patterns:

  • The inclusive design principles are about putting the user first
  • (in the context of a registration form): Nobody wants to sign up to your service — they just want to access whatever it is you offer, or the promise of a faster experience next time they visit.
  • Related: Nobody wants to log in to your site. They’re forced to as a security measure.
  • God help you if that video auto plays and wakes up my kid: I will find you.8 things parenting taught me about accessibility
  • One thing per page. Enough said.
  • Interactive things have perceived affordances. Making a checkbox round is like labeling the Push side of a door PullCheckboxes are never round
  • Sometimes you need to work hard to make things simple for the users
  • The way you ask your users for dates depends on the type of date you’re asking for. No, this is not matrimonial advice, it’s about calendar dates:
    • dates from documents: keep the same format from the doc (credit card, ID date, etc)
    • memorable dates (like user birth date): let them type it
    • future date(s): use a date picker
  • Hicks Law: the time taken to make a decision increases as the number of choices expands.
  • Confirming vs undoing: “Are you sure you want to launch the nuclear missile?” vs “3 emails have been archived. Undo” It all depends on the context. Sometimes you want speed bumps on the road (request explicit confirmation), some other times you want to let users perform the action immediately, without any warning.
  • When you’re an online store, make sure your search function can search everything. Not only products, but also the return policy
  • Don’t employ infinite scroll by default (‘show more’ link instead) and don’t break the back button
  • AJAX is not necessarily faster (it will only render when 100% of the page is ready)
  • <input type=”file” capture=”user|environment”> only works on mobile devices and opens up the front or the rear camera.
  • When working with long forms it’s better to check before you start (to make sure you don’t waste your users time) or to break the long processes into smaller tasks and show completion progress (the task list pattern)
Sunny – rainbow – cloudy