Uber's Undoing Part III: Redemption (elischiff.com)
over 4 years ago from Eli Schiff, elischiff.com
over 4 years ago from Eli Schiff, elischiff.com
This is hilariously over the top. You write with such a vengeance that it makes your work seem unbelievable, and like you've got an agenda, which I guess you do, and it costs $3 for an e-book.
Edit - oh my god i just finished it. This is clearly written with such a distaste to Travis Kalanick (which is understandable, he is a douche) that it has completely distorted what you're trying to say. Criticism is meant to be impartial and based in fact and this is written with such an obvious bias it makes you question the legitimacy of anything you say. This is the Fox News of Design criticism.
What am I asserting that is remotely in the category of belief?
Nothing. I said it makes your work seem unbelievable because it is written in such a sinister tone. I don't mean it is literally a matter of belief haha.
In what way is Criticism meant to be impartial? Isn't the whole point of being a critic being able to state your opinions about things? Isn't hearing the critic's point of view the point of reading a critique?
I genuinely think you have it backwards.
I believe he means impartial to the parties involved when discussing something that is not, specifically, the parties involved.
If this is a design critique, the individuals responsible for it should really never be mentioned aside from identifying them.
Uh find me the rule book on that ☝️
If you were critiquing a painting and you spent half your time describing how the painter is a hyperdouche, it would naturally lead to any listener/reader wondering whether your critique of the painting may be unfairly influenced by your personal opinion of the painter which means your critique would not necessarily even be about the painting, but the painter.
It could or could not be useful information to have, but it is utterly useless when trying to convey whether the painting itself is good or not good.
If your critique is about Uber as a company, with design being an incidental part of that, then getting into the personalities of leadership is appropriate. But if your critique is about the designs employed by the company, then it is inappropriate.
Not against any "rule," but if your audience gets a feeling you'd rather avoid (that your critique is not due to your analysis of the design, but due to your personal opinions of the individual), then it would be pretty stupid to not accept that........ criticism.
You know people study the artists as well right? You can have criticism for both the painting or the painter, but it's way more interesting and compelling to see the story of both told as one.
Yeah pretty much this.
Personally I interpreted this series as half critique and half entertainment. The way Eli writes is often some very good points, sometimes a bit of trolling.
Yeah I agree, and I think his trolling ruins his good points.
I correctly identified Uber Move, Airbnb Cereal, and Google Sans on the first try. What do I win?
You can now officially call yourself a "UX Designer."
Not a commentary on what it should be, just an observation of our relationship with the author himself: It is amazing how dramatically this community's opinion/perspective on Eli Schiff has changed in such a relatively short time. We humans sure are fickle. Seems to work in both directions. Even for someone beloved as Dan Petty or Pablo Stanley, make one
wrong unpopular move and the community could be coming for your neck.
edit: markdown "-" formatting
I've always respected Eli despite disagreeing with him on some things.
People get so heated over others with differing opinions. His articles are always well thought out. And he frequently responds to commentary both here and on Twitter.
It's possible to like, but not always agree with someone. I wish more people understood that.
I don't see any heated discussion here? Just a ton of people downvoting me for saying my opinion. Classic designernews lol
/vəːˈbəʊs/ adjective: verbose
using or expressed in more words than are needed.
Again, for what it's worth, Eli clearly works hard on these pieces, but the readability needs some work. A series of paragraphs pulled at random yielded a Flesch Kincaid score of 31 – that's cool for your Masters dissertation, but not for journalism.
Good thing I’m not a journalist ;)
Why is this getting downvoted so hard. This is not spam, not even close. If this is not good enough for Designer News (it is, you must grant, at least NEWSworthy in our little corner of the sandbox) while a company's cute 404 page that gets bitched about nearly every day for ruining "REAL UX PROCESS" gets upvoted to the stars, then this community has completely and utterly lost its way.
Honestly this was really refreshing to read. Love the content model. Love the energy. Detailed research. Thoughtful comments. @everyone Its okay to have opinions
Can't wait for the next series.
I don't mean this snarkily, though I can't avoid it sounding that way: Can someone sum up the thesis of this thing in a sentence or two? I'm struggling to follow the focus here aside from mostly "Uber? it's bad."
I enjoy reading this criticism most of the time, even if I disagree or think it comes from an unnecessarily angry-sounding place, but I still don't see the "why" on this one.
"Uber? it's bad."
I mean we already knew that you can't be an Uber user and claim to be an ethical person. This just deconstructs the design story that went along with the rollercoaster of despicable behavior.
ok, but with what thesis? what has this piece of writing added to the discourse?
Maybe if you read it, you'd know.
hahah wow. I'm asking this question because I have read it. Certainly telling that no one has tried to sum it up succinctly though.
Did you not grok anything from the conclusion? I summed up why it was important.
There are quite a few things in the conclusion - comparisons of the supposed aims of the different rebrandings, the "Designer as Propogandist" theme, and what I read as your opinion and would guess is what drove you to write the piece in the first place, this quote: "For the few out there remaining who believe in design aesthetics as worthy ends in themselves, this can only be disillusioning."
But though there are mentions of these topics throughout, I really struggled to find a clearly defined thread upon which you built the evidence and opinion to a conclusion. If asked what this essay is about, I would mention the things you mention in the conclusion, but as far as tying them together, the best I could do is say "He gives examples of these as he takes us through the story of Uber's development." And I'm used to being able to point to a strong opinion driving your writing: "Eli argues that design aesthetics were wielded as propaganda tools in the development and redevelopment of Uber's brand." If that, or something along those lines, is the intent here, then what it was missing for me is a clear statement early on, and repetition of that theme tying each topic and example to that thesis.
This isn't a high school 5 paragraph essay format where it goes:
Sorry to disappoint.
A five-paragraph high-school essay isn't a good form of writing in and of itself, but it has that rigid format to teach some fundamentals which more advanced writing should also show. Just as in design, if you're confusing and losing readers, it's probably not because your readers need to be doing more work to understand what you're saying, it's because you haven't laid it out clearly enough. And it's entirely up to you if that's important to you or if the writing as-is has reached the audiences you wanted it to.
I'm just offering my opinion since you prompted, but I see quite a few other comments on here as well pointing to suspicions that an interesting and valuable piece of opinion and analysis has been obscured by too many words.
Sometimes it's valid to not spell things out in advance. Perhaps there was room for giving more hints as to the final conclusion but I feel it was if not explicit, it was at least partially implicit in the early sections what was to come and my intent.
I definitely could make my writing simpler.
It's clear you've read it and I do appreciate your feedback. I'll consider more explicit foreshadowing next time.
Eli, thank you for having a point of view. Enjoyed reading it.
On launching the rebrand case study site, Uber spelled ‘Principles’ as “Principals.” I pointed this out, and within a few days it was fixed. Perhaps it was a Freudian slip, indicating skepticism about the sincerity of the updated moral code.
Hasn’t the dead horse been beaten enough? Hopefully there wouldn’t be part IV
Your answer... read in part IV and V!
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