Save 37% off PRO during our Black Friday Sale! »

The Truth of the Thing

The Truth of the Thing

A talk on conceptual accessibility being fundamental for adoption, while discussing mistakes I've made.


Ricardo J. Méndez

March 06, 2019


  1. March 6, 2019 @ArgesRic The Truth of the

    Thing Ricardo J. Méndez
  2. March 6, 2019 @ArgesRic The Truth of the

    Thing Ricardo J. Méndez Mistakes I’ve Made
  3. @argesric @samsungnext Preview of coming attractions •It's not all about

    tech; •Access and understanding > usability; •Lack of either access or understanding deepens inequality; •We are running out of time.
  4. Relevant quote!

  5. @argesric @samsungnext “A new scientific truth does not triumph by

    convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grow up that is familiar with it.” — Max Planck
  6. @argesric @samsungnext

  7. Back story

  8. @argesric @samsungnext

  9. @argesric @samsungnext

  10. @argesric @samsungnext

  11. @argesric @samsungnext

  12. @argesric @samsungnext que-disparo-los-precios/ IY2AW47ACRE6ZAHFISNTVGRHME/story/

  13. @argesric @samsungnext Timing was key. If you weren’t “in” before

    the crash, you were out.
  14. @argesric @samsungnext

  15. @argesric @samsungnext

  16. @argesric @samsungnext That deepening inequality? We risk that happening again,

    between those with understanding and access, and those without.
  17. @argesric @samsungnext What could have made things different? I just

    accepted this kind of thing happened.
  18. Mistakes I’ve made

  19. Mistake 1: Tech, not problems

  20. @argesric @samsungnext “The Tech is the Thing” Since I hadn’t

    learned what my job was.
  21. @argesric @samsungnext Key question: what’s your job?

  22. @argesric @samsungnext End job is to keep the user happy.

  23. Mistake 2: Stability, not usability

  24. @argesric @samsungnext When all you have is an obsession with

    computer science everything looks like a systems architecture problem.
  25. @argesric @samsungnext Stability was the name of the game.

  26. @argesric @samsungnext

  27. Mistake 3: Usability, not comprehensibility

  28. @argesric @samsungnext Systems are lenses. A lens imposes a perspective.

  29. @argesric @samsungnext Frictionless helps with adoption. Frictionless doesn’t mean accessible.

  30. @argesric @samsungnext Accessible means users can approach the truth of

    the thing. If it isn’t conceptually accessible, we are just asking users to trade overlords.
  31. @argesric @samsungnext Giving them control? Explain what we mean. Explain

    the trade-offs.
  32. @argesric @samsungnext Wait, didn’t you just say…?

  33. @argesric @samsungnext Which aspects could cause irretrievable damage to a

    user who doesn’t understand them from the start?
  34. Mistake 4: Problems, not people

  35. @argesric @samsungnext “You need to see people, not problems”

    — Bruce Lawson, Monkigras 2019
  36. @argesric @samsungnext Problems •Censorship; •Frictionless money transfer; •Dependence on central

  37. @argesric @samsungnext Keep in mind who will use it, because

    people’s situations are different. Remember that we are privileged.
  38. @argesric @samsungnext People •Mining hardware at risk of being confiscated;

    •Working abroad, wanting to send money home; •Unaware that they are in an economy about to tank.
  39. The truth is…

  40. @argesric @samsungnext

  41. @argesric @samsungnext

  42. @argesric @samsungnext You are working on the future. This should

    worry you. People will live with the decisions you make.
  43. @argesric @samsungnext We can’t afford to wait until it goes

    mainstream. Someone will figure out how to make this accessible.
  44. @argesric @samsungnext

  45. @argesric @samsungnext Out-execute them, because the tech is not the

    only thing. Keep your users happier.
  46. @argesric @samsungnext Make sure your users understand the truth of

    what you’ve built. Contact: