Internal technical email, with help from Dr. Seuss

This email had to convey my deep understanding of the technical complexity of the “back stack” (the screens you’d see by pressing B on the Xbox One controller), in a way the engineer couldn’t ignore.


Subject: Checking the back-stack story…

Do we know if this is how the back-stack will work in the context of snapped and full-screen apps?

Your quick review for accuracy would be much appreciated.

Snap an App


Snappable app.
App snapped.
Snapped app.

Snap an app with app in BAT
Now app in BAT has snapped-in app
Say “Go to app” with app in snap,
The snap stays snapped, new app in BAT

Don’t stop to swap from snap to BAT
Snapped app to BAT is double-tap–
Then tap two taps from BAT to snap, too.

Now let’s go back from app in BAT.
Now let’s go back from app in snap.

You could B-back from your snapped app.
You could B-back from your BAT app.
It’s the back-stack snapped-app app-stack.

B-back from your snapped app
B-back from your BAT app
B-back snapped app, B-back BAT app,

Snap an app,
double-tap to BAT,
then back-stack back
Get where you’re at?

Please, Shell. I don’t like this trick, Shell.
My thumbs aren’t slick or quick, Shell.
I get mixed up with back and BAT, and SAT and snap, and unsnappable stack.

You want an easy game to play?
You want an easy thing to say.

To snap an app, say “Xbox Snap”
To un-snap app, “Xbox Unsnap”

For tips on tricks by the Xbox One team
Get Xbox Help! from the Xbox Docs team.

(with thanks to Dr. Seuss. 🙂 )

Sent in Summer 2013 to a fellow member of the Xbox One engineering team. He came to my office within the hour.