Chapter 8. Using Reputation: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Reputation is a lens for filtering the content you need.

Clay Spinuzzi, professor of rhetoric, University of Texas at Austin

While Chapter 7 explained various patterns for displaying reputation, this chapter focuses on using it to improve the application’s user experience by ordering and sifting your objects.

Envision your application’s data splayed out across a vast surface, like a jumble of photo negatives spread out on a light table. As you approach this ill-disciplined mess of information, you might be looking for different things at different times. On a Saturday, diversion and entertainment are your goals: Show me those awesome photos we took at the Grand Canyon last year. Come Monday morning, you’re all business: I need my corporate headshot for that speaking engagement! Your goals may shift, but it’s likely that there are some dimensions that remain fairly consistent.

It’s likely, for instance, that—regardless of what you’re looking for in the pile—you’d prefer to see only the good stuff when you approach your light table. There’s some stuff that is obviously good: they’re the best photos you’ve ever taken (all your friends agree). There’s some stuff that is arguably good, and you’d like to see it to decide for yourself. And then there’s some stuff that is flat-out bad: oops, your thumb was obscuring the lens. Or…that one was backlit. You may not want to destroy these lesser efforts, but you certainly don’t want ...

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