26 comments

  • Jake Lazaroff, 6 years ago

    Interesting idea, but let's please stop perpetuating sexism in tech by using women as examples of non-tech-savvy users.

    17 points
    • Madison GridMadison Grid, 6 years ago

      Agreed, and while we're at it, let's please stop perpetuating ageism in tech by using older people as examples of non-tech-savvy users.

      15 points
      • Andrew LeeAndrew Lee, 6 years ago

        While we are at it, let's please stop using non-tech-savvy users as examples of non-tech-savvy users.

        10 points
    • Simon O’SheaSimon O’Shea, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

      I’m not sure if you’re joking, but I don’t think it’s about using women as examples of non-tech-savvy users, it’s about using non-tech-savvy users. In this case, it’s literally the guy’s mom. It could have been his dad, or his younger sibling… does that matter?

      I think in user testing, you have to put aside political correctness and analyze it from the point of view of how often people use technology, what sort of products they use, and how they might respond from outside our bubble.

      My mother worked many years in scientific research and had to design her own diagrams. She taught me the fundamentals of Corel and Illustrator and how to use search engines on a Mac in the early–mid nineties. Now she barely knows how to sign up for an online service. It’s not because she is old or a woman, but it is because she doesn't have time, because she doesn't work in tech or design and her social circles don’t involve computers and phones in the same way that mine do. I’d say many other people her age are the same, and in that regard age is definitely a factor. My father is pretty much the same. It’s common (of course not explicit) of people their age and I don’t think I’m ageist by saying so.

      Edit: grammar

      13 points
      • Taurean BryantTaurean Bryant, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

        It stops being about just this guys mom right about here:

        You should design with your mother in mind. If she can't understand your site, others will struggle as well.

        so this argument is a cop out.

        5 points
        • Edwin de JonghEdwin de Jongh, 6 years ago

          I don't think everything you read on the internet is meant to be taken at face value. I think in this case just take it lightly, or metaphorically. Making this guy out to be a sexist/ageist just because of this statement is the true ignorance to be honest.

          1 point
          • Taurean BryantTaurean Bryant, 6 years ago

            You can say something sexist/ageist without yourself being completely sexist/ageist. Its defending those mistakes that is the issue.

            5 points
    • Edwin de JonghEdwin de Jongh, 6 years ago

      Oh, come on. Can we stop linking every single thing to sexism/racism/ageism? This is clearly not an attempt at ageism nor sexism.

      9 points
      • Taurean BryantTaurean Bryant, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

        You don't have to consciously attempt to be ageist/sexist/racist to be ageist/sexist/racist. Being sensitive to those things isn't about being pedantic or confrontational. Its not about looking for an argument to pick, its about being empathetic and not making huge assumptions about a group of people that can be damaging.

        Its important to call out instances where its seen so the problem can stop being so pervasive.

        e.g. stopping things like this.

        4 points
        • Edwin de JonghEdwin de Jongh, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

          Don't get me wrong, I know what ageism, sexism and racism is, and that it exists in design culture to an extent as well. That said, again, this website/service is not an example of this. As you said: "its about being empathetic and not making huge assumptions about a group of people that can be damaging." This is not a group of people. The title of this website is: "the user is 'my' mom". It's not: "the user is 'a' mom". The problem with people shouting 'SEXISM!' for every single instance of these types of situations is that it just creates an environment where the real issues are given less merit.

          Also, generalizations are just that; generalizations. If someone states: 'Most elderly people aren't very proficient with modern technology', it's not ageism by default. Of course there are elderly people that DO have an understanding of modern technology, but that doesn't mean that a huge majority of elderly people don't. In this case, do people really have to dance around the bush? For the sake of conversation; sometimes it's just more practical to generalize. We all know what you mean.

          Edit: There's obviously a lot more to this topic/conversation, but yeah.

          2 points
          • Taurean BryantTaurean Bryant, 6 years ago

            via my other comment:

            It stops being about just this guys mom right about here:

            You should design with your mother in mind. If she can't understand your site, others will struggle as well.

            so this argument is a cop out.

            Truthfully, I don't understand why the argument you're trying to make is so important to people.

            ' Generalizations are just that; generalizations.'

            Would you say that most moms find technology difficult to use? Can you not see how generalizations can be harmful?

            0 points
            • Edwin de JonghEdwin de Jongh, 6 years ago

              I can see how some generalizations are harmful, yes. I don't think this particular generalization is that harmful, however. Designers and strategists make generalizations all the time. E.g.: Everytime someone brings up Generation Y / Milennials. I don't feel offended by that, because I know that this doesn't necessarily ring true for me. Just as I know that my mom is actually really terrible at using technology, while my aunt (and mother of two) is extremely proficient with all kinds of modern technology. It rings true for the most part, but obviously there are exceptions. There will always be exceptions. Should we therefore never be allowed to make generalizations?

              0 points
              • Sarah LiSarah Li, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

                I'd be happy to stop calling things out for being sexist/racist/agist when things actually stop being sexist/racist/ageist.

                I can understand that this one example might not have intended to be harmful, but when do we stop letting things off the hook because of their intentions and not the actual harm caused by them?

                Moreover, if this generalization isn't that harmful, can we acknowledge that it is at least a little bit harmful, and if we're trying to be the best empathetic designers we can, shouldn't we be minimizing/neutralizing that harm as best we can?

                And, sure, the bulk of this site is talking about his mom in particular, but then we get to these sections:

                You should design with your mother in mind. If she can't understand your site, others will struggle as well.

                My mom would be perfect for this - can I sign her up? Yes! We're accepting suggestions for future moms to work with, so we can review more sites.

                Why only moms?

                One more thing: about generalizations regarding millennials (or any subsection of people holding power), being millennials means we have the luxury of choosing not to be hurt/disadvantaged by broad generalizations about millennials. Millennials aren't being marginalized, and that's the difference.

                ^ Okay, yeah, I get the irony of my making that generalization. There's definitely more to unpack there.

                Anyway, I'm happy to continue talking about this in an environment more conducive to this kind of discussion.

                3 points
    • Dan Boland, 6 years ago

      e_e

      0 points
    • Sarah LiSarah Li, 6 years ago

      +10000

      Came here to say this but thankful someone already did.

      2 points
  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, 6 years ago

    what happened? quit drinking?

    5 points
  • Katarina RdultovskaiaKatarina Rdultovskaia, 6 years ago

    lol its baaaacckkkkk

    2 points
  • Mike A.Mike A., 6 years ago

    Too bad it is not usability testing. Just some lady looking at your website and telling her feelings.

    0 points
  • Josh Sanders, 6 years ago

    everyone on here arguing if over if this is sexist/ageist/ whatever the fuck you wanna whine and call the politically correct police on... get over it. This is a spoof if anything, and every site ever designed DOES NOT need to be designed with anyone's mom, dad, sister, brother, heterosexual partner, homosexual partner (blah blah blah) in mind. Sites should be designed for the intended (read: specific) target audience in mind. I don't give a flying shit what anyone's mom or dad thinks about a site i design—UNLESS they are part of the target demographic.

    and FUCK paying $75/ site... that's just laughable.

    /logic

    0 points
  • Philip WeberPhilip Weber, 6 years ago

    Hehe. This is pretty amusing, but they guide her so much that it's not really user testing.

    0 points
  • Matt SistoMatt Sisto, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Twitter has somehow managed to design one of the worst onboarding experiences I've seen in a while. Sort of an amazing feat when you step back and remember what a simple product we're talking about. That sign up was downright embarassing. Zero guidance.

    0 points
  • Robin RaszkaRobin Raszka, 6 years ago

    Genius

    0 points
  • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, 6 years ago

    As it goes this is pretty legit. Comprehensive user tests hover around $100.

    0 points
    • Matthew R. MillerMatthew R. Miller, 6 years ago

      But surely they test with a sample size greater than one

      0 points
      • Joel CalifaJoel Califa, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

        No, I mean per person you invite into an office to do one of these. Actually not sure about this now.

        0 points
        • Eike ThiesEike Thies, 6 years ago

          we live in a smaller city with lots of students, a 30min usability tests costs here a 30€ amazon vouche. We always find enough people do this for that money.

          0 points