Your Mileage Might Vary (YMMV)

Brian: «You are all individuals!»
The Crowd: «We are all individuals!»
Brian: «You have to be different!»
The Crowd: «Yes, we are all different!»
Small lonely voice: «I’m not different!»
The Life of Brian

Recently, during a presentation on Persuasive Technology/Gamification/Nudging regarding Climate Change Apps, I used this image to show that … well, “your mileage might vary”:

Source unknown, found on Twitter.

To quote the first source I found online (hey, at least I’m honest about it): YMMV means “To express a possible difference in taste, ‘this is just my opinion, your opinion may be different'”

And I was recently reminded of that idea again when listening to a presentation at the 2020 “Mensch und Computer” conference (literally: human and computer, a conference dealing with Human-Computer-Interaction, Human-Centered Design, and the like).

In the presentation, some students came up with a really great idea on how to … make eating meat more lifelike:

From the paper by Hemmert, Lohkamp, Orak, & Salice (2020)

The idea was (apparently) to make users less likely to buy meat. But personally, yeah, bring it on! How cool is that … you eat mean and you get to stick the knife into the animal. Making really transparent that you are actually eating an animal. Actually are eating meat.


And that’s why you should be really careful about your … unquestioned assumptions when creating something. Because “your” mileage, or rather, the mileage of others, might vary. There are (likely) some who decry that fact. But this diversity of opinions is what makes humans great:

We aren’t all the same. We are different. And this does not only mean superficial characteristics like skin color or sex, but also values, tastes, goals and the like.

And that’s a feature, not a bug.

Happy eating.



Hemmert, F., Lohkamp, G., Orak, G., & Salice, A. (2020). Feeling scarcity: Augmenting human feelings through physicalizations of energy consumption, attention depletion and animal murder. Proceedings of the Conference on Mensch und Computer, 421–423.