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Tapworthy by Josh Clark

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Chapter 10. Polite Conversation

ALERTS, INTERRUPTIONS, AND UPDATES

APPS SHOULD BE GOOD LISTENERS. Tapworthy apps pay careful attention to touchscreen instructions and then dutifully deliver the requested info, gameplay, or action. Every so often, though, apps pipe up with commentary of their own: an alert warns something has gone wrong, a push notification announces a news headline, a progress bar says work is underway. There are lots of ways your app can get its message across, and the voice and method you choose has both practical and personal impact. Does your app shout or whisper? Does it interrupt the action or slip a subtle note? Etiquette matters, even to apps, and politesse requires careful thought about both words and manner.

Etiquette maven Emily Post shared her secret for good conversation nearly a century ago, and her lesson turns out to apply as well to apps as it does to people: “There is a simple rule, by which one can at least refrain from being a pest or a bore. And the rule is merely, to stop and think. Think before you speak. Nearly all the faults or mistakes in conversation are caused by not thinking.”

Photo: StreetFly
Figure 10-1. Photo: StreetFly

This chapter helps you do that thinking by taking your app to iPhone charm school to review the art of polite conversation. You’ll review the iPhone’s communication conventions, including the discreet use of alerts, notifications, activity ...

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