University College London: Students develop software to revolutionise computer use for millions

University College London: Students develop software to revolutionise computer use for millions. “The software could revolutionise the way that millions of people use computers by allowing those with mobility issues to easily interact with their PCs without the need to buy adapted computers and use pointer devices. It has already been endorsed by charities including the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations, which supports people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) around the world and is making a positive impact on people’s daily lives.” And it’s free for individual users.

TechCrunch: The Web Foundation is taking on deceptive design

TechCrunch: The Web Foundation is taking on deceptive design. “The Web Foundation‘s Tech Policy Design Lab is working on an interesting-looking project to counter deceptive design — aka dark patterns* — with the goal of producing a portfolio of UX and UI prototypes which it hopes to persuade tech companies to adopt and policymakers to be inspired by as they fashion rules to make the online experience less exploitative of web users.”

Chrome Unboxed: More Improvements That Google Play Books Should Make To Its Web App This Year

Chrome Unboxed: More Improvements That Google Play Books Should Make To Its Web App This Year. “I can no longer use my Duet with the Google Play Books app, and instead, I’ve been forced into using the web app in its place. In doing so, I’ve realized just how truly awful the PWA experience is. With all of the advancements and hype around progressive web apps, you’d think that the company would throw some paint on something as important as Books, and maybe even do a few things under the hood. Today, I’d like to take a moment to look at how the service has done over the last 365 days and offer five more major thoughts about how the company can bring Play Books out of the Stone Age.”

TechRadar: Half of top websites fail to meet Google usability standards

TechRadar: Half of top websites fail to meet Google usability standards. “Many of the world’s top websites do not provide the ideal user experience (UX), both on desktop and mobile platforms, at least not by Google’s standards, a new report from Searchmetrics has found The company recently analyzed the top 100 most visible websites on Google.com and found that by Google’s benchmarks, 50% don’t deliver a good desktop page experience, while 44% fail to do the same on the mobile platform.”

The Conversation: What are dark patterns, and how do they affect you?

The Conversation: What are dark patterns, and how do they affect you?. “Dark patterns are design elements that deliberately obscure, mislead, coerce and/or deceive website visitors into making unintended and possibly harmful choices. Dark patterns can be found in many kinds of sites and are used by several kinds of organizations. They take the form of deceptively labeled buttons, choices that are difficult to undo, and graphical elements like color and shading that direct users’ attention to or away from certain options.”

IEEE Spectrum: New Tool Strips Manipulative “Dark Patterns” From Mobile Apps

IEEE Spectrum: New Tool Strips Manipulative “Dark Patterns” From Mobile Apps. “The mobile apps we use every day are surprisingly manipulative. Subtle design tricks known as ‘dark patterns’ nudge us into doing what the app maker wants—be that buying products or continuing to scroll. But now, researchers are fighting back with a new tool that strips these unwanted features out of Android apps.”

Mashable: There’s an art to the way video games deliver info. A new website celebrates that.

Mashable: There’s an art to the way video games deliver info. A new website celebrates that.. “The newly launched Game UI Database turns an often-overlooked aspect of artful video game design into a headlining star. For most people who play games, on screen accoutrements like ammo readouts and minimaps — not to mention pause menus, inventory screens, and tooltips — are just a part of the scenery. We take them for granted, never really acknowledging that most games would be rendered unplayable in their absence. That’s the thing, too: A good user interface (UI) is supposed to be something that goes unnoticed.”

Mike Shouts: SwiftUI iPod Classic Project Brings iPod Classic Interface To Your iPhone

Mike Shouts: SwiftUI iPod Classic Project Brings iPod Classic Interface To Your iPhone. “Smartphone has changed the way we consume music. Its integration with our lives was slow, but seamless enough that we forgot how much we miss the iPod Classic. We didn’t how much we miss the good’ol iPod (and by extension, the good’ol Jobs-era Apple) until we saw the SwiftUI iPod Classic Project. So what the hell is SwiftUI iPod Classic Project? Oh, nothing much really. It is just an awesome app that turns your iPhone into an iPod Classic.”

The Verge: A critical analysis of scroll bars throughout history

The Verge: A critical analysis of scroll bars throughout history. “Sébastien Matos has built a fantastic interactive trip through the history of one of the most important UI elements we encounter every day: the scroll bar. He’s recreated, as faithfully as possible, 30 years of scroll bars from some of the top desktop platforms of their day, from Xerox Star to Windows 10.”

MakeUseOf: The 6 Best Simple Android Launchers for Parents and Grandparents

MakeUseOf: The 6 Best Simple Android Launchers for Parents and Grandparents. “A simpler launcher can solve most of the difficulties your grandparent or parent faces on their Android phone. The default one often promotes its fanciest functions, complicating essential actions like calling in the process. Thankfully, you can choose from a range of third-party launchers that are designed with older users in mind. They’re easy to navigate and don’t have any extra features that just get in the way of basic usage.”

Ars Technica: Behold, the most (intentionally) poorly designed website ever created

Ars Technica: Behold, the most (intentionally) poorly designed website ever created. “Sometimes we take Web and user interface design for granted—that’s the point of User Inyerface, a hilariously and deliberately difficult-to-use website created to show just how much we rely on past habits and design conventions to interact with the Web and our digital devices.”