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, How I redesigned Twitter to be principally harmless, How Reply Inc

How I redesigned Twitter to be principally harmless

As we have a tendency to did with plant toxin, we have a tendency to could sometime discover that there’s no safe dose of Twitter. For now, you will be (or simply feel) compelled to use the platform. however World Health Organization says you’ve got to inhale its tar-filled content-vapors unfiltered? What if, once you visited twitter.com (because if you haven’t already deleted the app from your phone, do this immediately), you saw one thing that was barely a social network at all–and one thing a lot of sort of a harmless link blog?

I place along a CSS theme that, once combined with this Chrome extension, makes my Twitter feed look a bit like that screenshot higher than, rather than the roaring garbage hearth it really is. you’ll install it in regarding 2 clicks by following these directions, however that’s not the purpose.

The point is that I did this while not being a designer or a software engineer. I’m simply a daily one that realised that I didn’t need to be a designer or software engineer so as to exercise some personal agency over a social network. And you’ll, too.

Step one is easy: Decide what you hate. For me, it absolutely was the gnawing sense of false urgency that Twitter’s uxor encourages–to tweet, to examine notifications and analytics, to scan Trending Topics and optimize my profile. There ar already “read-only” versions of Twitter that place all that habit-forming “engagement” nonsense out of sight and out of mind–so that was my place to begin.
Step 2 may be a bit trickier: Decide what you don’t hate. when employing a read-only version of Twitter, I quickly realised that I still wished some social interactivity. At the terribly least, I wished to post my very own tweets. So, what i actually wished from Twitter was simply 2 things: a unadorned, written account feed, and a button to let Pine Tree State post. Everything else was noise.

I looked around for Chrome extensions or Twitter internet apps that were already engineered to those specifications, however I didn’t notice any. I did notice that a “write-only” version of Twitter came shut, though: It uses custom CSS to cut out each a part of Twitter except the tweet button. Even higher, its code was editable.

Again: I can’t code. I’ve ne’er written CSS. however Charles Eameser|designer|interior decorator|house decorator|room decorator|decorator} says design is “a technique of action,” therefore I checked out the CSS and discovered that it absolutely was but a page long and amazingly human-readable. There was a blob of code with “timeline” and “display:none” in it. If I wished to place the timeline back in, however keep the remainder of the Twitter expertise savagely stripped down, perhaps I may simply delete that blob of code. I tried it. It worked.

That was the instant I felt empowered–like I may really “design” Twitter to match my very own desires, while not asking anyone’s permission and in spite of my formal ability level. Actually, why place scare quotes round the word? If style is “a arrange for composing parts to accomplish a selected purpose” (Eames again), then i used to be the designer currently.

My tools were nothing over the CSS that somebody else had already written (thank you, actual knowledgeable person!) and also the cut-and-paste commands on my laptop computer keyboard. Pretty before long, I had incised Twitter all the way down to specifically what I wished and no more: a unadorned timeline and a tweet button. it absolutely was entirely nonaddictive and non-threatening. Almost…boring. that was entirely the purpose.

This is the ethical of the story: you’ll do likewise. In fact, I’ve written plain-English directions into the CSS of my ultra-minimal version of Twitter that you just will use–in an equivalent cut-and-paste, no-coding-skills-necessary manner that I did–to restore somebody piece of the interface you would like. perhaps you’re keen on Moments? I don’t perceive you, however Delaware gustibus non Eastern Time disputandum.

But notwithstanding you don’t care to try to to any of that, simply recognize this: You don’t need to surrender to social media’s hostile style decisions. (I’m talking regarding the look decisions that build apps act like slot machines designed to addict you, not the awful behavior of some individuals on these platforms, that is whole completely different downside.) Let’s be real–Jack Dorsey isn’t reading any of the suppose items on the way to “fix” Twitter. nobody goes to mend it for you. Ever.

Except, maybe, you.

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