User Experience Feedback for Human Infant

To the Developer(s) of the Human Infant:

I recently acquired your product and, for the most part, I enjoy it. However I have some user experience feedback that will provide an overall better experience if implemented.

Let’s start with the process to acquire a Human Infant:

  • It’s tough to get your hands on one! I understand you want to be choosy, but it is confusing, as a customer, why some are able to pick one up right away (the first month of trying!) and others have to wait years. I’ve heard some aren’t able to get one at all. And then there are those who don’t want one, and yet find the acquisition process has begun regardless! Work on your distribution line to clear up these discrepancies.
  • It’s a lot of work to begin the acquisition! Perhaps this could be done in a way with fewer side effects for the end customer?
  • There’s no getting around this: it’s troubling that payment in the form of physical pain is a requirement for acquisition of an Infant. I understand this is a challenging product to acquire, but the amount of pain asked for is unreasonable. Lower this cost for greater future investments. 
  • It takes so much energy to acquire one! It’s really quite a lot of work, which can be a strain on the Mom Module.
  • The acquisition comes with so many side effects. Some don’t even make any sense. Mine came with Flabby Belly and Sore Wrist.

On the Human Infant itself:

  • The product arrives way too immature. I understand there is a DIY component, and it is cool that you can customize it to some degree, but it would be great if out-of-the-box the Infant came with some basics, like Ability to Smile and Understands How to Eat. Giggle would be a great upgrade, too! It just seems crazy that this product naturally comes with so few skills. It doesn’t really do anything at first, for, like, months.
  • Where is the instruction manual?!
  • I understand the digestion module is under development when it arrives, but it would be great if it worked better with the provided breastfeeding equipment. It is really hard to tell if you have a match before the product arrives! Plus it is hard to use and difficult to get it correctly docked. Have you considered a hands-free mode? Just an idea.
  • All the built-in sounds are the same. At least initially, there is no difference between an alarm and the Hungry mode. Some separation would really improve the whole system.
  • I hear Mobility comes with the Toddler upgrade. I’m looking forward to trying it out! Can you explain why the other models come with Mobility and this one doesn’t? I’m thinking of Horse, but even Shark has it, so I know you can do it.
  • Maybe I’m using it improperly, but why does the breastfeeding module, when combined with Human Infant, require a pain payment? Didn’t we pay enough upfront? These microtransactions are getting out of hand.
  • It is LOUD. Please add a mute or volume button.
  • My model did not come with a charging cable; as a result, it goes into sleep mode about every three hours. It also needs regular maintenance. This product would be a lot more fun with more interactive up time.
  • The waste disposal system is a literal mess. Can we get an indicator light or something before dispersal?
  • I’ve seen your other models, such as Seahorse and Emperor Penguin, so I know it is possible to have greater integration with the Dad Module. Please consider implementing these changes; right now, it seems like Mom Module has all the interaction. It is fun, but unbalanced.
  • Is it supposed to produce so much gas?
  • Seriously, why doesn’t it do anything? Literally every other species’ model works right out of the box. It’s kind of boring for the first several months.

Human Infant has many devoted fans; I just believe these would be significant improvements to an already great product. I hope you find this feedback helpful and I look forward to the improved model, which would greatly increase the likelihood I will acquire another to add to my collection.

A Human Mom

Thanks,

PS. Thanks for Dogs and Cats. Both are pretty great as-is.

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Review: I See You

I See You by Mary Burton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This crime mystery with a romantic subplot was…just okay. I had to push myself to finish it, and I guessed the baddie pretty early on, and yet still found the ending unsatisfying. It’s mostly well-written in a “Law & Order: SUV” kind of way. I don’t like the way the reporter’s subplot is handled; I doubt the author has ever met a reporter.



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Review: Kiss of Steel

Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Billed as a steampunk adventure, Kiss of Steel is really a vampire romance. And that’s great if it is what you are into! But it just didn’t grab me.

Another issue was the heroine’s name: Honoria. I believe it is supposed to be “On-or-ee-a”, but I first rhymed it with a venereal disease. It’s not great for a romance heroine to be reminiscent of gonorrhea, sorry.

I also think there were some editing issues. It felt like chapters had been rearranged (sometimes referencing information a character didn’t yet know), and the story beats were predictable.

Inventive in concept, just not quite my cup of tea.



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Review: How to Party With an Infant

How to Party with an Infant by Kaui Hart Hemmings

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I should have been more wary of a book jacket claiming the contents were “hilarious.” As is so often true with literary fiction, most of the book felt more sad than funny to me; that said, the prose is obviously dripping with wit. It’s clever, sometimes annoyingly so.
Mele is a single, stay-at-home mom in San Francisco who hangs out with the other mom-group misfits. The book is nominally Mele’s contest entry to write a cookbook for the overall mom group; her plan is to interweave stories from each of the parents in her mom group with a recipe that corresponds to that story. It’s a charming format and the mom stories are varied and have distinct voices. They are alarmingly believable.

I maybe shouldn’t have picked this book up to read on maternity leave. Now I’m moderately disheartened about this whole parenting thing. I came for the hope for positive mom-friendships, but I’m leaving with a sadness about the loneliness and thanklessness of being a mom.



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Review: The Calculating Stars

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


An utterly charming retrofuturism novel that is as much about going to space and women’s struggles in a patriarchal culture as it is about social anxiety.

In an alternate US in the 1950s, the eastern seaboard is struck by a meteor, triggering both an immediate disaster and starting a clock on climate change that will make Earth inhospitable within a generation. To survive, humans must make the leap into space, creating a much more literal space race. Not only do we have to do it with 1950s technology, but we also have to overcome 1950s ideas on race and gender.

This is an alternative view of Hidden Figures, and it’s interesting and frustrating to cheer “lady astronaut” Elma on as she moves from a pilot and a “computer” to an astronaut.



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Review: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


If you’re looking to become a “mommy martyr,” this book is for you! It’s got good tips, but only if you’re willing to wade through the thick molasses of judgeyness.

According to LLL, the only “good” birth is a completely unmedicated vaginal labor, if you are struggling with breastfeeding it is because you haven’t tried hard enough and aren’t going to LLL meetings, formula is literal poison that will cause unlimited unknown scary side effects, and women shouldn’t want to go back to work or think hanging out with an infant is boring.

It also is laced with a bunch of recommendations that other experts flatly disagree with. Points of disagreement include: claims that breastfeeding boosts baby’s IQ (not a measurable amount after other factors are controlled for); pacifiers are horrible (pacifier use boosts breastfeeding and lowers risk of SIDS); husbands have no role in bonding with a baby (it’s cool if he wants to help in feeding); mom’s sleep doesn’t matter (lack of sleep is tied to postpartum depression); bed-sharing is the only way to go (higher risk of SIDS); breastfeeding is really tough if you had an epidural or IV—and don’t even get them started on c-sections (it will be fine).

Too fear-mongering and overblown for me. If anything, it guarantees I won’t be attending an LLL meeting.



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Review: Artemis

Artemis by Andy Weir

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I’m 30% of the way through, and I just can’t bring myself to care enough about this book to finish it. I dislike the main character too much. I think the story probably would have benefitted from a stronger hand in editing; for some reason, the character breaks the fourth wall fairly often to address the reader. And not in a great way.

Plus I have real issues with the way the characters’ sexuality is handled; mostly, I don’t know why all the references to her sex life are present at all. They add nothing to the story and are frequent enough to be gross.

There are interesting facets to the story, like the multicultural aspects of the moon colony, the pen pal letters between Earth and the moon, the science parts. But it just wasn’t enough for me to keep going.



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Review: Nine Perfect Strangers

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A very unexpected book! I picked this one up because it was available at the library and I was generally aware it had gotten some attention. The beginning had me thinking it was good but pretty far outside my normal reads; not in a bad way, just a leisurely meander of a character study. But the second half pulled the rug right out from under me!

The first half is a great character study. Every perspective feels different, and allows us to see the character’s inner thoughts and motivations as they participate in the health resort. Teasing out their reasons for attending was interesting without being laborious, like a slow walk on a cool day. It was a nice change of pace.

Then things got crazy…

I’m glad I picked this one up. It’s good to get to know a perfect stranger, sometimes.



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Review: Turtles All The Way Down

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A magnificently well done look out of the eyes of someone with mental health concerns. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I picked up this book—I grabbed it based on vaguely knowing John Green was a YA author and because there was an underlying murder mystery. But I’m so glad I did. The teen-girl parts and the mystery were both interesting, but this book shines in its treatment of mental health. Everyone should read it, to see how to empathize with others, to try to understand.



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Review: Happiest Baby on the Block

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer by Harvey Karp

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was one of the few books my hospital recommended. I read it before the baby arrived (and I’m glad I did). It provides practical solutions to at least one early parenting trial: how to calm a crying baby when you have no idea what to do.

I’m not sure I love the tone of the book, which can be a smidge patronizing, but that is forgiveable for the incredible usefulness of the practical tips. I think there’s also some “noble savage” assumptions at the root of this concept, but the tips are based on real situations and examples.

In practice, I can say the “5 S’s” do really work! It’s great to have an approach to help soothe a very young baby who can’t express his needs. Plus it reduces my stress to have something to DO when baby is so very upset.



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