Emmanuel Quartey

Product @MESTghana. Previously @LabPLC, @Yale, @SeeClickFix. Curious about cities, media, and marginalia.


The Mystery of the Power Bank Phone Taking Over Accra


Have you noticed an odd bulge in people’s shorts around Accra?

It’s likely because, like many of my friends, they’ve recently acquired a new phone. But it’s not the iPhone 6 Plus, and it’s not the Samsung Galaxy S6.

It’s this thing:


The Mystery of the Power Bank Phone Taking Over Accra


Have you noticed an odd bulge in people’s shorts around Accra?

It’s likely because, like many of my friends, they’ve recently acquired a new phone. But it’s not the iPhone 6 Plus, and it’s not the Samsung Galaxy S6.

It’s this thing:


What do we lose in the Age of Context?

Agreed that it’s exciting to consider how surfacing opaque patterns can help us live richer lives. Still, as we imagine what we gain, it’s worth asking what we lose in the Age of Context.

I share the concern raised by Nicholas Felton in his interview with Khoi Vinh in Vinh’s recent book How They Got There. This is what Felton has to…


The one user touchpoint almost every mobile app ignores

An appeal for better app update release notes. What Slack, Spotify, and Billguard can teach us.

Publications edited by Emmanuel Quartey

Networked devices, matter as interface, location-based services, and the physical objects that anchor the ways we call out and respond to each other.

Small observations on product design, product management, and product marketing.

On the relationship between language (digital and analog signals), physical objects, and the communities they anchor.


Comment timestamps as (tiny) designed objects

Realizing that apps are the byproduct of hundreds of small, intentional decisions


While working on a mobile app design project last night, I was struck all over again by the many tiny questions you need to answer when designing even the simplest digital interfaces.


Twitter wants your credit card number

4 ideas for how they might get it this holiday season


Twitter recently announced that it’s testing a “Buy” button on a small percentage of U.S. users.

I was reminded of this when I stumbled across a “Payment & shipping” section while poking around in my Twitter Android app settings.


An idea for improving app installs: Get rid of the website


A lesson from Yo and Sunrise


Some apps have extremely minimal websites. Here’s the website for Days, a social diary app.


Who Will Own the eBook Want-to-Read Graph?

It could be Readmill. On the ebook reader app’s most overlooked feature.


What is a Book Review?

What is it for, who is it for, and what questions should it answer?


The first book I finished inside the Readmill eBook reader app was…


Getting to Pocket Inbox Zero

Pocket is a fiendishly addictive metagame for reading that helps you read more than you normally would. But the game makes it difficult…


The Art of Comics #1: Panels, Thick Painting, and Time Collages


Sequential artists, like architects, manipulate space and time, but where the latter uses a palette of wood, metal