Tweetie 3’s aka Twitter for iPhone new icon – why it sucks

I’m quickly going to put my designer and branding hat on for a second here, so bear with me.

So Twitter bought the best iPhone Twitter app, Tweetie 2, and has relaunched it Twitter for iPhone. We all got that? Good. What a couple of people are upset about with the update, is Twitter’s choice of icon. This bird with its ugly blue gradient background and drop shadow FTW (not). The blue doesn’t even match the light blue hue of Twitter’s logo.

Behold the ugly icon. Now polluting everyone's iPhone homescreen.

You see, Tweetie 2 had this gorgeous speech bubble icon, deep set within a grey background. It looked sexy, was recognisable and fitted in with the entire look and feel of the app. It sat proudly on my iPhone’s homescreen and I would of paid even more than $2.99 for the app – it’s that awesome.

The gorgeous Tweetie 2 icon. RIP.

I’m not upset with the fact its gone. I knew it would change, but what I wasn’t expecting was that ugly thing they call an icon, replacing it. Worse still are the reasons from the designers about why. Read the comments on this Dribbble post from some designers on the new icon. (Included is a shot of what was supposedly the Tweetie 3 icon. Nice.).

for reasons I won’t get into (or can’t, depending how you read that), we opted for the one that’s there now. – Mark Otto

Tweetie was acquired because we noted how many people were searching the App Store for “Twitter” and wound up in total confusion over which app to download. We wanted something that was not only named Twitter, but looked like Twitter to *new* users. In that regard, there was a conscious decision that the app did not need to look like an evolution of Tweetie, but rather, something that looked like an official Twitter app. – Doug Bowman

If the reason for the new icon was so that people wouldn’t be confused when trying to find Twitter on their iPhone, why did they not go for an icon with the “t” in Twitter? The official app on a Blackberry uses the “t” as a icon. So why not on iPhone?

The Twitter 't'. Famous the world round.

Also, Twitter don’t place much significance on that bird. Go and look at Twitter.com’s homepage. That tiny bird is in a shade of grey and all the way on the right, compared to the massive light blue Twitter logo. That little bird isn’t even on a person’s profile page. The other thing is, there are so many variations of a blue bird floating about representing Twitter, that no matter what the “official” twitter bird logo is, it won’t ever stand out.

What I’m trying to get at is that whatever Twitter’s decision regarding their version of the icon, it still doesn’t look like the real deal. It fits in perfectly alongside all the other custom, 3rd party Twitter apps. How does that differentiate the app then? The only thing *new* users will differentiate the app by is its name – Twitter for iPhone. So whatever “business/design decision” it was, it wasn’t the right one in my book.

Would Twitter be the same without the follower count?

Everyone has a varying degree of an ego online and knowing mine is bigger than yours helps some of us, including me, sleep better at night. Facebook friends, blog comments, number of visitors and followers on Twitter are all examples of egotistical stats that we check almost daily.

twitter-without-followers

What if they were gone? More specifically, what if on your Twitter profile you couldn’t see how many people followed you? Would you use still use the micro-blogging platform as aggressively as you currently do? Re-tweeting, sharing the number of links, running competitions etc. are all ways I see people using Twitter in the hope of more followers. Sure, some of the content is genuine, but there is a percentage of all our content that is aimed at getting more followers.

If Twitter removed the follower count, I honestly think the quality of content and users on Twitter would drop quite significantly. Take away the ego stroking stats within any web application and there always be users that will leave.

5 Preso rules from the Presentation rockstars, Missing Link

Preso Rule 1/5: Make sure you enjoy your preso more than your audience does, no matter how detailed or serious the content.

Preso Rule 2/5: Serious is fine. Boring is not.

Preso Rule 3/5: Most people prefer to listen to words and see pictures. Be nice to those people.

Preso Rule 4/5: You are the presentation. Prepare for every preso under the assumption that your visual aids wont work…

Preso Rule 5/5: Presentation is storytelling, stories are fun, knock yourself out.

These tips will come in handy when I give my first 2 presentations later this year. Follow PresoRockGods for more tips from the Missing Link guys

Seduction101 – how NOT to run an online competition

Update: I had a chat to MNet about the voting, and they have implemented stricter control over the voting and have also removed the votes that were not supposed to be counted. Here’s to hopefully a successful end to the competition!

Seduction101The past 2 weeks or so saw the launch of Seduction101.co.za – a site to submit and vote for pick-up lines and seduction tips. I know some details about seduction101 from behind the scenes and posted a few pick-up lines that did pretty well early on as they got to the top rated list pretty easily. (I was actually just testing the service out in the beginning…)

Then, after a prize of an iPod Touch was announced for the top rated pick-up line by the 14th of July, I gave it a real shot by posting to my Twitter and Plurk streams to garner a few votes from my friends and followers.

Then the mess.

The site runs off cookies and no user registration is necessary to vote up or vote down pick-up lines. You can also vote once an hour.

So by clearing your cookies, using multiple browsers and voting up your pick-up lines, and voting down others, you can imagine the mayhem. I chatted to Wezzo on GTalk about the down voting, and MNet New Media (developers of the site) removed the down voting. That’s half a step in the right direction, except for 1 small thing I came across after all of this – the parameters are being passed via the URL.

http://www.seduction101.co.za/wap/Vote.aspx?d=1&t=60

Change the d to 100, or even -100 and select your pick-up line with t, and you have full control of the site. ;-(

That coupled with the cookie clearing and multiple browser hacks as well, means you could sort of do as you please.

And, I’ll admit it. I did all of that. But, by doing that, I also caught okes cheating just as much as I did – Al, Saiyuuki, Sorceror and Nathan (not 100% of Nathan, but anyone on the top rated list at the moment are cheaters).

I had good intentions of trying to win legitimately (blogging about the competition, Twitter, Plurk and I even wanted to start a Facebook group), but after seeing other cheaters go at it, I stooped to their level and joined in. :-(.

I’m disqualifying myself, but in doing so I want to offer my help. MNet, you can fix this competition and here are my suggestions.

The Long Way

  • Users have to register to submit tips
  • You have to login to the site to be able to vote

The above method will take a while to code, test and get up and running. It will also spoil some of the hard work that has gone into getting the current pick-up lines submitted etc. But, their is another way of solving this…

The Easy Way

Change the rules of winning the prize!

  • a random pick-up line wins an iPod Touch on the 14th of July
  • You are able to submit multiple pick-up lines, but it only constitutes 1 vote in the draw

I’d just like to apologise to the guys running the site – MNet and Wezzo in particular – for my cheating. I have to admit, it was somewhat fun being able to manipulate a competition in such a way and cause some of the other cheaters to think I am some sort of god, but, it will go down in my books as one of the stupidest things I’ve done, and I’m apologising for that.

It was a great concept, but totally flawed from the beginning and I hope we can sort it out as soon as possible!