Yes, yet another reaction to claps.

It’s… ok.

There aretoo many other posts talking about Medium’s switch to claps to really go into it, you can go search for those yourself. Here’s my take.

It’s passable. I like the concept that it introduces a weighting system so that you can like something more than others… but it forces me to have to remember way too much.

After a while, I spend more time when “clapping” remembering if I clapped 10x, 15x? 27x? for a similarly good article. Should I remember how much I clapped and clap the same amount for this one?

Do I have to see how many claps there are so far and guess how many to clap in a commensurate manner? How do I know there are not people giving 50x claps to everything they see? Does that make my 8x claps worthless? Do I have to just 50x clap everything now to help indicate my support?

How careful do I need to be when clicking the button to make sure I clap just the right amount? I can no longer just mindlessly click the heart and be done with it. That’s probably a good and bad thing, though at the moment, the bad seems to outweigh the good.

Also, the hearts were a 1:1 correspondence with a person. It really helped to indicate the reach of your post to people that cared about it. Now that metric is completely gone (psst, Medium, all you have to do is to display that number as well). Not to mention previous posts look dull in comparison with just 1 clap.

While I applaud the thought that went into the development of the clap concept, I think it adds some, but takes away quite a bit from the experience of being a publisher and reader on Medium. I’m sure it does wonders for metrics and hopefully it does get used nicely to help pay authors for good content (which maybe will remove the need for subscriptions?). Else all this would have been in vain as just a thing to change that didn’t need changing.

I’m all for change, but a lot of times, especially changes that result in UI/UX, I find that there is often a one dimensional thought process driving the concept which may actually only apply to a small population (albeit usually the “most important one”) and the rest of us are left out to figure out how exactly that ends up benefitting us.

Again, I like the concept of a better weighted feedback system, but I think it would have served better to instead aggregate the hearts, highlights, comments, and other things you can do to a publication and then use that to come up with a number to display on the page instead of just 50x-ing the hearts in a slightly UI/UX unfriendly manner.

For now, I’ll be clapping a little, and then continually wondering if my modest amount of clapping will make a difference, or if it might even be seen as an insult that I didn’t want to give them the other 47x claps…

Note: I just noticed you can’t clap your own article. I cant remember if this applied to hearts (I thought you can heart your own) but that’s a welcome change. I never liked the concept of being able to pat yourself on the back. That should be completely up to other people.