Will the real Doug Bowman please stand up? | Dafacto

The personal website of Matt Henderson.

Will the real Doug Bowman please stand up?

31 March 2011

Although it was signed by @stop, this post to the Twitter blog wasn’t written by the same Doug Bowman that’s been writing over at stopdesign.com since 2006. (That’s one of the nice things about blogs; over time, you can really get to know someone .)

Here’s what the real Doug was probably thinking, while the subordinate Doug was forced to post this cheesy stuff:

Last month, we released an update to Twitter for iPhone and iPad containing a number of features that made finding friends and sharing information on Twitter even easier. The iPhone app also contained a new feature we wanted to test named the QuickBar.

We wanted to test? I knew from the moment management told me about it, the QuickBar was gonna flop. (In fact, the whole #dickbar thing was started secretly by me.)”

The QuickBar was originally conceived to help users discover what’s happening in the broader world beyond people they already follow.

“The QuickBar was originally conceived to get advertiser content in front of our users.”

The bar was also seen as a potential means of in-app notifications for new @mentions, DMs, and other important activity.

“And Google also saw those ad blocks as a potential means of showing pictures of Missing Children.”

We want Twitter to instantly connect people everywhere to what’s most meaningful to them.

“Obligatory lofty goals remark.”

In support of this, we will frequently experiment by trying new things, adding new features, and being bold in the product decisions we make.

“Being bold sounds better than being stupid.”

After testing a feature and evaluating its merits, if we learn it doesn’t improve the user experience or serve our mission, we’ll remove that feature.

“If our advertisers start shouting, ‘Get us out of that blasted #dickbar! We don’t want to be associated with it!’, we’ll remove that feature.”

Rather than continue to make changes to the QuickBar as it exists, we removed the bar from the update appearing in the App Store today. We believe there are still significant benefits to increasing awareness of what’s happening outside the home timeline. Evidence of the incredibly high usage metrics for the QuickBar support this.

“You hated it, so we’ll remove it. But our metrics show you loved it! And our metrics can also demonstrate that’s not a contradiction. Unless it is.”

For now, we’re going back to the drawing board to explore the best possible experience for in-app notification and discovery.

“I told you so.”

In short, the Doug Bowman we’ve come to know and love would have never voluntarily put the QuickBar in the Twitter client. Just as Doug left Google on the matter of principles, I predict we’ll see him leaving Twitter as well, if this kind of stuff continues.

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