When I run an app or launch a website it's generally because I've got some task to complete and a few free minutes to try and complete it.
Let's take Facebook for example. I want to quickly scan through to see which of my friends are sharing anodyne inspirational quotes superimposed over stock photography and silently judge them.
Facebook picks this moment to let me know about a new feature that will display previously unshared photos and videos to try and get me to share them. I'm instantly pissed off because of the unwelcome cognitive load and then I realize that the whole app has frozen. In fact every time I load Facebook at the moment it just hangs until I give up and do something else.
This is probably because one of my daughters has the endearing habit of shooting hour long 4K videos of the floor. The poor app is probably innocently trying to grab a couple of thumbnails and instead getting an object lesson in the halting problem. I'm sure this will eventually get fixed and it's not even the root cause of my current fury.
My only option is to click Got It. This chirpy little phrase is slowly infesting every corner of interaction design. It seems relatively innocuous at first but let's unpick it a little.
Generally Got It signals that something has been added to an app or site that the designer feels is important enough that they need to let me know about it.
This is almost always going to be bad news. Probably the way I complete my task has changed and I'm going to have to learn the new way. Maybe there has been a complete redesign and the use I had for the app was considered an edge case and has been removed. It could be that for legal reasons I need to be told that some new previously unpillaged corner of my privacy needs to be violated.
I'm immediately in a bad frame of mind when I see Got It.
Also there is rarely a Don't Got It or Don't Want It link. Got It is a sign that something is being forced on you and the happy language is an implicit forced value judgement that you've both fully comprehended the change and that you wholeheartedly agree with it.
It probably feels cute to designers that come up with this. After all, a whole team has probably toiled for weeks if not months to come up with a new way to cause my phone to hang. They really want me to use it. But you're not putting yourself in my shoes. I rarely care and usually you're making my day fractionally less enjoyable and the design should be about me and not you.
I miss OK. It's less loaded. I'm OK with dealing with whatever you're inflicting on me. It's not as good as OK / Cancel but sometimes OK is about the best you can expect.
I just don't Got It.
(Related: I Love Email; The Secret Diary of a Xamarin Android Developer, Aged 48 1/3; Doing news right with Feedly and Google News)
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