We’re in The Medium Place 🎙

Episode 11 of Supercomputer is now out – listen in if you’re curious about the new iPad Pros.

Alex talks about her concerns over USB-C, I tried to talk her down from the ledge, and we both ended up convincing ourselves to be excited about the new iPads.

Plus, we talked about the changes to Shortcuts 2.1 that I covered in my video earlier this week.

With this episode, we’re also making the switch to releasing on Fridays – we’re trying to guarantee the show is as good as possible, plus give us flexibility on recording days to account for any events as well as our schedule. New episodes every Friday – Supercomputer for the weekends!

Start prepping your daily routine plans for an upcoming episode, because we’ll be walking through those shortly – in the meantime, drop us any shortcuts requests in our submission form, we’ll be answering a few soon!

Get the episode:

P.S. Would anyone listen in Spotify or on YouTube? Let me know!

Words I never want to appear in my writing; or, staying friendly towards beginners

As a writer who generally focuses on complicated processes for using technology, I can find it tempting to default to lazy language that over-simplifies for me, but tends to makes things confusing for new users. If something is difficult for everyone else and I describe it as “simple”, I’ve just lost many people who might’ve otherwise made it through.

For example, when I wrote the Workflow documentation, I took care to make sure I avoided assuming the directions given were as straightforward as possible and could always be understood by someone without any technical training (like me).

Today, I came across a great tweet from Jess Telford, summarizing a post from CSS Tricks and originated by Chris Coyier, who message I’ve seen before but am officially copying for my own work. This is aimed at code comments, but the author suggests setting the following words as “errors” in your syntax highlighter:

  • Obviously
  • Basically
  • Simply
  • Of Course
  • Clearly
  • Just
  • Everyone knows
  • However
  • So,
  • Easy

Using these words in an explainer context is now banned from all of my writing.

Nothing with iOS automation or the technical details of how something works is easy, simple, or clear – at some point, it was explained to you. Not everyone knows, you don’t “just” do something because there’s a verb for that action, and many complex things are rarely obvious how to use at first.

I want to avoid alienating anyone who reads my writing or wants to learn more about how to use technology – the goal is to empower, not educate from above.

If you see me using this language, don’t hesitate to call me out.