Washington Post: Amazon and Google Users Should Revolt Over Ad Barrage

Washington Post: Amazon and Google Users Should Revolt Over Ad Barrage. “It’s an open secret: The user experience is deteriorating for many of the largest technology companies’ core products. At fault is the steady, inexorable creep of advertising. More and more companies are allowing ads to infiltrate every facet of their services. It’s easy to see why: With tech giants’ immense size, each step toward more ads can generate the kind of money that’s almost impossible for a public company to turn down. But the result is an industry that has chosen to put bigger profits over the needs of its customers. And they shouldn’t accept it.” Google’s going just the way AltaVista did – cramming in the ads until people get fed up.

Mashable: Facebook’s engagement is sinking with no end in sight

Mashable: Facebook’s engagement is sinking with no end in sight . “If you’ve found yourself spending less time on Facebook over the last year, you’re not alone. As the beleaguered company has battled scandal and tried to emphasize ‘meaningful’ interactions over fake news and clickbait, it appears users are spending less time on the service. Engagement with Facebook is set to decline or remain flat for the foreseeable future, according to a new report from eMarketer.”

Eight Principles of ‘Bot Design

Been thinking about possibly making your own ‘bot? Check out these Eight principles of ‘bot design. “Despite plenty of excitement it’s still unclear how conversational UIs can be made to work in a practical sense. But opinionated design principles can help us push past the hype, and design something real people will want to use every day.”

Governing: Dot-Govs Get a Much-Needed Facelift

Governing: Dot-Govs Get a Much-Needed Facelift. “Is it time to give the government website a makeover? For years, city and state sites have been designed as portals through which the public could find as much information as possible. The motto was clearly, ‘the more, the better.’ But the result has been an overwhelming hodgepodge of columns and boxes filled with tiny text, drop-down menus that run on and on, and buttons everywhere.”

How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist

There is a lot to think about here: How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist – “I’m an expert on how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities. That’s why I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked. When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want to show you where it might do the opposite.”

The “Folk Theories” of Facebook’s Algorithms

Users apparently create “folk theories” to understand how nontransparent algorithms and other unexplained elements of a user experience work. “Despite evidence that only a minority of Facebook users realize their news feeds are guided by an algorithm, there are still plenty of home grown ideas about how posts are chosen to appear. Facebook, of course, won’t tell us precisely how the feed works. But researchers have gathered 10 ‘folk theories’ of the mysterious algorithm in a paper describing a study of 40 users.”