Why are Quora credentials so hard to edit or create?

While adding credentials is easy, per How can I add credentials on Quora?, adding credentials to the satisfaction of the Quora Credential Bot, which stealth collapses your pre-existing bios and your recently edited credentials, is so opaque, that Mike Bowerbank’s answer is not useful. Sure, it’s real easy to create a credential that will get instacollapsed and ignored by Quora; but that doesn’t get us anywhere.

Quora credentials are hard to edit and create, because when the Quora Design team put together their metrics for how they would call the rollout a success, those metrics did not include writers being able to change their credentials easily. Or even becoming aware that there was a problem with your credentials to begin with.

Designing Your Own Metrics by Jackson Mohsenin on Quora Design

Why yes. When you design your own metrics so that any pre-existing bio that didn’t match your criteria gets silently suppressed, and you don’t have to count it in your metrics, of course you’re going to call whatever the hell happened a victory. Like old man Tacitus said: solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant. They create desolation and they call it peace.

(If any of this is news to you, go to your Profile, and hit Edit under credentials. If you see a whole lot of yellow triangles? That’s the UX experts of Quora silently suppressing your bios as “unhelpful”, and not bothering to let you know about it.)

How does Jackson’s essay start?

Designers are often skeptical about the metrics that guide product development, and for good reason: organizations frequently choose metrics that are bad proxies for long-term value to their customers or users.

Indeed. And yet, those metrics keep happening.

So. Reason #1 why Quora credentials are so hard to edit or create: an approach to UX design at Quora that consistently ignores its writers. Not its users: its writers…

if Bios weren’t accurately representing an author’s relationship to a question, and we just work on getting more and more of them, it could lead to readers seeing many unhelpful bios on Quora, lowering their overall trust in the product.

And with this, we realise, yet again, that the users Quora UX design for are not the writers: writers are fungible fools, who will put up with whatever crap is ladled to them in the interface. The only users that matter to Quora UX are the passive readers who stumble onto the answers, and onto that sweet, sweet advertiser clickbait.

It let us more accurately measure what we intended – good experiences for readers – without having to throw measurement out all together.

Good experience for readers.

Not for you.

Reason #2: Opacity in what the Credentials Bot expects to see in credentials. Best guess is, Quora wants a lot less levity, and a lot more academic or professional-looking credentials. If you put in “PhD Linguistics, Univ. of Melbourne, 1998”, you’re probably safe. If you put in a phrase in the English language, you may well not be safe. If you put in a pithy one or two word apophthegm, you’re probably not safe. But of course, Quora never does any onboarding, and they didn’t do any onboarding of what kinds of credentials they like to see:

With no link to what is helpful? With me having to do trial and error to work out what you consider helpful? And with no clear pattern discernible from the credentials that don’t get rejected?

And with no answer from Quora to the ostensively relevant questions, just user confusion?

As we say in Klingon: HIchop. Bite me.

Zeibura S. Kathau has asked that I mix up the Greek proverbial wisdom with which I decry Quora UX idiocy with some Klingon.

yIvoq ’ach yI’ol. Trust, but verify.

yIvoq ’ach lojmItmey yISam. Trust, but locate the doors.

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