Links for March 11, 2016

Usability as the enemy

When a product is hard to use, some people just give up. But others forge on and figure it out. And once they do, they’re more wedded to the experience than ever before.... Only a small group of people, like them, took the time to care, so now they’re involved with not just the app but the community and culture that surrounds it.

My Year in San Francisco’s $2 Million Secret Society Startup

Yet within the Latitude Society, there were extra reasons members got upset by the paywall. Many of us poured hours of volunteer work into the Society, and we felt hurt at being asked to pay when we’d given so much already. Plus, many of us weren’t rich. The new membership plan cost hundreds of dollars a year. The Society had its share of “tech gentry,” but membership was expensive even for some techies, let alone artists and social workers. So the paywall felt out of touch with the community—and it created a hierarchy of wealth, where previously members had distinguished themselves via creativity and service. It was a new and unwelcome type of exclusivity.

Why aren’t escape rooms plagued by spoilers?

It’s up for debate how much spoilers really ruin experiences. On, we go out of our way to avoid them, but it’s not clear whether they actually damage enjoyment.... I’m not convinced that a spoiler could deal a lethal blow to an escape room. I’d like to think that these experiences are more resilient than that, but I could be wrong.

Android: The Making of "Monotune"

What happens when you take an 88-key piano and strip away all the notes but one?