Thomaswnorton

Nov 19, 2021

7 min read

Millennial Musings — Features I wish my favourite sites (and apps) had

There are so many sites that we use every day but it feels like they are missing something that would make our lives easier. As these companies have closed off agile boards that we have no idea what they are working on unless we become part of the A/B testing groups I wanted to suggest a few things that I would like to see implemented. Then in a few years, I can celebrate that they have happened or whine some more that I still want them (or in an unlikely event that the problem is solved in a different way ignore that part of the article entirely like a real blogger).

1. Twitch — Collaborations streams need to get rid of the adverts

I pay for my twitch subscriptions to the streamers that I watch, mostly due to not wanting to watch adverts rather than thinking that it's good value for money. But what annoys me is that when the same streamer that I subscribe to is collaborating with another streamer on their channel I have to watch adverts! I paid to watch *Insert streamers name* without advert what gives. This is particularly unfair when it takes up one of their normal stream slots. I get that its good exposure for the streamer, but I can’t help to think that I am being short-changed! So why doesn’t twitch forget my 0.000142069p and let collaboration streams be advert free if I subscribe to either streamer. If twitch wanted to improve discovery, they could take this idea a step further and let raids also be advert free rather than progressing with a silly boost system with questionable click-through rates.

2. YouTube — Video length is a spoiler?

Like lots of people, there is too much sport on and not enough time to watch it all, from Premier League to NFL to Boxing to UFC, the list goes on and on. That’s why I like to watch highlights on YouTube. The issue is the timestamp appears on every video and for highlights that give away a lot of context of what is about to happen. And don’t get me started on the channels that put the score or the result on the thumbnail or title, that should be a strike on their account in my opinion! If a video is let’s say 30 seconds long it tells me as the watcher that it’s either a first-round knockout in boxing or a 0–0 football match where nothing happened. I do not want to know this going into the video. Why can’t YouTube cover up the timestamp for these kinds of videos (both on the search menu and while it’s playing) to preserve the excitement, just like doing the match of the day challenge. Or better yet let me choose if I want timestamps on videos or not. You already collect all this data on me let me make you store some and personalise the experience the way I want not the way you think I want it to be.

3. Safari on my iPhone — 500 tabs is not enough don’t @ME

Slightly cheating for this one as it’s not a website, but as a millennial, it deeply affects me. My iPhone will not let me open any more tabs, because in its eternal wisdom 500 is some kind of limit. How is that fair? We live in the 21st century and have rockets that can be reused and my iPhone can’t count to 501! So, if this rule is so set in stone make it easier to clear them down. On my mac if my phone is open it can open the page I am viewing, why can’t it open all 500 and let me clear them on a device that is more suited to the job. Then I can comply with Woz’s arbitrary rule (For legal reasons I must say that I admire Woz and have no idea if he is responsible) and my phone no longer needs to count over 50.

4. Spotify — The code that makes up shuffle needs to be shuffled

Is Spotify considered a website or an app? No idea, but it can implement something so that I am less annoyed at it too! I have a long playlist of all the songs I like on the app, but sometimes its shuffle makes questionable choices like playing EDM followed by a slow song. This is not what I want. Its mixes need to flow and a multi-billion-dollar software company like Spotify can do better than using a random number generator. There are two solutions that I can think of, one to play the next song based on the most similar BPM to the current song so that it more slowly moves from one genre to the next. Or secondly, look at the last N number of notes of one song and decide the next song based on the first N number of notes of it so that it flows into the next song.

5. Video conference apps — Let any host change the slide

I have given up only whining about websites now. Why is it so common for people to have to say next slide please when presenting as a group? Surely these video conferencing apps should be able to let all hosts be able to change to the next slide, not just one person that’s screen sharing. Please fix that!

6. Xbox Live store — Sales confuse me

Everyone who plays games has a stack of shame. It used to be a physical pile of disks that you hid in the wardrobe in shame, then it became your steam account now it’s your Xbox live account. It is impossible to keep track. I have games on disk, games on my pc, games on game pass, games that are free with gold and games I have bought via Xbox live. I have no idea what I own. As I have no idea what I own anymore, when sales pop up I never know what I should buy. Do I have Assassins Creed *insert random number here* or not, is it part of a collection that I own or not? This all needs to be simplified and if possible integrated across disk, digital and subscription so that I am no longer not buying out of self-doubt and instead increasing my list of games that I will eventually get around to.

What if we took this concept even further and used the joys of NFT’s so that you know what games you own on ANY platform and it works like a key to let you play it on any other platform. If developers are not cool with letting us buy once, play anywhere then at least inform the user that they already own it on steam before trying to buy it again on Xbox.

7. Jack box — Streamers are too popular to use these the way they are intended

Everyone enjoys Jack box games. But I think one of the key use cases is mass participation events with no overhead. Imagine university freshers’ events, streamers on twitch or even corporate “team building events” they can all be improved by having a quick game of Fibage. The issue is only 8 players can play, bummer. I know that they have added the audience feature but that is not nearly as fun to be in the audience as in an actual game. Why can’t there be logic built over the game to divide everyone out into separate games each with 8 players and then once the games finish sort of seed the players to make more competitive second and third rounds that way everyone can play. I am not even sure that this needs Jack Box to develop or whether a chrome extension/site can achieve a similar result just directing people to different games automatically.

8 and 9. Netflix and Amazon — All video platforms copy each other so all need the same things!

From streaming services, I want one thing. The ability to watch things that I am subscribed to. Why are they making that difficult? I get from a business point of view licence agreements change and so content moves from one provider to another. But when I pay for them both, why should I be impacted by this? All my shows should be in one place so that I don’t need to use sites like just watch to track down the things I want to watch. Why is there not one site that you can plug all these subscriptions into so that it just works! This site can also help with the whole one list problem. Why would I want to have one watch list? That is not useful once you have more than 5 things in it, and it’s not like they separate it into watched and unwatched. We need more lists and the ability to personalise these lists with colours or tags. Maybe I want a list of shows that I want to save to watch with my family and another list of movies that I only want to watch at Christmas (or whatever holiday season you celebrate). Let me.

Also, why do I have to click skip intro every time a new episode comes on. They should have a setting to do it once in a binge, never and always depending on user preferences!

10. Quidd — Wake Up

I have already written about my love-hate relationship with Quidd (#SelfPromo). But so many things are missing for a site and community that has been around since 2016. Now that NFT and digital collectables are hot commodities they should be killing it (admittedly I Am a little biased as I have a decent collection on the app). But alas they are not. Maybe I will make a follow-up post about all the things I want to be added to Quidd so that it is usable.