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Johan Bové

Twitter Interests page checkboxes are terribly bad implemented

It's almost that they don't really want you to edit your interests

2 min read

See this page if you have a Twitter account and want to control what kind of ads you get served:

It contained over 300 keywords, some of them I totally did not know why they would be added to my profile, some clearly wrong (Loud Orange Face was in there too) - so I started curating the list. The UX of this page is terrible.

In my case, there are over 300 checkboxes in a long list and there is no way to go through the process of unchecking the boxes easily because on EVERY click a POST request is sent to Twitter, which creates a brief moment where the user needs to wait before they can click on the next checkbox.

So obviously when a lot of people do this at the same time, especially now after watching the Social Dilemma documentary, clearly this page was not designed with that kind of traffic and server load in mind.

Was it done deliberately to discourage people to maintain this list? After 10 clicks or so the server is responding with error 503 ("Service Unavailable" or "over capacity") and none of the changes you make to the list is actually stored. I only noticed this after a reload. Yes, you can happily click further ignoring the error toast notification, but none of your changes will be saved.

This smells like a dark pattern, doesn't it?