Monthly Archives: August 2016Blog

All About Dark Patterns

Have you ever been victimized by deceptive marketing? Once someone has your credit card there are lots of ways to trick you into unwanted auto-shipments, subscriptions, additional purchaces, and many other things to get your money. They typically prey on users not reading terms of service, overlooking pre-checked boxes on order forms, or giving up on reaching customer service or completing a ridiculously lengthy refund process when trying to rectify a problem. You can even throw in making privacy settings on social media sites impossible to find and figure out. It’s called “Dark Patterns,” and unfortunately is becoming a standard practice in many businesses. This article provides insight to help consumers hopefully avoid these unseemly, but more and more common methods:

More on Dark Patterns

dark patterns are short-sighted, says Hoa Loranger, vice president of the prestigious UX consulting firm Nielsen Norman Group. “Any short-term gains a company gets from a dark pattern is lost in the long term,” she says.

Dark Patterns Website

A currated collection of dark pattern techniques discovered on real websites.

NPR Axes User Comments, Shines Light on User Behavior

NPR’s axing of comments on its articles provides a few take-aways:

  • Readers are commenting on articles less and less and preferring discussions on social media more and more.
  • Commenters are becoming more vile and difficult to police.
  • Commenting systems are expensive to maintain, which becomes more of a problem with decreasing numbers.
  • The news world, and the web in general, continues to observe and adjust and people utilize technologies in new or unexpected ways.

As has been said, ‘there’s no there there,’ and this applies to the internet as well. There are few online absolutes. Behaviors, patterns and standards are all subject to change in today’s high-speed tech society. That’s why modern business must be lean and agile, and quick to learn and change.

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Type, and Digital Design

Designing for digital requires efficiency, consistency, and clarity — all to make it easy for people to do things. This makes sense when you consider that digital interfaces need to work at the speed of thought. That’s why people prefer clicking to scrolling. It’s also why movie cuts work, since they mimic eye movements. Digital interfaces need to be designed so that people can glance, scan, feel for hierarchy, and find things in expected ways. It’s what we mean when we say a digital experience is ‘intuitive.’

Typography is a huge part of visual communication. A small but important part of typography is ‘letter case,’ which is how capital and small letters are used to convey meaning. This article looks at Title Case vs. Sentence Case, and provides some nice insights on how each can be used. Hope this helps enhance your next design!

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