Noted: Silence is golden

Reading through The Verge’s YouTube rebrand piece, I was reminded of an old adage you often experience (sometimes painfully) in product design: Silence is golden.

As it goes with things like Yelp reviews and suggestion boxes, you’ll frequently hear from users when something you’ve done isn’t quite right. Launch something that works well? Crickets.

Take a new feature … that lets users rewind or fast forward by double tapping their screen. There was a small percentage of people who double-tap the player to see the remaining time of the video, and they hated when this new feature caused them to skip ahead. “We had no clue about this until we ran the feature at scale and all we heard were some complaints, but no positive feedback,” says Thompson, who leads design for video navigation. “When we turned off the experiment to tune some things, we were buried under an avalanche of feedback demanding that the feature be turned back on. That’s when we knew we had something successful.” The gesture is now used billions of times each day, and has quickly surpassed the scroll bar for navigating through a video.

I really like coming across these little affirmations that match experiences we’ve had designing our own product. 🤗