kaigou: Edward, losing it. (1 Edward conniption)
[personal profile] kaigou
I need something to say to a coworker (who is otherwise a cool person) when for whatever reason he decides to play devil's advocate. Especially when what I'm arguing is something that he later admits is something he also believes in, or at least would like to recognize as valuable. It feels like he's either winding me up for his own amusement (though he doesn't seem amused at the time, so probably not) or just doesn't realize that I can't tell whether he's serious -- and the upshot is that I lose respect for him. It's like, oi, if you're that much of an asshole, then maybe I need to change my opinion about you. Or something.

Today there was talk about UX/user testing. G was somewhat dismissive of there being any value in this. I've done user studies for ten years (contextual analysis and ethnographic studies most especially, which means lots and lots of talking to users at length), I told him every single time I did a user test or interview, I learned something new.

It was almost always it was something that opened my eyes about my own privilege: that I'm abled, that my language skills are top-notch even for a native, that my eye-hand coordination is pretty damn good, that I don't have motor skill issues, that my hearing's good enough, that my sight is good enough despite needing glasses, that I don't have significant learning or cognitive issues that get in the way of my comprehension. Doing user studies, as CP later commented, reminds we designers and developers -- we makers -- that we are not The User. It reminds us to be thankful for the ways in which we're fortunate, and to be humbled about the ways in which we have it easy.

All those things I do when coding like larger click-areas and story-answers on alerts and proper color contrast -- just like all the things some architects do in corporate buildings like wider doorways and bar-handles instead of round handles and ramps at every entrance -- these are all invisible if you're abled, but they're crucial if you're not. And the onus does not, should not, lie on the person who is disabled to make do; the onus should lie on us, as the makers to make the web/world inclusive. Because we have the good fortune and the ability to do so.

But he was arguing against this, and I went along until the point where I said, the web should be inclusive, for everyone; the web exists for everyone. G replied, no, the web exists to make money. (Someone tell that to all we fans who runs sites at a loss out of pure love, but I didn't go there.) The whole 'make money' thing was so cynical, and enough opposite his usual attitude, that I just called it quits right there. We're going to end this conversation right here, I said, and that was that (whew).

I'm not sure whether to be pleased or roll my eyes that he told me afterwards that the reason he loves talking to me about stuff/work is that he always learns something new. Except he excused his responses -- though not in so many words -- as devil's advocate. I'm so freaking sick of oh, I'm just playing devil's advocate. It's going on my list as second-hated phrase, right behind, can't you take a joke?

Dear internets, please give me a good witty comeback for the next time G says he's playing devil's advocate. Not too nuclear, since I do have to keep working with him, but something that makes it clear he's playing a game that I don't respect and don't have time for. Anyone?
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kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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