📢 Check out Bold Shows a site to track your favorite TV Shows. I made it and would love to hear what you think.

Respecting our users time and attention

in General.

Over the last decade there has been a rise in everyday tools fighting for our constant attention. Smartphones gaining widespread use have been big enablers of this.

After living with a constant barrage of interruptions for years I’m noticing a change. Friends and people I follow have started to restrict which apps get to show so much as an unread-count badge.

Many turn their smartphone back into a plain phone. Calls and messages get to make a noise, everything else if off. Further calls & messages are only allowed outside “Do Not Distrub” times.

Coming up with reasons to message your users is simple. Take my site Bold Shows, to keep track of your favorite TV shows, as example. Giving it a minute of thought I can come up with a handful of reasons to ask for notification permission. Alert a new episode is about to air, ask you to come back after not using it for a while, inform you about schedule changes, and many more.

This is not something I want for my users. It is not what I want for myself.

Likes, upvotes, and karma are the other side of the same coin. They try to keep us engaged with something longer than needed or even healthy.
Using the example above, I could add a count of how many hours you watched TV and compare that with other users. Watching a show should be a form of enjoyment or relaxation not something you feel you have to do or compete at. It should be on your own terms. How we design these things has a big influence on our customers.

I see it as our obligation as designers/makers to build products which respect our users time and attention. Make every form of interruption opt-in. Don’t try to add fictional internet points and social to everything.

When you find yourself in the position where your boss asks you to implement such manipulative tactics you have to make a choice. Try to push back. This can be difficult, especially when you depend on your job for food and a home. It is worth the effort though.

I am happy to announce Bold Shows a site to keep track of your favorite TV shows.

If you watch a lot of shows you know it can be cumbersome to keep up with new episodes. Especially if there are breaks. Watching shows is one of my favorite pastimes and I needed a way to maintain a list of episodes I’ve watched and see what is new.

This is where Bold Shows comes in. It is a no-nonsense and fast TV show tracker. Bold Shows also respects your privacy and is ad-free.

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to track your TV shows then Bold Shows is the right app for you. No need to download anything. It works in any browser both on your PC, Mac and on your iPhone and Android. Sign-In to the same account and everything is kept in sync on all your devices.

iOS 11 introduced large navigation bar titles. They look great and you should use them on main views. When you use large titles on a UITableViewController everything works as expected. On scroll the large title hides with a nice animation and returns to a normal smaller one.

There exist two bugs which can prevent the title from showing up. If you set prefers large title on the navigation bar in the storyboard the setting does not get picked up. I recommend you add the following to the controller you want the large navigation title.

In viewDidLoad:

override func viewDidLoad() {
  // Drop the if-#available should you only target iOS 11 and newer.
  if #available(iOS 11.0, *) {
    navigationController?.navigationBar.prefersLargeTitles = true

Apple recommends to only show large titles in main views. If your viewcontroller has sub-sections make sure to set navigationItem.largeTitleDisplayMode = .never either in code or in your storyboard.

In addition problems arise if you need to customize your view around your table. Usually you create a UIViewController for this and then add the views and tableView as required. If the tableView is not the first view in your storyboard, the large title fails to hide automatically.

To fix this issue drag and drop the tableView on top of every other view.

If you are creating the layout via code you most likely need to make sure your tableView is the first element in the main view’s subviews array.

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